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Some Call It Loving [Blu-ray]
(James B. Harris, 1973)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: James B. Harris Productions
Video: Etiquette Pictures
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 31,130,257,804 bytes
Feature Size: 23,351,497,344 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: July 14th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1077 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1077 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 /
48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 96 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 96 kbps / DN -4dB
• Commentary with Director James B. Harris
Description: In this modern day re-imagining of Sleeping
Beauty, a disillusioned musician named Robert (Zalman
King) obtains a carnival act from a sleazy carny and brings
home a young girl (Tisa Farrow) who has been asleep for many
years. After bringing her to his secluded castle and
awakening her with a kiss, Robert tries to introduce her to
his strange and magical world, but as their relationship
develops Jennifer begins to pine for a life that is more
complex than Robert can offer.
Wonderfully bizarre fantasy, based on a John Collier short story, about a world-weary jazz musician (King) obsessed with the dream of innocence incarnated by a carnival sleeping beauty (Farrow) whom he buys, takes back to his baroque Californian mansion (already inhabited by two ambivalently voluptuous women), and awakens for a haunting game of death and love betrayed. Conceived by Harris after working with Kubrick on the script of Lolita, it works as a kind of free jazz improvisation (there is a marvellous score by Richard Hazard), and might be described as a further exploration of what Nabokov's Humbert Humbert called his 'petrified paroxysm of desire'. Unmissable for anyone with an open mind and a sense of cinematic adventure.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
A strange fable of love, reminiscent of the classic fairy tale "Sleeping Beauty," which has King buying the sleeping Farrow from a carnival side show. His idealistic view of love is never realized, and eventually he returns her to her sleeping state. Pryor plays King's drug-crazed friend. White is charismatic as the apparently bisexual mistress of the manor where King takes his newly awakened beauty. Farrow is the younger sister of actress Mia Farrow. This was writer-producer-director Harris' second directorial stint; he directed THE BEDFORD INCIDENT in 1965Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Some Call It Loving comes to Blu-ray from Etiquette Pictures which seems to have some relationships with the chaps at Vinegar Syndrome - who are frequently releasing curious titles to 1080P. Likewise, this is a very clandestine film, perhaps unfairly dismissed initially but a highly interesting work to explore - now 40 years later. It's modest budget, and age, belies the visual quality - adeptly transferred via a dual-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. The presentation attributes include the heavy textures (plenty of consistent grain) and deeper, richer colors than SD could relate although there may be some shifting and less-noticeable bleeding. The image is a shade inconsistent improving quite a bit as the film runs and the outdoor sequences show some depth. This Blu-ray image seems to be a reasonable facsimile of what it was probably like theatrically and I found the heavy textures quite, film-like, and appealing. It is described as a "Director & Cinematographer approved 2K restoration from the 35mm camera negative."
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The film's audio is fairly unremarkable but transferred via a DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel mono track at 1077 kbps. The scattering of the dialogue is more in-line with the production limitations and the score by Richard Hazard (Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla - an extra on Grindhouse Releasing's Massacre Mafia Style) is passive, for the most part. There is other music; the Sleeping Beauty theme by Bob Harris and you will catch some of Nat 'King' Cole's The Very Thought of You.My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Etiquette Pictures go the extra mile with some pleasing supplements including a commentary by director James B. Harris who discusses details of the production and more. There is also a 7-minute piece entitled "Some Call it History" with Harris further talking about the film genesis. Cinematographer Mario Tosi gives us 8-minutes with "A Dream So Real" video featurette. There are 16-minutes extensive outtakes with commentary (appropriate since the original sound was lost). The package has an 8-page Booklet with essay by Kevin John Bozelka, a reversible cover w/ original French art and a second disc DVD of the feature included.
July 6th, 2015
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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