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Women in Love [Blu-ray]
(Ken Russell, 1969)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Brandywine Productions
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 49,560,277,896 bytes
Feature Size: 40,872,441,216 bytes
Video Bitrate: 35.02 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 22nd, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.75:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English
192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
Audio commentary with director
Billy Williams OBE BSC in
conversation with Phil Méheux BSC (2015, 49 mins): in-depth
interview with the Oscar winning cinematographer (49:17)
Original theatrical trailer
Description: Ken Russell's lauded D H Lawrence adaptation is
a sophisticated meditation on the complexities of human
relationships and the shifting social mores of a country
shell-shocked by World War One.
Women in Love is set in 1920s England, where free-spirited artist Gudrun (Glenda Jackson) and her schoolteacher sister Ursula (Jennie Linden) make the acquaintance of lifelong friends Gerald (Oliver Reed) and Rupert (Alan Bates). The foursome attends a picnic in honor of a pair of newlyweds, who put a damper on the proceedings (literally!) by drowning in a nearby lake. Evidently unscathed by this tragedy, Gerald and Rupert participate in a nude wrestling match later that evening (this was the sequence that got the most press, thanks to fleeting glimpses of the male stars' privates). Gerald marries Gudrun, Rupert weds Ursula, and the foursome embarks upon a Swiss honeymoon. The holiday is marred by infidelity and sudden death, leaving Rupert to wonder aloud just what it is that makes men and women "tick." An Academy Award went to Glenda Jackson, while nominations were bestowed upon screenwriter Larry Kramer and cinematographer Billy Williams (who received an uncredited assist from director Ken Russell).Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
It came relatively early in his cinema career, though he’d already been
a BBC veteran for more than a decade. He came to it fresh from helming
the third and campest of Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer spy adventures,
Billion-Dollar Brain. It’s hard to imagine a film more different to
that one than Women In Love – except that they’re both clearly
the work of a born filmmaker who thought the greatest crime you could
commit was boring your audience.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Women in Love gets an impressive 4K restoration transfer to Blu-ray from BFI. It's dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 2 hour 10-minute feature. Grain textures are fine and consistent supporting a very film-like rendering buoyed by Billy Williams exquisite cinematography and the sumptuous set pieces. Colors are brighter and truer than SD could relate and there is no noise whatsoever. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 1.75:1 frame. It's extremely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the appearance which generally looks gorgeous. This Blu-ray provides one of the better transfer of the year from BFI.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
BFI give the option of mono or 2.0 channel linear PCM audio tracks. It carries some depth although there isn't an abundance of aggressive effects and dialogue is clean and clear. Georges Delerue (Mister Johnson, Jules et Jim, The Woman Next Door, The Last Metro, Day For Night) did the score and it benefits from the uncompressed rendering creating an authentic 'period' atmosphere. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
BFI stack the release starting with two audio commentaries - a first with director Ken Russell - always enlightening, a second - also revealing - with writer and producer Larry Kramer and we also are privy to, for the first 77-minutes of viewing the film, Glenda Jackson interviewed at the National Film Theatre - audio from The Guardian Lecture series while watching the first 1 1/4 hours of Women n in Love. Billy Williams OBE BSC is in conversation with Phil Méheux BSC for almost 50-minutes for in-depth interview, from 2015, with the Oscar winning cinematographer. There are also two shorts; Second Best (Stephen Dartnell, 1972, 27 mins): previously unreleased - starring Alan Bates based on the short story by D H Lawrence and The Pacemakers: Glenda Jackson (1971, 14 mins): a documentary profile in which the actress speaks of her performance in Women in Love. There is a stills and collections gallery that runs about 3.5 minutes and an original theatrical trailer. The package contains an illustrated, liner notes, booklet with new writing by Michael Brooke, Paul Sutton and Vic Pratt, and full film credits.
August 21st, 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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