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(aka "Money" )

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/bresson.htm
France 1983

In his ruthlessly clear-eyed final film, French master Robert Bresson pushed his unique blend of spiritual rumination and formal rigor to a new level of astringency. Transposing a Tolstoy novella to contemporary Paris, L’argent follows a counterfeit bill as it originates as a prop in a schoolboy prank, then circulates like a virus among the corrupt and the virtuous alike before landing with a young truck driver and leading him to incarceration and violence. With brutal economy, Bresson constructs his unforgiving vision of original sin out of starkly perceived details, rooting his characters in a dehumanizing material world that withholds any hope of transcendence.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 18th, 1983

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Comparison:

Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks Henrik Sylow for the Screen Caps!

1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT  

2) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

NOTE: Cover on Amazon.UK is incorrect.

  

  

  

Distribution Artificial Eye
Region 2 - PAL
New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray Spine #886

Runtime 1:20:46 (4% PAL speedup) 1:20:44  1:24:50.668 
Video

1.63:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.90 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,915,649,517 bytes

Feature: 25,223,165,952 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 35.54 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

 

Artificial Eye

 

Bitrate:

New Yorker

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio

2.0 Dolby Digital French

French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, German, Spanish, Italian, None English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.63:1

Edition Details:
• TF1 Interview with Robert Bresson (6:18 / 4:3)
• TSR Interview with Robert Bresson (12:56 / 4:3)
• Marguerite Duras on Bresson (1:27 / 4:3)
• Trailer (0:29 / 16x9)
 

DVD Release Date: May 23, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 19

Release Information:
Studio: New Yorker

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Kent Jones author of L'Argent (BFI Modern Classics) 

• Marguerite Duras on Bresson (1:27)
• TF1 interview with Bresson (6:16)
• TSR interview with Bresson (12:55)
• Theatrical trailer (:27)

DVD Release Date: May 24th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,915,649,517 bytes

Feature: 25,223,165,952 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 35.54 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Press conference from the 1983 Cannes Film Festival (30:27)
“L’argent,” A to Z, a new video essay by film scholar James Quandt (50:48)
Trailer (0:27)
PLUS: An essay by critic Adrian Martin and a newly expanded 1983 interview with director Robert Bresson by critic Michel Ciment

Blu-ray Release Date: July 11th, 2017
Transparent
Blu-ray case
Chapter stops: 19

 

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - May 17': The Criterion is advertised as a "New, restored 4K digital transfer", and is darker and richer than the SDs. Skin tones warm, clarity improves and there is a slight teal/blue-leaning to the visuals. The 1.66:1 framed HD image shows a shade more information on the left edge. The presentation is clean, tighter than the DVDs and it looks superb in-motion.

The audio is transferred in a linear PCM via an authentic mono track (24-bit) in the original French language. Those familiar with the film know there are many 'empty pauses' with sound playing a minor role in the film experience. There are external sounds - cars, trucks, motorcycles that carry depth, but it all sounds as it should - flat yet exporting realism. There are optional English subtitles on this Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

I would have thought a commentary, or a repeat of the Kent Jones commentary on the NY'er would have been in order. We do get 1/2 hour of the ArtPress conference from May 16th, 1983 Cannes Film Festival with Bresson and the cast. There is an excellent 50-minute video essay by film scholar James Quandt entitled “L’argent,” A to Z in which he explores the cinematic world of Robert Bresson and how L'argent represents the summation of the director's style. Lastly, is a short trailer and the package contains a liner notes booklet with a wonderful essay by critic Adrian Martin and a newly expanded 1983 interview with director Robert Bresson by critic Michel Ciment.

Those familiar with, or are fans, of Bresson's work know the value in L'argent - and for those un-initiated - I am envious that you still have that cinematic-pleasure to embrace. L'argent is a beautiful, pure, language of its own and I was held captive by its beauty in restored 4K Blu-ray. This will be discussed at our year-end poll... our highest recommendation!

***

ON THE New Yorker:  Undoubtedly this was a licensed port from the MK2 Boxset edition reviewed HERE. Although colors are strong in the New Yorker edition they are decidedly different than in the MK2. There is a bit of a dull-greenish haze to the New Yorker and the image is slightly brighter. It's hard to know with definite assurance whose color scheme is more correct, but looking at large captures # 4, I would estimate the MK2 is closer to theatrical.

Looking at the very last large captures we can see 'combing' or 'trailing'. This indicates that the transfer was not 'progressive' meaning each frame was not transferred individually. I also suspect that the total time is really a PAL time and hazy motion sequences can verify that. Although not typical 'ghosting' it was really only evident on obtaining captures. We will eventually verify.

Positives of the New Yorker package are that, like the MK2, it is 16X9 enhanced and framed at the correct aspect ratio of 1.66. English subtitles are optional and are well done. The image is bright if hazy in segments.

The biggest attribute include on the New Yorker (and not on the MK2) is the addition of the Kent Jones commentary. Kent wrote the BFI Modern Classics paperback on the film (HERE). It is very interesting - he has a lot to say.

Also included as extra features are the duplicate (same as MK2's) Marguerite Duras brief comments, the TF1 interview with Bresson (6:16) and the TSR interview with Bresson. Both latter interviews are golden to Bresson fans and they were done right after Cannes 1983 where Bresson won Best Director and L'Argent best film. I can see a number of Bresson fans, who own the MK2 Boxset, also buying this New Yorker edition for the excellent Kent Jones commentary.

***

ON THE AE: Undoubtedly this was a licensed port from the MK2 Boxset edition reviewed HERE. It is exact in  every important detail - extras, audio and image, but unlike the MK2 Box you can purchase L'Argent separately and at a financial savings (menus are in English too!). 

In regards to the New Yorker (reviewed HERE)  the MK2/Artificial Eye has a superior image in many areas especially color (compared below). The biggest attribute included on the New Yorker (and not on the MK2/Artificial Eye) is the addition of the Kent Jones commentary. Kent wrote the BFI Modern Classics paperback on the film (HERE). It is very interesting - he has a lot to say.  If you have the Mk2 Boxet, there is no need to pickup the Artificial Eye as it is a duplicate, but the New Yorker has the bonus commentary. If you don't own the MK2 Box then this Artificial Eye DVD is a must buy.

A port from the French Mk2 (reviewed here), the transfer is superior to Region 1 NTSC  New Yorker, having more details, a more balanced color palette and no boosted contrast. However, the Mk2 / Artificial Eye image has issues of color banding (see wall in image #5).

The difference is AR (1.65:1 to 1.63:1) comes from New Yorker being minutely cropped by approx 4px top/bottom (1.5%).

 -Henrik Sylow


DVD Menus
 

 

 

New Yorker Menus

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


Recommended Reading for Robert Bresson fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

Check out more in "The Library"


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP  

2) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MK2 (France) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND  

3) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP  

2) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP  

2) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP  

2) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP  

2) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Sound:

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Extras: NY'er (Commentary) / Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


Recommended Reading for Robert Bresson fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

Check out more in "The Library"
 

Box Covers

 

NOTE: Cover on Amazon.UK is incorrect.

  

  

  

Distribution Artificial Eye
Region 2 - PAL
New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray Spine #886




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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