Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Montparnasse 19 aka "Modigliani of Montparnasse" or "Les amants de Montparnasse" or "Hero of Montmatre" [Blu-ray]

 

(Jacques Becker, 1958)

 

Also available on Blu-ray with English subtitles, Region FREE, from Gaumont:

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Franco London Films

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:48:30.378 

Disc Size: 40,253,874,700 bytes

Feature Size: 25,358,604,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Chapters: 11

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: November 27th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

Jacques Becker and the Artistic Condition, a 55-minute documentary on the making of Montparnasse 19 featuring interviews with Anouk Aimée, Françoise Fabian and Jean Becker (57:29)
Newly filmed appreciation of the film by Ginette Vincendeau, author of The BFI Companion to French Cinema and Paris in the Cinema: Beyond the Flâneur (19:48)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet containing new writing by David Jenkins

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Montparnasse 19, a film about the tragic final years in the life of Italian painter and sculptor Amadeo Modigliani, was itself beset by tragedy. Max Ophuls, the famed director of Letter from an Unknown Woman and Le Plaisir, died during its production, leaving his friend Jacques Becker to complete the picture. Its lead performer too, the great French actor Gérard Philippe, would succumb to cancer just over a year after its release.

In tracing the latter part of Modigliani s life, Montparnasse 19, focuses on the key figures during his time in Paris his patron Léopold Zborowski (played by Gérard Séty) and two muses, Beatrice Hastings (Lilli Palmer) and Jeanne Hébuterne (Anouk Aimée) and his gradual descent into alcoholism and drug addiction. The end results, both hauntingly beautiful and savagely ironic, are really quite remarkable. A fitting tribute to the outstanding careers of Ophuls and Philippe, and another excellent entry in the equally superb filmography of Becker, a filmmaker who is finally getting his due.

 

 

The Film:

A transitional film (1958, 108 min.) between the French “tradition of quality” and the New Wave, this slick biopic about the last year or so in the life of the painter Amedeo Modigliani (the title alludes to the bohemian quarter and the year, 1919) is a highly personal effort by one of the idols of the New Wave generation, the neglected Jacques Becker (Casque d'or, Le trou). At once clunky, overproduced, and naive, it's also sincere and moving, in spite of its faults as a statement about the gulf between serious artists and marketers. It's both helped and hindered by its glamorous cast: Gerard Philipe, Anouk Aimee, and Lilli Palmer. Jean-Luc Godard memorably defended this film when it came out by writing,...

Excerpt from JonathanRosenbaum at the Chigco Reader located HERE

In Les Amants de Montparnasse, even the odd, spectacular shot of sunlit, Provençal rooftops (reminiscent of Marcel Pagnol comedies) is tied to Modigliani’s point-of-view. But this apparent fidelity to human scale allows Becker to pull off a visual and emotional coup so audacious not even Ophuls, Becker’s mentor Renoir or Modigliani’s acquaintance and one-time subject Cocteau quite managed.

Excerpt from CriticsRoundup located HERE

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

Montparnasse 19 gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Video from the Gaumont elements.  It's dual-layered with a supportive bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour feature. Contrast exhibits a pleasing, black and white, image in the original 1.66:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean although may look occasionally dampened with sepia or less-noticeable green infiltration. There is appealing depth and impressive detail. This Blu-ray offers an excellent image - epically in-motion. Kudos.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Arrow use a linear PCM transfer at 1536 kbps  (16-bit) in the original French language. There are no aggressive effects that I recall. The score is by Paul Misraki (quite a resume composing for Bunuel's Death in the Garden, Godard's Alphaville, Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Doulos, Welles' Confidential Report). It adds subtly heightening the film's drama while dialogue is always clear and consistent. Solid. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' + 'B'-locked - which we refer to as Region FREE.

 

Extras :

Jacques Becker and the Artistic Condition is a 55-minute documentary on the making of Montparnasse 19 featuring interviews with Anouk Aimée, Françoise Fabian and Jean Becker. It is in French with optional English subtitles. There is also a newly filmed appreciation of the film by Ginette Vincendeau, author of The BFI Companion to French Cinema and Paris in the Cinema: Beyond the Flâneur. It runs short of 20-minutes but is quite good - love her voice. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin and for the first pressing you get a collector's booklet containing new writing by David Jenkins.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Montparnasse 19 is a very interesting bio-pic of one of the more enigmatic, French-residing, artists of his era. Amedeo Modigliani's style was only recognized, like many of the masters, after his death ( at only 35-years of age). The film doesn't delve into his beginnings or, unfortunately, his sculptures - essentially focusing on the last year of his life where alcohol had dominated his downfall. Nice to see the support from Lilli Palmer, Lino Ventura and the stunning Anouk Aimée.  The Arrow Video Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with very appreciated supplements. I thoroughly enjoyed this and would highly recommend to those keen on 'a portrait of the artist' films. It is dedicated to the memory of Max Ophuls.

Gary Tooze

November 25th, 2017

Also available on Blu-ray with English subtitles, Region FREE, from Gaumont:


 

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

 

       HIGH DEFINITION DVD STORE     ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS

 




 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!