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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Four Nights of a Dreamer aka "Quatre nuits d'un rêveur" [Blu-ray]

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/bresson.htm, 1971)

 

NOTE: If Amazon Japan will not ship this Blu-ray to your address, there are other companies that will like Tenso, Buyee or Zenmarket

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF)

Video: Eternanche (aka Etantje) / Imagica

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:22:27.984  

Disc Size: 23,696,583,864 bytes

Feature Size: 23,110,109,184 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.81 Mbps

Chapters: 19

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: February 11th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080P / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 4608 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

Japanese, None

 

Extras:

French Trailer (1:28)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Four Nights of a Dreamer (French: Quatre nuits d'un rêveur) is a 1971 French drama film directed by Robert Bresson and starring Isabelle Weingarten. The film was entered into the 21st Berlin International Film Festival. The film is loosely based on the story "White Nights" written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The film begins in Paris with Jacques, an unidentified young man, trying to hitchike a ride. He travels to the countryside with a family and spends the day walking alone. He whistles and rolls somersaults. The scene cuts back to traffic at night in the city, and the opening credits appear. The next scene is of Marthe, standing at a bridge, at the brink of suicide. Jacques is walking by and stops her. He urges her back onto the street, indicating a police car stopped nearby. They sit by the bridge and chat about their lives.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

 

 

The Film:

In the secular turn Bresson reveals an unexpected sense of humor and worldly irony. The transformation of Paris at night into a dream landscape pulsing with electric mystery is reminiscent of Minnelli, although the economy of expression is clearly Bresson's. A very beautiful and essential film.

Excerpt from Dave Kehr at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Adapted from Dostoevsky's story of a couple's chance encounter and the advance of their parallel obsessions over four successive nights. The hallucinatory light and colour of Paris at night act as both mirror and landscape for their fragile relationship. Shot through with a mystical, almost frosty compassion, the film is rescued from occasional moments of pretension by the gentle eroticism and absolute conviction with which it is made. The Dostoevsky story, White Nights, was filmed under that title by Luchino Visconti in 1957.

Excerpt from TimeOutlocated HERE

This fascinating feature by master director Bresson adapts Dostoyevsky's story "White Nights" and puts it in Paris in the modern age. Jacques (Des Forets) is a young artist living a life of daydreams who meets Marthe (Weingarten) on a bridge one night while she is contemplating suicide. They talk and arrange to meet there the next night. They speak of their lives--he of his painting and his fantasies, she of the man she loves and his leaving her with the promise to meet her on the bridge one year later.


[...]

Bresson's spare, totally restrained style has seldom been used to such effect. With its highly deliberate editing and elegant use of color, the film emerges a delicate if sad paean to young love. Mystical and erotic but also dispassionate, FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER is an important film by one of the cinema's most important figures..

Excerpt from TVGuide located HERE

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

From what I could glean from the Etanteje website, the backcover, and other web information - the HD source for this Blu-ray was taken from the restored print shown theatrically - as a re-release - in Japan in 2012. It was created from OCN, and supervised by the cinematographer Pierre Lhomme. It is on a single layered disc, 1080P and has a high bitrate. It is in and around 1.66:1 and looks just fine. Detail is decent, there is a thick film-like quality and colors have a richness that SD doesn't export. There are two short sequences with vertical scratches but they were faint and of short duration. There is softness - probably inherent in the print - the dark scenes can be very dark but I wasn't displeased with the HD presentation. I'll mention this a couple of time - but this is in the original French language with removable Japanese subtitles. NOT English-friendly. This Blu-ray image is a pleasant surprise and Bresson fans will be delighted to actually see the film and own it in this format.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Linear PCM 2.0 channel (24-bit) in the original French language and the sound quality is also acceptable with dialogue audible and clean (one or two instances of minor issue). The score is credited to Tunisian F.R. David, Louis Guitar (his only film credit), Christopher Hayward (his only film credit), and Michel Magne (some of the OSS 117 films, Vice and Virtue aka "Le vice et la vertu", Monsieur Gangster, Angélique, Angelique and the Sultan). Everything is authentically flat but carrying some depth via the uncompressed. There are optional Japanese (only) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.

 

Extras :

Sadly, only a French-language trailer. The writing on the cover is Japanese text.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
It's kind of fun finding and obtaining a title like this. It has Bresson all over it from the static acting to the shots of hands, impressions more than detail in the narrative - a brilliant film that my pigeon-French didn't hinder appreciation. I'm so glad to have seen this and there was no way Bresson on Blu-ray would not be covered by this website.  A caveat -  the middlemen websites (if Amazon.JP disallows) may make you jump through hoop with identification forwarding etc. I used
Zenmarket and I paid through PayPal but not after some hurdles and waiting. But, in the end it did work and it wasn't overly difficult. This isn't cheap and the middlemen take their cut, but for the director's following this shouldn't deter them. Best of luck in getting your copy quickly without fuss!

Gary Tooze

September 22nd, 2017

NOTE: If Amazon Japan will not ship this Blu-ray to your address, there are other companies that will like Tenso, Buyee or Zenmarket

 




 

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