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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Property is No Longer a Theft aka "La proprietà non è più un furto" [Blu-ray]

 

(Elio Petri, 1973)

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Quasars Film Company

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:06:13.190

Disc Size: 46,260,694,668 bytes

Feature Size: 28,510,894,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 28th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack / Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack, none

 

Extras:

Brand-new interview with actor Flavio Bucci (19:46)
Brand-new interview with producer Claudio Mancini  (23:33)
Brand-new interview with make-up artist Pierantonio Mecacci (23:05)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet containing new writing on the film by Camilla Zamboni

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Having tackled the corrupting nature of power with Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion and taken an angry, impassioned look at labour relations with The Working Class Goes to Heaven, Italian master Elio Petri next turned his attentions to capitalism for the darkly comic Property is No Longer a Theft.

A young bank clerk (Flavio Bucci, the blind pianist in Dario Argento's Suspiria), denied a loan by his employer, decides to exact his revenge the local butcher (Ugo Tognazzi, La Grande bouffe) who is not only a nasty, violent, greedy piece of work but also one of the bank's star customers. Quitting his job, the clerk devotes all of his time tormenting the butcher, stealing his possessions one-by-one, including his mistress (Daria Nicolodi, Deep Red).

Told in an off-kilter fashion by Petri, abetted by the woozy sound design and another outstanding score by Ennio Morricone, Property is No Longer a Theft presents a caustic, blackly comic look at a corrupt society.

 

 

The Film:

In his later years Elio Petri’s sardonic sense of humour appears to have allowed him to savour the irony of having been perhaps the only front-rank Italian director to have been refused entry to the prestigious Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, the Italian National Film School in Rome, when he had applied to study there in 1948. Undeterred by the rejection, and while continuing to work as a journalist and film critic for the Communist daily L’Unità, he had subsequently made his way into the industry by co-scripting several films for already established neo-realist director Giuseppe De Santis, before managing to snare Marcello Mastroianni, still fresh from his stellar success in Federico Fellini’s La dolce vita (1960), to star in his first directed feature, L’assassino (The Assassin, 1961). He was able to entice Mastroianni to act for him again, this time opposite Ursula Andress, in the willfully kitschy but highly-engaging sci-fi fantasy, La decima vittima (The Tenth Victim, 1965).

Excerpt from SenseofCinema located HERE

 

A lowly bank clerk, literally allergic to money and revolted by its nefarious influence on humanity, launches a campaign of harassment against a wealthy butcher, stealing small, insignificant items— but never money—from the man. The victim uses the thefts to make large and fraudulent insurance claims, refusing to finger the thief for fear his own financial improprieties might be exposed.

***

Italian Director Elio Petri, best known for his film Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, here tells a complicated tale about a bank clerk who is literally allergic to money. Not only that, the clerk (Flavio Bucci) doesn't like the effect money has on people. For some reason, he steals things from a dishonest butcher (Ugo Tognazzi). This gives the butcher a convenient opportunity to file huge insurance claims for the thefts.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

 

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

 

This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the Atlantic to the best of our knowledge, with only cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.

 

Property in No Longer a Theft gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow cited as a "4K restoration from the original film negative".  It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 2 hour feature. It is exceptionally clean and has a heavy, film-like appearance. It seems to be a solid representation of the original theatrical film. It is in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and contrast and detail, notably in close-ups, are rich and thick. They are a few examples of depth and many colors are dark with a bold appearance. This Blu-ray supplies an impressive 1080P presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is transferred via a faithful linear PCM mono track at 1536 kbps (16-bit) in the original Italian language. Only a handful effects that the lossless handles easily.  The score by the iconic Ennio Morricone (Luna, 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.) tying a serious tone into the lighter moments. It's buoyant and clean. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' + 'B'.

 

Extras :

There are 20-minute X 3, brand new, interviews with actor Flavio Bucci, producer Claudio Mancini and with make-up artist Pierantonio Mecacci all remembering the production and Petri - in Italian with English subtitles. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh and for the first pressing there is an illustrated collector's booklet containing new writing on the film by Camilla Zamboni.

 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Property in No Longer a Theft was quite a fun surprise. It is a very intelligent and politicized effort with themes of inequality, property rights, wealth, theft and ambition. The leanings also add a humorous aspect. What an excellent film! The Arrow Blu-ray provides an wonderful a/v presentation with very keen supplements. I suggest this is one of the 'lost' Italian gems that you don't want to miss. We strongly recommend. 

Gary Tooze

March 31st, 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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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