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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Iphigenia' or 'Ifigenia')

Directed by Michael Cacoyannis
 Greece 1977

 

Michael Cacoyannis, director of Electra (1962) and The Trojan Women (1971), has perhaps for the first time successfully brought the feel of ancient Greek theatre to the screen. Iphigenia (1977) is based on Euripedes's Iphigenia at Aulis, a story of an incident just prior to the Trojan War. Helen has run off to Troy with Paris. Agamemnon, brother to Menaleus, Helen's husband, will lead the Greek armies to the shores of Troy. But at the Bay of Aulis the armies wait for winds to carry their boats to Troy. This is where the film begins.

Cacoyannis establishes in just a few minutes of film exposition the restlessness of the Greek armies waiting on the Aulis shore. The men of the armies feel as though the lack of wind were the fault of Agamemnon. The men are tired and hungry, and aching to go into battle. To feed the men, Agamemnon directs soldiers to kill the sheep kept by the holy men who attend the temple of Diana, but the sacred hart is accidentally slain. An oracle is delivered to Agamemnon soon after by Calchas the priest of the temple of Diana. For the wind to blow, Agamemnon must offer up a sacrifice. The armies are jubilant, but what they do not know, and what Agamemnon, Menaleus, Odysseus and Calchas know a few moments after the announcement to the men is that Agamemnon must sacrifice the first-born daughter, Iphigenia.

 Excerpt from CineMonkey's Carl Bennett (writing as David Waich) review located HERE

 

  Poster

Theatrical Release: September 10th, 1977 - Toronto Film Festival

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

   

    

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Olive Films
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:09:08  2:09:17.791
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1.66:1 Disc Size: 24,398,565,716 bytes

Feature Size: 24,209,547,264 bytes

Total Bitrate: 21.59 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio Greek (Dolby Digital 1.0), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0) DTS-HD Master Audio Greek 1981 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1981 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None English, none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: July 24th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

 

1.66:1 Disc Size: 24,398,565,716 bytes

Feature Size: 24,209,547,264 bytes

Total Bitrate: 21.59 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
none
 

Blu-ray Release Date: May 24th, 2016
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 9

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray May 16': The Blu-ray superiority is evident (richer contrast, deeper colors, tighter detail etc.) but the DVD was strong so it is not as dramatic as we have seen. There is a sliver more information on the top edge of the 1080P. Audio gets a solid upgrade as well - DTS-HD Master (24-bit) in the original Greek language. The score is by Mikis Theodorakis (State of Siege, Zorba the Greek, Serpico, Z) and is supports the film well. It is pristinely clean and rises and falls with the film's drama. There are optional English subtitles and no extras at all.

The bare-bones Olive Blu-ray disc has plenty of value with the film and the solid a/v transfer. If you haven't seen it - then this get a very strong recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD: The MGM image shows some strong detail at times and it doesn't appear to have had any significant digital manipulations. MGM have, surprisingly, maintained the allusive 1.66 aspect ratio in a clean, anamorphic, progressive and dual-layered transfer. In testing I had some issues with turning off the subtitles - offered in English, Spanish or French. Audio was clear and there is a Spanish DUB available.

There are zero extra features. Cacoyannis (or 'Kakogiannis') builds a very realistic film and from that standpoint I was very attentive in my viewing.  He certainly captured the historic timeframe very well - in a unique fashion. I can't say the film is for everyone but I was quite getting into it. Interesting and quite different from the other Cacoyannis' works I have seen (Stella and A Matter of Dignity - both available on DVD). It is refreshing to see MGM treat world cinema with healthy transfers.   

Gary W. Tooze


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Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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Subtitle Sample

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Covers

   

   

    

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Olive Films
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray




 

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