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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Stay as You Are aka "Così come sei" [Blu-ray]

 

(Alberto Lattuada, 1978)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: San Francisco Film s.r.l. - Roma

Video: Cult Epics

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:44:37.854 

Disc Size: 24,191,488,938 bytes

Feature Size: 19,342,872,576 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: May 12th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.76:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

Così come sei Trailer (6:37)

Black Angel (Senso '45) Trailer (1:25)

19 pieces of music from the Soundtrack

 

Bitrate:

 

 

 

Description: STAY AS YOU ARE directed by Alberto Lattuada, is an erotic drama about the impossible love between an older man and a young girl. It tells the controversial story of an architect, Roué Giulio Marengo (Marcello Mastroianni), who is unhappy in his marriage, and starts a romance with the young and beautiful girl Florentine (Nastassja Kinski.) When he finds out thru his wife that she may be his daughter, he has to make a decision.

STAY AS YOU ARE (original title COSI COME SEI) was the first major film for Nastassja Kinski, one year before her breakthrough with Polanski's Tess. Cult Epics is proud to present for the first time ever on Blu-ray STAY AS YOU ARE, an unforgettable classic. Featuring an original Score by Ennio Morricone.)

***

An idyllic May-December romance becomes unraveled when the much-older man begins suspecting that his tender young lover may be his own daughter, the result of an illicit affair many years before.

 

 

The Film:

Mr. Mastroianni attacks his role earnestly, affecting a middle-aged fussiness and seeming genuinely troubled, even torn. He has some excellent moments with a wife and daughter — she is about Francesca's age, and almost as promiscuous — that help supply the film with a broader sense of family relationships, and of the differing mores of different generations.

Much of this information is presented and then ignored, but Mr. Mastroianni gives Giulio as much depth as the material will allow. There are hints throughout "Stay as You Are," which was directed by Alberto Lattuada, of the much more memorable movie this might have become.

Miss Kinski, who is really the daughter of the German actor Klaus Kinski, looks very little like her father and a lot like the very young, very beautiful Ingrid Bergman. The resemblance is strictly facial and it doesn't go more than skin-deep, perhaps because Miss Kinski's manner and bearing are so much less remarkable than her appearance. She makes a convincingly coltish teen-ager, which is really all this role demands.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

While away on a business trip in Florence, middle-aged Roman architect Giulio Marengo meets a beautiful teenager and falls in love with her. The girl's name is Francesca and she is a student that was taken in by a farmer after her mother, Fosca, died. Lorenzo, a friend of Giulio's learns of his relationship with Franscesca and begins to suspect that she may be his daughter. In fact, according to various gossip, the architect had been the lover of Fosca about a year before the birth of Francesca, and therefore could be her biological father. Shocked by the news, Giulio tries to avoid Francesca in every way, moreover distracted by the fact that his daughter Ilaria is expecting a baby.

Giulio struggles to deepen the mystery of his alleged paternity of Francesca and eventually explains to her the reason behind his reluctant behavior. However, the exuberant sensuality of Francesca takes over, putting aside all scruples of mature lover and perhaps father, and the she convinces him to take her on holiday in Madrid, where they live for a period of reckless passion and love. After returning to Florence, Giulio reveals that he must go back to Rome in the next day to attend to his business ventures. That night, they go see Vampyr at a theatre and Giulio falls asleep. Upon waking up, Franscesca is nowhere to be see, indicating that their love affair has run its course.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Stay As You Are has some unforgivable issues on Blu-ray from Cult Epics.  Looking at the title screen ('Bleib wie Du bist') this appears to be a German source for the film. The visuals are very soft, waxy and flat with no grain present. Frankly, it looks like DNR. There are artifacts (see last capture) and frequent chroma examples (see below.)   This is single-layered with a modest bitrate but this seems the weaknesses are more the source provided than the transfer. Dual-layering probably wouldn't have done much to improve these deficiencies. The aspect ratio is in a bastardized 1.76:1 (slight black bars on the sides). These chroma and other artifacts are present throughout the entire 1080P presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of Chroma

 

 

Zoomed-in

 

 

 

Zoomed-in

 

 

Sample of Artifact

 

 

Zoomed-in

 

 

Audio :

Cult Epics offer the original Italian track and a poor English DUB - both in a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 1536 kbps. Both are out-of-sync (common for, post-dubbed, Italian tracks) and there are inconsistencies in the sound as well. The Ennio Morricone score is probably the best thing about the film - and it is offered as a supplement - to hear each track. There are optional English subtitles - that do NOT match the DUB (so they are not simply 'DUB-titles'.) My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Extras :

Trailers for Stay as You Are (Così come sei) and The Black Angel (Senso '45) Trailer and the 19 pieces of music from the Soundtrack played individually to similar screens as the menu.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I suspect that even if this Blu-ray of Stay as You Are had a stellar image I wouldn't recommend it as the film is pretty hollow - although I think the premise is fantastic. It was a let down and we can't endorse the Blu-ray even if the purchaser is only keen to see the beautiful Nastassja Kinski naked. Pass.

Gary Tooze

May 9th, 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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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