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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Malina [Blu-ray]


(Werner Schroeter, 1991)





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Kuchenreuther Filmproduktion GmbH

Video: Concorde Video



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:05:54.922 

Disc Size: 23,095,617,618 bytes

Feature Size: 20,895,406,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.91 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Digi-Book style Blu-ray case

Release date: November 10th, 2011



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC



DTS-HD Master Audio German 817 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 817 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 901 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 901 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)



English, French, German, none



Interview with writer Elfriede Jelinek (19:49 - German - no subs)

Trailers (1:36, 1:55)





Description: Set in Vienna, the film charts a female writer’s passage to self-destruction as she is torn between two lovers, one of whom is her husband. Isabelle Huppert stars in Werner Schroeter’s adaptation of Ingeborg Bachmann’s novel, co-written by Elfriede Jelinek (The Piano Teacher).


 "Malina" was the only novel completed by the notoriously self-destructive author, whose death in 1973 turned her into a feminist martyr comparable to Sylvia Plath. "Malina," published two years before her death, was the first part of a projected autobiographical trilogy, "Ways of Dying," which is also the title of the work Miss Huppert's character is planning to write but is too distracted to get down to work on. Malina is directed by Werner Schroeter; written by Elfriede Jelinek, based on the book by Ingeborg Bachman.



The Film:

A complex and enigmatic plot that evokes the life of Bachmann. The story develops around an unusual triangular relationship, a threesome between a woman of unknown name, a man named Malina and a Hungarian, Ivan, with whom she falls in love. Ivan will be his last great love, but their need for exclusivity in love is so strong that it can not be understood or matched. Malina is a struggle, a confrontation between two worlds strange and hostile.

Excerpt from Letterboxd located HERE

In "Malina," the German film maker Werner Schroeter's adaptation of a novel by Ingeborg Bachman, Isabelle Huppert portrays a writer who suffers from an interminable case of existential angst.

Ms. Huppert's unnamed character is a chain-smoking novelist who lives in Vienna with a calm and devoted male companion, Malina (Mathieu Carriere). Although attractive and successful, she is emotionally disturbed. In the film's opening scene, she has a vision of herself as a little girl being thrown to her death by her father from the roof of a building. The father, a demonic figure, reappears in several expressionistic set pieces, sometimes to the accompaniment of operatic music.

One day in front of a flower shop, she spies a handsome stranger, Ivan (Can Togay), whom she chases into a bank and inveigles into embarking on a steamy affair. Although Ivan enjoys the relationship, he takes it more lightly than does the woman, who grows obsessed.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE


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

Malina comes out of Germany on Blu-ray from Concorde Entertainment and while a modest transfer rate - it still provides a decent presentation. The image has some bright colors and impressive sharpness.  This is only single-layered and in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Contrast seems acceptable and detail strong enough to get a passing grade. The image is very clean with no marks or damage. There is minor depth but this is not a key attribute. This Blu-ray gave me a decent, consistent, presentation of the film in HD. No demo - but no major flaws either and certainly watchable.



















Audio :

Concorde use a DTS-HD Master mono track in both the original French language and a German DUB. There were some sync issues or, probably, some actors were originally speaking French and other German - so there was DUB'ing on both fronts. No real effects - some fire-related- but mostly everything was flat. The score is by Italian composer Giacomo Manzoni - his only film credit. It was, like the film, occasionally odd - but beautiful sounding tight and clean in the lossless. My Oppo player has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

Nothing English-friendly. We do get a 20-minute interview with Elfriede Jelinek (in German) and two trailers plus the case is a digi-book style (no liner text.)



I'm always fascinated by Isabelle Huppert and thought I would take a chance on seeing this especially since it was co-written by, Nobel Prize (literature) winning, Elfriede Jelinek who wrote The Piano Teacher - also starring Huppert. It is certainly one of the most artsy films I have seen in a while - I kept being reminded of Alain Resnais - perhaps because of the score. I had some trouble investing myself in the film but Huppert is always fascinating to watch - she plays a nameless, and disturbed, character here. The Blu-ray is adept but only fans of the actress, or stringent art films, should probably indulge. It has some impressive cinematography but the festival-oriented film is right 'out there' with some unusual and odd scenes. To each his own. 

Gary Tooze

October 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 3500 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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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