A Few Words About A few words about...™ Anatahan -- in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

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Feb 8, 1999
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Robert Harris
Kino Classics has released Josef von Sternberg's final work via The Library of Congress, and while it's a necessity to own for Sternberg fans, it may not be a worthwhile investment as entertainment.

Apparently from a variety of image sources, most appear very nice, and uprez to 4k beautifully.

The story, which occurs at the end of WWII, and a bit beyond, is very much internalized, generally told via narration. If one were seeking a current example of the direction, one might look toward the work of Terrence Malick.

Although at times, beautifully photographed, this is not the Sternberg that most will know from his Paramount era, which was beyond extraordinary.

It's a tiny black & white production, originally released in 1953, and apparently prepared for re-issue in 1958, slightly re-cut with some superfluous nudity added.

Although it may not appear to be from his filmography, Anatahan was actually Sternberg's final film. The Technicolor Jet Pilot, which has a 1957 release date, was actually a 1949-50 production.

Bottom line.

This is a high quality product from Kino Classics, with a fine transfer, both versions of the film, and enough extras to allow for college level study, and Sternberg aficionados.

Image - 3 to 5

Audio - 4

4k Up-rez - 3.25 to 5

Pass / Fail - Pass

Highly Recommended, especially for completist cinephiles.

RAH
 

Martin_Teller

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Mar 25, 2013
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Martin Teller
I have to disagree about this film's entertainment value. I saw it seven years ago and it still sticks with me. The whole thing has a thick dreamlike quality, aided by a haunting score from Akira Ifukube. A strange and fascinating film, with thoughtful narration.
 

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