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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Ross Lipman, 2015)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Milestone Film & Video
Video: Milestone Films
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 38,121,966,748 bytes
Feature Size: 37,305,569,280 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.90 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 7th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1608 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1608 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
• English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, None
• The Street Scene: A Lost Scene Reconstruction from the Film
Description: NOTFILM is Ross Lipman's acclaimed kino-essay on the making and meaning of FILM by Samuel Beckett. Unlike any other film for its in-depth, mesmerizing analysis of one short film, it has been acclaimed by critics and audiences everywhere. Lipman's obsession with FILM began when, as a teenaged cinephile, he first learned that Irish Nobel Prize-winning playwright Samuel Beckett had written a short that starred silent film genius Buster Keaton. Decades later, Lipman, now an accomplished film restorationist, jumped at the chance to preserve Film and to meet and talk with the extraordinary man who produced it, maverick publisher and First Amendment champion Barney Rosset. During a visit to Rosset's NYC loft, Lipman asked if there was any extra footage from the 1964 shoot. The reels that he discovered under the sink in the publisher s kitchen started Lipman on the long road from Film to Notfilm. For more than seven years he traveled the world interviewing friends, family, and collaborators including Beckett s biographer James Knowlson, film historian Kevin Brownlow, actress Billie Whitelaw, Keaton s friend (and actor in Film) James Karen, and writer Leonard Maltin who visited the set as a star-struck 14-year-old Buster fan. Lipman s long fascination and tireless efforts have resulted in Notfilm, a film exploration that is mesmerizing, entertaining and timeless.
A thoughtful, incisive meditation on its decades-old events, "Notfilm"
is gossipy and philosophical by turn, joining microscopic analysis of
the filmmakers' lofty intentions with juicy morsels of information about
exactly what happened when theory met practice on the steamy summer
streets of New York City where "Film" was shot.
The confluence of Keaton and Beckett, two of the greatest theatrical
geniuses of the 20th century, should have given rise to something more
estimable than this pretentious, high-flown art thing, but despite that,
the film – or should I say Film – has its undeniable fascinations.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Notfilm looks excellent on Blu-ray from Milestone Films. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 2-hour film. It's filled with old clips that, obviously, vary in image quality but many are very impressive in contrast and detail. The more modern interviews are all black and white maintaining a continuity with the vintage film sequences. The Blu-ray can't be criticized for the visuals and I was mesmerized by the appearance - infusing memorable clip after clip of important past cinema. I thought it looked fabulous.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Milestone use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 1608 kbps (16-bit). It is mostly narration, interviews and a contemplative score by Mihály Vig ( Béla Tarr's The Turin Horse, The Man from London, Werckmeister Harmonies) that sounds excellent in lossless. the pieces used are available to listen via the menu of to download as MP3s. We are offered English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitle options and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Milestone add a second, single-layered, Blu-ray disc of supplements. The Street Scene: A Lost Scene Reconstruction from the Film Outtakes runs for over 6-minutes. What if E's eyes were closed? includes almost 7-minutes of audio recordings of Beckett, Kaufman, Rosset and Schneider - to a blank screen with optional English subtitles. Buster Keaton and Film: has James Karen in conversation for shy of 3/4 of an hour and it's excellent and informative. Memories of Samuel Beckett spends an afternoon with James Knowlson running 8-minutes. Jean Schneider shares memories of Alan Schneider for over 11-minutes. Jeannette Seaver: Beckett and Godot runs 4-minutes and there is a 7-minute piece on Photographing Film Photographing Beckett with Steve Schapiro and I.C. Rapoport in conversation plus a Gallery The Music of Notfilm both available from the menu or downloadable MP3 Recordings by Mihály Víg from the root folder of the disc.
March 18th, 2017
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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