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The Love Witch [Blu-ray]
(Anna Biller, 2016)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 47,358,843,007 bytes
Feature Size: 33,312,952,320 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.13 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: March 14th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2007 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2007 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3237 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3237 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2057 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2057 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
• Commentary with director Anna Biller, cinematographer M. David Mullen, star Samantha Robinson, and actor/producer Jared Sanford
• Behind the Scenes with Anne Biller (10:39)
• Interview with cinematographer M. David Mullen (10:55)
• 2 Deleted, 2 Alternate Cuts and 8 Extended Scenes
• Samantha Robinson Dance Audition (2:41)
• Unreleased Trailer (1:47), theatrical trailer (2:36)
Description: Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, leaving her with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will driver her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 60s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.
Writer-director Anna Biller is clearly a fan of the powerful
women in Russ Meyer’s sexploitation movies – films like ‘Faster,
Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’ (1965). Her work, including 2007’s ‘Viva’
and now the hugely entertaining ‘The Love Witch’, seems plucked
from the same Playboy-era universe of huge hairdos, heavy make-up and
voracious female appetites. But Meyer could never make a psychodrama as
sophisticated as this.
If The Love Witch simply raised the profile of its director, Anna
Biller—a true auteur who not only wrote, directed, produced, and edited
this film but also designed and hand made its sets and costumes—then it
would be a success. Biller’s devout attention to detail in her films
means we don’t get a lot of them, and it’s been nearly a decade since
her last one, the sexploitation satire Viva. Happily, though, Biller’s
tribute to the ’60s and ’70s witchcraft melodrama (see: George Romero’s
Season Of The Witch) is not just an impressive visual and
technical achievement. It’s also a nuanced statement on gender relations
whose morals are as flexible as its formal qualities are rigid.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Love Witch looks excellent on Blu-ray from Oscilloscope Laboratories. The camera used was the Arriflex 35 BL with the negative and printed film format being 35 mm. It is brilliantly sharp with extremely tight lines. Colors show depth and the visuals are consistent throughout. It was transferred to a dual-layered disc with a supportive bitrate for the 2-hour film. It pristine with a shade of gloss and it seems impressively crisp - notable in the many close-ups. This Blu-ray has reproduced a very strong 1080P presentation. Wow.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Oscilloscope give the choice of a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 2007 kbps or a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a hefty 3237 kbps - both 24-bit. There is occasional but not an abundant amount of separation or effects and the transfer easily handles the audio requirements. The only music I recall was the 'Renaissance Fair' medieval flute-based pieces playing during that sequence but there is something composed by Anna Biller and performed by Giselle DaMier. There are optional English subtitles (see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being region FREE playable worldwide.
Oscilloscope Laboratories add many extras including a revealing commentary recorded and produced by director Anna Biller and featuring her in conversation with cinematographer M. David Mullen, star Samantha Robinson, and actor/producer Jared Sanford. It's not fully prepared and much of the conversation is off-the-cuff remembering production details with Anna asking question of the others - interjecting tidbits. There is also 10-minutes of a Behind the Scenes with Anne Biller featurette plus a similar length interview with cinematographer M. David Mullen augmenting some of the detail of shooting the film that he had exported on the commentary. There are 2 Deleted, 2 Alternate Cuts and 8 Extended scenes - for the curious. We can see Samantha Robinson's Dance Audition - quasi-striptease lasting under 3-minutes plus both an unreleased trailer and a theatrical trailer.
March 10th, 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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