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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Luna" )

 

directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Italy 1979

 

Like the final act of "Last Tango in Paris," the whole of Bernardo Bertolucci's 1979 film "La Luna" is more compelling than it is emotionally coherent. With his story about a recently widowed opera singer whose attempts to wean her teenage son off heroin (with his syringes perhaps serving as a stand-in for the teat) lead to a fully realized sexual relationship between them, Bertolucci seems to be endeavouring to make the ultimate psychosexual statement here without having a lucid thesis in mind. The behaviours of the characters are always tantalizing and interesting, but frequently implausible, and by the end, the viewer is left with a jumble of half-baked notions about Oedipal love, motherhood, and emotional need that appears to come full-circle because the film has structural closure, but really doesn't.

That said, "La Luna" is as aesthetically bold as any film Bertolucci has made, with cinematography by Vittorio Storaro and an original score by Ennio Morricone. As cinema, it is lush and appropriately operatic, and its evocative visual images often border on the outright exotic. It's debatable whether or not they correspond to the emotional landscapes of the characters or simply exist independently, but they certainly deepen the already portentous narrative, showering its urgency with a certain sad indifference -- the indifference of gaudy spectacle. The performances by Jill Clayburgh and Matthew Barry as mother and son, respectively, are nothing if not intense, and while both actors often hit wrong and contradictory notes, the film succeeds at illustrating the almost spiritual depth of the intimacy between a mother and her son (established with immense grace by the opening scene), so that when it does become sexual, it is indeed more Oedipal than incestuous -- that is to say, Bertolucci's willingness to shock here is legitimized, at least, by his representation of The Human Condition as Bertolucci sees it. That the film is finally so devoid of insight is the real shocker.

Paul Haynes

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 29, 1979 - New York Film Festival

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Comparison:

Kinowelt / Arthaus - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

Distribution

Kinowelt / Arthaus

Region 2 - PAL

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:16:04 (4% PAL speedup) 2:22:15.527
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,133,661,314 bytes

Feature: 31,648,677,888 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 25.96 Mbps

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

Bitrate

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0), German 1.0 (Dolby Digital 1.0)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

Subtitles German, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Kinowelt / Arthaus

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Photo gallery (pressbook stills)
• Filmographies (German text)
• Interview with Bernardo Bertolucci (German text)
• Background information about the film (German text)
• Information about music used in the film (German text)
• Advertising materials
• Trailers for other Arthaus releases

DVD Release Date: 4/21/2006
Amaray

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Kino

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,133,661,314 bytes

Feature: 31,648,677,888 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 25.96 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

 Audio Commentary by Star Matthew Barry and Filmmaker Elijah Drenner
 Audio Commentary by Filmmaker/Writer Howard S. Berger and Mondo Digital's Nathaniel Thompson
 On-Camera Interview with Director Bernardo Bertolucci (41:52)
 Interview with Actor Matthew Barry (6:38)
 Original Theatrical Trailer (0:34)

Blu-ray Release Date: December 6th, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 8

 

 

 

Comments

 

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray October 16': Kino's 2016 Blu-ray transfer looks pretty solid. Detail in the film's later close-ups show off the higher resolution superiority. The overall image is shade brighter with slightly more information in the top and bottom of the frame. The Kino Lorber transfer is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate - it retains some pleasing grain texture and there is occasional depth. One major advantage over the SD is that it is in theatrical sunning time (no PAL speed-up.)

Kino use a DTS-HD Master at 1556 kbps (16-bit). It exports the film's minor effects sound competent if unremarkable but the score by the iconic Ennio Morricone (A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) plus The Bee Gees' Night Fever, and the Giuseppe Verdi opera pieces sound quite tight and impressive. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

Kino stack the disc with supplements - we get two audio commentaries - one with actor Matthew Barry and filmmaker Elijah Drenner and a second with filmmaker/writer Howard S. Berger and Mondo Digital's Nathaniel Thompson discussing Bertolucci extensively and adding educational content and background to understanding and appreciating the film. There is also a 42-minute on-camera interview with director Bernardo Bertolucci reflecting on the production and a 7-minute piece with Matthew Barry. There is also a trailer.

A marvelous package from Kino - one of their best Blu-rays of the year. The commentaries add so much value and to see Bertolucci - another of his controversial 70's films - in 1080P is always a treat. Interesting performances and the Rome backdrop are hallmark's of this challenging cinema. Strongly recommended! 


***

ON THE DVD: A characteristically stunning transfer from Arthaus, which has apparently emerged as Germany's equivalent to America's Criterion. The image is crisp, clean, and sharp, with vivid colors and natural contrast and grain, with only occasional noise visible over black in darkly lit scenes. The disc is dual-layered with a progressive transfer, and the monaural sound presents no problems. The original soundtrack, included on this disc, is 99% in English, yet there's the odd instance of Italian dialogue here and there. Although the disc contains only removable German subtitles, I didn't sense that the Italian dialogue contributed anything vital to the film.

This disc comes with a catalogue insert of Arthaus's other releases. Special features include filmographies, a photo gallery (whose images look culled from the pressbook), advertising materials, and additional text supplements -- such as an interview with Bertolucci -- all written in German. While the supplements are not a significant selling point, the film has probably not looked this good since its release. Despite its critical reception at the time, "La Luna" has its followers, and it's long been an elusive film to obtain, existing only as bootlegs (recorded from cable airings) and a Japanese laserdisc (with frontal nudity censored). Those awaiting a proper DVD release of this won't be disappointed. out of

 - Paul Haynes


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Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


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Subtitle Sample - Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Screen Captures

 

2Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

2Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

2Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

2Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

2Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

2Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


2Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

  

Distribution

Kinowelt / Arthaus

Region 2 - PAL

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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