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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Ophélia [Blu-ray]

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/chabrol.htm, 1963)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Boreal Film

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:43:30.204 

Disc Size: 24,501,079,293 bytes

Feature Size: 23,660,064,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.90 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 25th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1941 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1941 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

• Trailer (3:40)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Claude Chabrol (Le Boucher) directs the inspired-by-Shakespeare cinematic gem Ophélia, starring Alida Valli (The Third Man).

Ivan (André Jocelyn, Les Cousins), a high-strung and intense young man of means, suspecting that his mother, Claudia (Valli), and Uncle Adrian (Claude Cerval, Belle de Jour) are responsible for the death of his father, sets out to reveal their foul deed.

Imagining himself a modern day Hamlet, Ivan goes about wooing Lucy (Juliette Mayniel, Eyes Without a Face), the beautiful daughter of his parents’ groundskeeper, convincing her to become the de facto Ophelia of the piece. Concocting a clever ruse to unmask the accused, Ivan’s fever dream of revenge takes an unexpected turn in Ophélia, Claude Chabrol’s witty and darkly comic reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Hamlet.

Ophélia, directed by Claude Chabrol from a screenplay by Chabrol, Paul Gégauff and Martial Matthieu, features stark black & white cinematography courtesy of Jean Rabier (Chabrol’s
Le Boucher and Madame Bovary, Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Agnès Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7) and a haunting score by Pierre Jansen (The Lacemaker).

 

 

The Film:

In this curious and inventive drama, director and co-writer Claude Chabrol purloins the Hamlet story from a certain Elizabethan bard, and has his characters move along the same plot outlines. Yvan (Andre Jocelyn) is overcome by grief when his father, a noted businessman, dies and is buried in their small town. Yvan's anger boils up as he watches his mother flirt with his father's brother, and he only feels worse when the two get married. The small-minded, gossiping townspeople carry on behind his back and one day, when Yvan sees a theater marquee advertising "Hamlet" he decides to set out proving that his mother and his father's brother connived to poison his father.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

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

Ophélia arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered but the black and white film looks very strong in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio with solid, layered, contrast and decent detail. The Blu-ray is exceptionally clean and I saw no noise or artifacts. It was a very pleasing presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Olive use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1941 kbps (24-bit) in the original French language. Not much in the way of effects and the transfer handles it all without issue. The mysterious score is by Pierre Jansen who has worked on a numbe4r of Chabrol films including Ten Days Wonder, Le Boucher, La femme infidèle and Les Biches to name a few. There are no optional, English, yellow subtitles (see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only one supplement - a trailer.

 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I hade never seen Ophélia before. It's early Chabrol and doesn't centre on his penchant for murder-mystery although there is some (no spoilers). It's a bit odd and artsy - unlike his later measured Hitchcockian output. Despite the strangeness, I did like seeing it and the performances. The Blu-ray is fine, typically bare-bones but a surprisngly strong video presentation that is a nice bonus to the viewing. I'll bet that I watch this again - and the more I do - the more I'll like it. There is a whole whack of this director's work that needs to come to Blu-ray. I was encouraged by the recent Cohen set (The Swindle, L'Enfer, and Betty) who also produced Blu-rays of The Inspector Lavardin Collection, Merci pour le Chocolat as well as a Blu-ray of The Color of Lies. But there is so much more! Ophélia is recommended to Chabrol fans as an inscrutable early work!

Gary Tooze

April 20th, 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
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
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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