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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Interiors [Blu-ray]

 

(Woody Allen, 1978)

 

Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1971-1978 [Blu-ray] which has Bananas (1971), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972), Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), Annie Hall (1977) and Interiors (1978)

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Rollins-Joffe Productions

Video: Arrow Video / Twilight Time

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:31:50.838 / 1:31:51.255

Disc Size: 29,118,969,165 bytes / 21,814,083,132 bytes

Feature Size: 28,315,011,264 bytes / 21,153,988,608 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.92 Mbps / 26.99 Mbps

Chapters: 9 / 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: November 14th, 2016 / February, 2017

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2062 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2062 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles (both):

English, none

 

Extras (both):

Trailer (2:42)

 

Liner notes leaflet with essay by Julie Kirgo

Limited to 3,000 units

 

Bitrate:

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

Twilight Time -  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Description: With Interiors Woody Allen showed the world that he was more than a comedic filmmaker with the Evening Standard's noted critic Alexander Walker remarking Woody Allen gives us the enormous excitement of seeing gifts in use that we never suspected he possessed.

When Eve (Geraldine Page), an interior designer, is deserted by her husband of many years, Arthur (E.G. Marshall), the emotionally glacial relationships of the three grown-up daughters are laid bare. Twisted by jealousy, insecurity and resentment, Renata (Diane Keaton), a successful writer; Flyn (Kristin Griffith), a woman crippled by indecision; and Joey (Marybeth Hurt), a budding actress; struggle to communicate for the sake of their shattered mother. But when their father unexpectedly falls for another woman (Maureen Stapleton), his decision to remarry sets in motion a terrible twist of fate...

Regarded as a startling departure at the time (although it now clearly anticipates later work), Interiors was Woody Allen's first entirely serious drama, an intimate family chamber-piece strongly influenced by his beloved Ingmar Bergman and performed by a pitch-perfect ensemble cast.

 

 

The Film:

When dominating interior designer Eve (Geraldine Page) and her husband, Arthur (E.G. Marshall), split after decades of marriage, it comes as a shock to their adult daughters -- tightly wound author Renata (Diane Keaton), struggling actress Joey (Mary Beth Hurt) and flighty Flyn (Kristin Griffith) -- as does Arthur's new romance with a vibrant artist (Maureen Stapleton). This was writer-director Woody Allen's first dramatic feature, and the first of his films in which he did not act.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Interiors must rank as one of the most spectacular changes of direction for an American artist since Clint Eastwood made Breezy. Working as director and writer only, Allen put together a beautifully acted, lyrically written exploration of an intelligent middle class American family whose three grown-up daughters are thunderstruck when their father trades in his elegant depressive wife for a lively, but jarringly vulgar, divorcee. The film has moments of humour, but they are integrated into a totally serious structure which isolates the family's countervailing tensions with a scalpel-like penetration. Only in a single character, the failed husband of one of the daughters, does the tone falter towards soap. Otherwise the approach is rock steady and, if the film's surface invites superficial comparisons with Bergman, its real roots lie in the very finest American art.

Excerpt from MTimeOut located HERE

 

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

Interiors looks the thickest and softest of Arrow's Woody Allen film transfers to Blu-ray so far. It can be quite dark and it has been suggestion that cinematographer Gordon Willis’ lighting and use of cool colors is in itself another character. Colors (ex. Maureen Stapleton's red dress stands out) are mostly muted but the art direction maintains the detached, cold, minimalist atmosphere. The 1080P looks extremely heavy. The transfer is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It's neither particularly dynamic, crisp nor glossy but this would suit the tone and form of the film. I feel the theatrical presentation was most-likely equally as less-detailed. This Blu-ray is technically flawless and the film's overwhelming textures are consistent throughout. Perhaps we will compare to the SD one day.

 

The Twilight Time is virtually identical - perhaps a smidgeon less smooth in-motion with the lower bitrate. I doubt many systems could differentiate. It supports the authenticity of the Arrow's Blu-ray appearance.

 

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

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

Twilight Time -  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

Twilight Time -  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

Twilight Time -  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The Interiors Blu-ray uses a robust linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 24-bits. The soundtrack again leans to Woody's preferences with Fats Waller's Keepin' Out of Mischief Now performed by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra and Jelly Roll' Morton's Wolverine Blues. The music sounds delightful, in a strangely ominous way, via the uncompressed. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Twilight Time use a DTS-HD master 2.0 channel (24-bits) and the sound is as close as the video (to my crusty ears.) The Fats Waller and Jelly Roll' Morton still sound exceptional via lossless and Twilight Time also add optional English (SDH) subtitles but their Blu-ray disc is region FREE and limited to 3,000 units. No isolated score as usually offered by Twilight Time and their website states "At the request of the studio, the INTERIORS Audio Commentary will not be included. We apologize for the inconvenience and trust you'll still anticipate and enjoy the title.".

 

Extras :

Only a trailer - no liner notes but exclusive to the Woody Allen: Six Films - 1971-1978 [Blu-ray] collection are Annie Hall and a 100-page hardback book featuring new and archive writing on all the films by Woody Allen, Michael Brooke, Johnny Mains, Kat Ellinger, John Leman Riley, Hannah Hamad and Brad Stevens.

 

Also on a trailer, but there is a liner notes leaflet with an essay by Julie Kirgo.

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Twilight Time -  Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Interiors not only represents Woody's first non-comedy film, but non-comedy anything - including playwriting, acting, stand-up, books... People put it down to an infatuation with Ingmar Bergman or, perhaps, feeling some of his comedic themes were misunderstood. Regardless, Interiors is a fascinating divergence. He, rightfully, addressed the question that he could offer more. The Arrow Academy Blu-ray provides a technically robust HD presentation providing further encouragement to indulge in Woody Allen: Six Films - 1971-1978 [Blu-ray] collection. This is a film to revisit when in a pensive mood. It's not overly deep but does offer some introspection - if also on Woody's creative mindset. Recommended!

 

Not enough differences to double-dip but for region 'A'-locked it's the only option. Pricey - too bad there isn't a Twilight Time Allen boxset... 

Gary Tooze

September 9th, 2016

February 25th, 2017

 

Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1971-1978 [Blu-ray] which has Bananas (1971), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972), Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), Annie Hall (1977) and Interiors (1978)

 




 

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