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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Peppermint Soda aka "Diabolo menthe" [Blu-ray]


(Diane Kurys, 1977)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: TF1 Vidéo

Video: BFI



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

Runtime: 1:41:00.041

Disc Size: 36,184,976,714 bytes

Feature Size: 25,931,089,920 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 24th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Isolated Score:

LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit



English, none



Theatrical trailer (2:30)
Interview with Diane Kurys (2008, 33:08): an interview with the director
Scrapbook (2008, 3:20): Diane Kurys explores her collection of photographs and production materials

Isolated Music and effects score
Illustrated booklet with full film credits and a new essay by Sophie Mayer and Michael Brooke





Description: Teenage sisters Anne (Éléonore Klarwein) and Frédérique (Odile Michel) couldn't be more different: introverted Anne is trying to understand the world around her as she's on the threshold of adolescence; while outgoing, politically aware Frédérique is beginning her first love affair.

This coming-of-age tale, the debut feature of underrated French director Diane Kurys (For a Woman, Sagan), is an ode to teenage summers, first kisses and first losses. Offering an intricate view of adolescence in 1960s France, Peppermint Soda recalls Francois Truffaut's Les quatre cents coups and encapsulates the upsurge in liberality during this radical period.



The Film:

Kurys' impressive feature debut, based in autobiography, is a sensitive account of a year in the lives of two sisters - 13-year-old, introverted Anne, and outgoing 15-year-old Frédérique - in the early '60s. Without ever lapsing into melodrama, the film adopts a decidely un-nostalgic tone, lucidly charting the everyday oppressions of school life and the girls' difficult relationships with their parents - a separated Jewish couple - their friends and each other. Indeed, it's a harsh, unsentimental look at adolescence, with the '60s setting serving primarily to define the social and political context of the girls' rites of passage; at the same time, however, the film is invested with great warmth through Kurys' assured, sympathetic handling of her cast.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

The only thing more impressive than the wit and talent Diane Kurys demonstrates in her writing and direction of "Peppermint Soda" — an expert, utterly charming movie that miraculously happens to be her first — is Miss Kurys's memory. Here is a letter-perfect recollection of what it's like to be a 13-year-old, in this case a French schoolgirl, with skinny legs and a bossy sister and a mother who doesn't understand she may be ruining her' daughter's life if she keeps on refusing to let the kid wear stockings.

Miss Kurys presents details like these, and enough others to span an entire school year, with a flawless understanding of how the events most earth-shattering to a girl in her early teens can mean not a fig to anyone around her. The movie's most memorable quality is its flair for taking things absolutely seriously while never forgetting to take them lightly, too.

Excerpt from Janet Maslin at the NY Times located HERE

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

The enchanting Peppermint Soda gets a transfer to Blu-ray from BFI.  It's dual-layered with a high bitrate for the 1 hour 40-minute feature. The 1080P exports a beautiful image supporting the art-direction period's colors in the 1.66:1 frame. A few instances seemed a bit thin and video-like but in-motion the visuals are rich and appealing.  It's pristinely clean showcasing plenty of depth. Textures are fine. This Blu-ray provides an appreciated HD presentation.



















Audio :

BFI use a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original French-language. There are mild effects - crowds, beach waves, train etc. and a pleasant score by Yves Simon (also offered, with effects, as an isolated option.) Dialogue is clean and clean. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

BFI include supplements. We get a 1/2 hour interview with Diane Kurys from 2008 - discussing the film, the writing process and the production. There is also a brief 'Scrapbook' section where Diane Kurys explores her collection of photographs and production materials. There is a theatrical trailer and the package has an illustrated booklet with full film credits and a new essay by Sophie Mayer and Michael Brooke.



Peppermint Soda is a brilliant memoir about female adolescence. It covers peer pressure, initiation and curiosity about sex, sibling jealousies etc. - in a wonderful setting of Paris in the 1960s. It is so impressively realized.  The BFI Blu-ray provides an rewarding a/v presentation with valued supplements. I'm so glad to have seen this film and give it a strong recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

July 8th, 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.

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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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Gary W. Tooze





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