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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Informer [Blu-ray]
(Arthur Robison, 1929)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: British International Pictures (BIP)
Video:BFI / Kino Lorber
Region: FREE/ 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:39:41.000 / 1:39:55.948
Disc Size: 46,763,785,690 bytes / 49,347,053,297 bytes
Feature Size: 26,905,558,272 bytes / 32,629,954,560 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps / 34.96 Mbps
Chapters: 11 / 8
Case: Standard Blu-ray case (both)
Release date: April 24th, 2017 / April 23rd, 2019
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1915 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1915 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4182 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4182
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
•The sound version of The Informer (1929, 1:24:08 - 1080P, 15.5 Gig / 21 Mbps)
• Restoration Demonstration (2016, 4:52)
• Shaping the Silence (2017, 9:41)
A selection of Topical Budget films from newly independent Ireland:
• I Want Peace (1921 - 0:43)
• Is It The Dawn? (1921 - 0:53)
• Historic Unionist Conference At Liverpool (1921 - 0:31)
• Irish Peace Imperilled By Extremists (1921 - 1:26)
• Further Pictures Of The Irish Peace (1921 - 1:00)
• Surrender of Dublin Castle (1922 - 1:22)
• British Evacuate Ireland after Hundreds of Years of Occupation (1922 - 1:12)
• Dublin's Civil War (1922 - 0:58)
• Illustrated booklet with full film credits and essays by Bryony Dixon, Garth Knox and Michael Brookes
• RESTORATION DEMONSTRATION (2016, 5 MINUTES)
Description: Based on Liam O'Flaherty's popular novel this
gripping thriller is set amongst a group of revolutionaries
in the newly independent Ireland of 1922. When one of their
number, Francis, kills the chief of police he goes on the
run. But when he returns to say goodbye to his mother and
former lover he is cruelly betrayed by his one-time friend,
“The BFI National Archive is delighted to have restored another major British feature film from the Silent period and to be premiering it at the BFI London Film Festival. The quality of the restoration is extraordinary, despite some huge challenges that we had to overcome. The noirish cinematography looks spectacular once again, especially the lustrous quality of the inky, velvety shadows achieved by the restoration team.”Excerpt from Robin Baker, Head Curator, BFI National Archive located HERE
The 60th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express
is proud to announce this year’s Archive Gala – the World Premiere of a
new BFI National Archive restoration of Arthur Robison’s The Informer
(1929). This rare
Silent adaptation of Liam O’Flaherty’s famous novel is
set among Dublin revolutionaries in the early days of the newly
independent Irish Free State, formed in 1922. The Archive Gala will take
place at BFI Southbank on Friday 14 October, 6.30pm in NFT1 and features
a specially commissioned live score by Irish composer Garth Knox with a
six piece ensemble.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Informer has had an impressive restoration and gets a new transfer to Blu-ray from BFI. It's dual-layered with a high bitrate and includes the sound version with a lower bitrate but also in 1080P (1929, 1:24:08 - 1080P, 15.5 Gig / 21 Mbps). The Silent version gets a lavender tinting which imbues a smokey atmosphere and you get used to it very quickly. It looks very strong in-motion with a few, acceptable, imperfections. The sound version actually looks great - and perhaps a bit sharper with some decent contrast layering. It was a great idea to include it in 1080P. This Blu-ray image can't be faulted as there was some extensive work in the restoration. You can't look any better than the source and I think this lavender tine gives The Informer a rich, very appealing, presentation with some depth visible in the latter half.
Kino Lorber release the 1929 film "The Informer" on a dual layered-Blu-ray. The silent version of the film has a maxed out bitrate, while the sound version has a much lower, moderate bitrate. This would appear to be the exact same transfer that appeared on the BFI disc, though the silent version is ever so slightly darker. The sound version is identical.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio, with a new score by violinist composer Garth Knox, comes in the option of a robust linear PCM 2.0 channel (24-bit) or a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround (24-bit.) I watched with the former and nothing but positives here for the audio transfer as well sounding beautifully tight and clean adding even further to the atmosphere. There are original English intertitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
Much like the BFI Blu-ray, Kino gives us the option of either a 24-bit 2.0 or 5.1 audio track. The only noticible difference is the lossless DTS-HD Master audio track instead of the uncompressed option. There are English intertitles for the silent version of the film. This is a Region 'A' Blu-ray.
As well as the addition of the sound version of The Informer we also get a 5-minute restoration demonstration from 2016, and a 10-minute featurette, Shaping the Silence about creating the score. There are also eight 'Topical Budget' films from newly independent Ireland, all running around 1-minute or less plus the package comes with an illustrated booklet with full film credits and essays by Bryony Dixon, Garth Knox and Michael Brookes. The dual-format package includes a DVD.
The only extra on the Kino disc is the 5-minute "Restoration Demonstration" that also appeared on the BFI release.
BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
The Informer is a welcome release for Region 'A' fans that weren't able to get their hands on the Region Free BFI Blu-ray. That BFI disc certainly wins when compared to the Kino, thanks to the added extras and uncompressed audio. Recommended to silent film fans.
April 7h, 2017
April 12th, 2019
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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