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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Voice of the Moon aka "La voce della luna" [Blu-ray] 1990)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica

Video: Arrow Video



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

Runtime: 2:00:48.783

Disc Size: 47,682,026,765 bytes

Feature Size: 32,509,152,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.92 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: October 30th-31st, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



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



English, none



Towards the Moon with Fellini, a rarely seen hour-long documentary on the film's production, featuring interviews with Fellini, Roberto Benigni and Paolo Villagio (59:33)
Felliniana Archive
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Pasquale Iannone





Description: The swansong of the great Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini (La dolce vita, 8), The Voice of the Moon emerged without fanfare: it played the Cannes Film Festival out of competition after its Italian premiere and failed to secure distribution in North America and the UK. This new restoration from the original negative seeks to right that wrong and provide the film with a second chance...

Adapted from a novel by Ermano Cavazzoni, The Voice of the Moon concerns itself with Ivo Salvini (Roberto Benigni, Life Is Beautiful), recently released from a mental hospital and in love with Aldini (Nadia Ottaviani). As he attempts to win her heart, he wanders a strange, dreamlike landscape and encounters various oddball characters, including Gonnella (Paolo Villagio, Fantozzi), a paranoid old man prone to conspiracy theories.

Concluding a career that had stretched back more than fifty years, The Voice of the Moon combines the nostalgia of Amarcord (the film is set in Emilia-Romagna countryside of the director s youth), the surreal satire of City of Women and the naf-adrift-in-a-brutal-world structure of La strada. Plenty for Fellini fans to get their teeth into.



The Film:

The elfin, irrepressible and very popular Italian comic Roberto Benigni and the similarly popular Paolo Villaggio star in this, the last of celebrated director Federico Fellini's films. The film's dreamlike story follows the meanderings of the moon-struck (or lunatic) Ivo Salvini (Benigni). As it opens, Salvini is out in a local wood near his village, appreciating nature, when he spies a group of men standing around looking intently at something. They are watching the window of a house where a portly woman is putting on a striptease for their pleasure. While he watches this, he has a memory of his grandmother. One adventure follows another, but Salvini is never crushed by events which would leave anyone less in love with life in the madhouse - because he is already slightly mad.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Fellini's self-indulgence, surrealism, and delirious nostalgia all reach a peak of sorts in this later creation that is partially a more extreme Amarcord, as well as a free-form variation of City of Women. A man wanders in a dream-like world of Jungian symbols, nostalgia, archetypes and memories where wells, holes in the ceiling and closets are doors to another memory, and an unattainable Aldina or symbolic moon constantly haunts him. He wanders through surreal situations involving various people in his past, including a strange, conceited paranoid man who feels hunted by fake people. The dreamlike scenes flow masterfully from groups of voyeur men, to large women, magical notes that move furniture, city-infrastructure workers, a beauty pageant, a discotheque train-yard, and a magical scene where some people manage to capture the moon. Unfortunately there is no attempt at illuminating or tying together these people and symbols, as if Fellini made the movie only for himself in a nostalgic fugue.

Excerpt from therLastExit located HERE

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


This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the pond to the best of our knowledge.


NOTE: As Michael Brooke informed us on Facebook in regards to Day of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.' The Voice of the Moon is the same situation.


The Voice of the Moon on Blu-ray is advertised as "Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release".  It is dual-layered with a very high bitrate for the 2 hour feature. Colors are rich and there are some wonderfully consistent textures supporting the presentation. The 1080P reproduces solid contrast exhibiting healthy, black levels and some pleasing depth in the 1.66:1 frame.  It's very clean with no noticeable damage. There is no noise in the many dark sequences. This Blu-ray provides a remarkably strong video presentation.






















Audio :

Audio is transferred via a faithful linear PCM mono track at 2304 kbps (24-bit) in the original Italian with some brief Japanese. Post Dubbing has the usual sync miscues. There are a few effects - and a pleasant score by Nicola Piovani's (The Perfume of the Lady in Black, Night of the Shooting Stars, Footprints) that sounds clean and tight exporting some Fellini-esque life-affirming atmosphere. The overall audio is flat with a tight high end but probably fully authentic. There are optional English subtitles for both Italian and English audio versions. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' + 'B'.


Extras :

Towards the Moon is Eugenio Cappuccio's 2006, hour-long documentary described as a "rare, comical and up-close behind-the-scenes look at the late Italian director Federico Fellini, as he directs his last film, "La Voce Della Luna". It has footage of Fellini, Giulietta Masina, Benigni, Christina Engelhardt, Paolo Villaggio and others. It is in HD - Italian with yellow English subtitles. There is also a 'Felliniana Archive' gallery, the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain and an illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Pasquale Iannone.



I enjoyed The Voice of the Moon! It's more of Fellini's eccentric characters, absurd humor and fun situations. It's a pleasure to watch such happiness and celebration of life. The Arrow Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation and a valuable supplement. His last effort, and while not his premium work, deserves its audience and fans should have it in their collection! Thanks Arrow for bringing this to Blu-ray

Gary Tooze

October 26th, 2016




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