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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Catch My Soul aka "Santa Fe Satan" [Blu-ray]

 

(Patrick McGoohan, 1974)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Metromedia Productions

Video: Etiquette Pictures

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:35:40.067

Disc Size: 37,376,929,348 bytes

Feature Size: 27,148,888,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.91 Mbps

Chapters: 6

Case: Transparent thick Blu-ray case

Release date: November 17th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1095 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1095 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), None

 

Extras:

"Drink the Wine, Eat the Bread" - Making-of Featurette (20:50)
"The Deacon Speaks" - Interview with actor Tony Joe White (11:27)
"True Soul" - Featurette on Conrad L. Hall (8:05)
Theatrical Trailer (1:54), TV Spot (1:00), Promotional Still Gallery (2:48)
Extensive Booklet Essay by Tom Mayer
Reversible Cover Artwork

DVD

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Santa Fe, New Mexico. 1967. A hippie commune secluded in the desert. This is the backdrop for Jack Good's CATCH MY SOUL, the 1973 rock opera adaptation of Shakespeare's OTHELLO. Long thought lost, CATCH MY SOUL stars folk singer-songwriter Richie Havens as a traveling preacher who on his journey happens upon the commune of the sinister Iago (Lance LeGault). When Othello woos and takes Desdemona (Season Hubley) as his wife, Iago clandestinely conspires against the preacher to ruin their romance and run him out of town.

The only feature film directed by Patrick McGoohan (star of THE PRISONER, SECRET AGENT) and the brainchild of rock 'n' roll impresario Jack Good (SHINDIG!, OH BOY!), CATCH MY SOUL features supporting performances from Academy Award-nominee Susan Tyrrell as Emilia, swamp rocker Tony Joe White as Michael Cassio, as well as musicians Delaney & Bonnie. Despite exquisite visuals by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Conrad Hall (BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, AMERICAN BEAUTY) and Academy Award-winning editor Richard A. Harris (TITANIC, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY), CATCH MY SOUL lost its box office to the success of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and never saw a home video release in any format, only to become the stuff of legend. Etiquette Pictures proudly brings this missing piece of cinema history to home video for the first time, newly restored from its original 35mm camera negative.

 

 

The Film:

Screenwriter John Good's rock & roll adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello is a real oddity and features some surprisingly good tunes. Set in the American Southwest, Othello is a wandering evangelist who happens onto Iago's remote commune. There he marries the lovely Desdemona much to the chagrin of Iago, who also loves her. The conniving commune leader then manages to quietly pressure Othello until murder and tragedy ensue. Songs include: "Othello", "Working on a Building," "Eat the Bread, Drink the Wine," "Book of Prophecy," "That's What God Said," "Chug a Lug," "Open Your Eyes," "Lust of the Blood," "Put Out the Light" and more.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Odd rock adaptation of "Othello" somehow works. Havens is Othello, an itinerant preacher who wanders into Le Gault's desert commune. He marries Hubley and is slowly driven by jealous Le Gault to murder. This film could easily have degenerated into bad camp, but McGoohan's direction keeps it on line with good performances all around.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

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

The dual-layered Etiquette Pictures Blu-ray of Catch My Soul (aka "Santa Fe Satan") has a max'ed out bitrate and looks very authentic. There is strong detail in the film's few close-ups, excellent contrast, some appealing texture and realistic but often deep colors. The New Mexico vistas are impressive in 1080P. The film doesn't appear to have lost anything from its 40-year+ old production. There are a few minor speckles but the source was in fine shape. The many outdoor sequences do raise-the-bar for the overall image. It is transferred in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio (original 1.85:1). This Blu-ray gave me a surprisingly strong viewing in regards to the picture quality. Bravo!

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Etiquette Pictures use a DTS-HD, original, mono track at 1095 kbps (24-bit) and it sounds, predictably flat, but very good with many music numbers gaining buoyancy. The score is by Tony Joe White and Emil Dean Zoughby but there are impressive performances by Richie Havens (Working On A Building, Book Of Prophecy, Put Out The Light), Delaney Bramlett, Susan Tyrrell and others. It sounds very pleasing in the uncompressed with a true Blues sound with notable guitar and vocals. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Etiquette Pictures produce their own supplements including some revealing and interesting video featurettes. "Drink the Wine, Eat the Bread" is a 20-minute 'making of...' and the challenges of personality conflicts, location shooting, cinematography, drug usage on set etc. are discussed by Executive Producer Charles Fries and Associate producer Huw Davies who are quite candid about the production and its weaknesses. "The Deacon Speaks" is a 12-minite interview with actor Tony Joe White (Cassio) and how Jack Good introduced him to acting and this film. "True Soul" - is an excellent 8-minute featurette on Conrad L. Hall the film's award winning cinematographer (Road to Perdition, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, American Beauty) in discussion with his daughter Naia providing interesting details. It was earlier remarked on Hall's surprise involvement in the project and his exceptional work. There is also a theatrical trailer, TV Spot and Promotional Stills Gallery with many lobby cards. The package has reversible cover artwork (resembling the Soundtrack album) for the transparent case and there is 28-page liner notes booklet with photos and an essay by Tom Mayer. There is a second disc DVD included.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
From our ListServ Peter remembers: "It was an interesting show, a "rock Othello". The music was rhythmically strong, though not very memorable, (or really intelligible - the amplification distorted words.) The set - closely modelled on Shakespeare's Globe theatre was excellent - a clever idea and well used. But most interesting were the bits of dialogue straight from Othello. They were delivered in a Southern U.S. drawl - and this suited them incredibly well. The speech rhythms matched perfectly well, and gave the verse a "real" life it almost can't have in a modern English presentation, no matter how good. I did not think the story line was well done - but there was quite a strength in it all.

Digging out my theatre programs from that time, I realised how many incredible things I'd seen in two years in London, many of which I'd completely forgotten. But Catch My Soul is one that I've always had strong, positive memories of.
" (Thanks Peter!)

 

Catch My Soul was a very interesting experience. It took me a while to get into it - I was initially confused by all the musical numbers - but eventually I was hooked. It is totally unique with the only comparison being Jesus Christ Superstar but this more organic, Shakespearian dialogue, production carries its own style and charisma. The Etiquette Pictures Blu-ray is impressive and the extras very educational adding further appreciation to this unusual production. Not a film for everyone (I wouldn't say it's a good film!) but we strongly recommend, regardless! I love seeing rare stuff like this released!

Gary Tooze

November 11th, 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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