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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Without Roof or Rule ' or 'Vagabond')

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directed by Agnes Varda
USA 1985

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Sandrine Bonnaire won a César award for her portrayal of Mona, a defiant young drifter who is found frozen in a ditch. Using a largely non-professional cast, famed New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda recollects Mona’s story through the flashbacks of those who encountered her, producing the splintered portrait of an enigmatic woman. Told in sparsely poetic images set against the frozen landscape of mid-winter Nîmes, this is Varda’s masterpiece.

 Posters

Theatrical Release: December 4th, 1985 - France

Reviews                                                                      More Reviews                                                             DVD Reviews

 

Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris
by Ginette Vincendeau
 
Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni

Check out more in "The Library"


Comparison:

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Curzon Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

   

Only available, at present, as part of the Curzon / Artificial Eye's 8 disc The Agnès Varda Collection:

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 74 - Region 1- NTSC Curzon Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:45:32 1:46:10.030
Video 1.58:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,787,520,838 bytes

Feature: 26,135,242,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.59 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.58:1

Edition Details:

• 6 page liner notes

DVD Release Date: May 16th, 2000

Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Curzon Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.66:1

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,787,520,838 bytes

Feature: 26,135,242,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.59 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Notes and Commentaries - 18 Years After the Film (40:37 in French with English subtitles)
Music and Travels (12:16 in French with English subtitles)
Bonus Film 'Degrade vieille femme' (3:46)
Trailer (2:29)
New Introduction by Agnes Varda (3:45)

Blu-ray Release Date: December 11th, 2017
Custom
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Curzon Artificial Eye - Region 'B'  Blu-ray - December 2017: Firstly. Curzon / Artificial Eye's 8 Blu-ray disc The Agnès Varda Collection set includes La Pointe Courte, Cleo From 5 To 7, Le Bonheur, L'une Chante, L'autre Pas, Vagabond, Jacquot De Nantes, The Gleaners & I and The Beaches Of Agnes.

The original, non-anamorphic, very OOP (out-of-print), 2000 Criterion DVD was in the, odd, 1.58:1 aspect ratio where the new UK Blu-ray is 1.66:1. Criterion did improve the transfer in their 2008 4 By Agnes Varda DVD boxset that was, at the time, 'director approved'. It's far superior and shows more information in the frame on all 4 edges of the original - more in line with the 2008 SD transfer . It has a high bitrate has a touch of gloss and some teal leaning but the improvement is overwhelming on any HDTV system. It looks pretty sweet in-motion - darker and richer. It was like seeing the film for the first time.

The audio is in linear PCM (16-bit) in the original French language with few effects - the ocean, fire etc. - but a notable score by Joanna Bruzdowicz - who has done work in many Varda films including Kung-Fu Master, Vagabond and The Gleaners & I. It evokes feelings of isolation and suits the, frequently, stark, barren landscape shots in the film. It sounds excellent - a big part of the viewing experience, imo. Dialogue is clear and the Region 'B' Blu-ray has optional English subtitles.

There are supplements starting with a new 4-minute introduction by Agnes Varda, the, 2003, 40-minute 'Notes and Commentaries - 18 Years After the Film' in French with English subtitles (as are all extras.) It's a a documentary on the making of the film, including interviews with Sandrine Bonnaire and other cast members and is also found on the 4 By Agnes Varda as 'Remembrances'.  Music and Travels  is a conversation between Varda and composer Joanna Bruzdowicz (likewide found on 4 By Agnes Varda )plus there is a trailer and the odd, bonus short 'Degrade vieille femme' - a short piece in which Varda revisits actress Marthe Jarnias, who plays the old aunt in the film - also found on the 4 By Agnes Varda.

One of the more moving films, I've ever seen. It really drains me. Sandrine Bonnaire really connects with the audience in a morose, protective way and Varda gives it such a strong vérité expression. A masterpiece that is hard to shake-off. The Blu-ray is so welcome - it's been 17-yaers since the letterboxed Criterion DVD and 9 since the 4 By Agnes Varda DVD boxset. This is certainly a reason to own a region free player for 'A'-restricted audiences - and it reflects very favorably for the entire The Agnès Varda Collection

***

ON THE DVD: This is a lower tier priced Criterion, and it shows. The image in non-anamorphic and has no extras save some short liner notes. The image is still excellent with detail and good contrast. The subtitle font is slightly larger than usual, but they are well done as usual. I have the aspect ratio at 1.58 not 1.66. The disc has no extras and is single layered. The film is worthy of any collection, and this transfer is better than you will find most anywhere else - a shame there were no extras.

Gary W. Tooze


Criterion (original) - Region 1 - NTSC


 

 Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

NOTE: Subtitle sample is not exact frame

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion (4 By Agnes Varda Boxset) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion (4 By Agnes Varda Boxset) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion (4 By Agnes Varda Boxset) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Subtitle Sample

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Curzon Artificial Eye' - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


More Blu-ray Captures
 


Box Cover

   

  

Only available, at present, as part of the Curzon / Artificial Eye's 8 disc The Agnès Varda Collection:

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 74 - Region 1- NTSC Curzon Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



 

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Gary Tooze