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Son of Saul aka "Saul fia" [Blu-ray]
(László Nemes, 2015)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Hungarian National Film Fund
Video: Artificial Eye-Curzon / Lionsgate
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 45,070,150,448 bytes
Feature Size: 32,682,934,272 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 4th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Yiddish | German | Russian | Greek | Slovak | Polish | French | Hungarian | Hebrew 1995 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1995 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio Yiddish | German | Russian | Greek | Slovak | Polish | French | Hungarian | Hebrew 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
• Deleted Scene (1:57)
• Behind the Scenes GoPro footage (3:28)
• Q+A with László Nemes (20:21)
• Trailer (2:09)
• Short Film: With a Little Patience (14:09)
Description: In Laszlo Nemes’s remarkable Holocaust drama,
Son of Saul, there’s a minor character who risks his
life secretly taking photographs of the corpses. There’s a
passing suggestion from another prisoner that the
photographer thinks his images might somehow be passed to an
army that would then know to liberate the camp, but the
photographs are more likely intended for history. Son of
Saul is a film that knows nothing can be rescued from
Auschwitz except memory.
The experience of evil and the experience of being in hell are
what are offered by this devastating and terrifying film by László Nemes,
set in the Auschwitz II-Birkenau death camp in 1944. This film would be
an achievement for anyone, but for a first-time feature director it is
stunning – something to compare with Elem Klimov’s Come and See. Son of
Saul reopens the debate around the Holocaust and its cinematic
thinkability, addresses the aesthetic and moral issues connected with
creating a fiction within it and probes the nature of Wittgenstein’s
axiom “whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent”.
Son of Saul is one hell of a debut, with the emphasis on hell.
It’s set entirely, and with pitiless, unyielding intensity, inside
Auschwitz-Birkenau. This Best Foreign Film Oscar-winner starts as it
means to continue – trained tight on a Hungarian-Jewish prisoner, Saul (Géza
Röhrig), who has only been given a stay of execution because he’s a part
of a Sonderkommando work unit.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Son of Saul looks excellent on Blu-ray from Artificial Eye/Curzon/Lionsgate. It was shot with a Arricam LT - a low weight, small 35mm camera. It is quite kinetic shooting - plenty of movement. The transfer is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate in the intended 1.37:1. Being a modern film the visuals are pristinely clean and the 1080P Blu-ray presentation is tight and, presumably, an accurate representation of theatrical showings.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Lionsgate give the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround or a linear PCM 2.0 channel both 16-bit. The audio is as adept as the video transfer - lots of impacting pauses and subtle effect sounds. The score is by Hungarian composer László Melis and supports the film well.There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B' disc.
The significant extra is a 20-minute Q+A with László Nemes hosted by historian Nikolaus Wachsmann at Curzon Soho, April 2016. We also get a 15-minute short film by the Hungarian filmmaker Nemes entitled With a Little Patience about an office clerk as seen during her daily routine - all the little vibrations of her face. And a man, impatiently waiting for her, beyond the windows. There are also some Behind the Scenes GoPro footage, a short deleted scene and a trailer.
June 11th, 2016
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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