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Disappointing transfer of Visconti's L'Innocente'

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bruce Morrison, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. Bruce Morrison

    Bruce Morrison Supporting Actor

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    I just bought the new R2 DVD of Visconti's L'Innocente', and was really disappointed with the quality of the transfer. First the DVD isn't anamorphically enhanced, and I had to put my TV into 'subtitle' mode to make the subtitles completely visible, which introduces a slight vertical distortion of the image. Also, the quality of the print used is very poor, with constant speckling and frame damage being evident. The colour timing appears to be off by a considerable margin - it certainly doesn't look the way I remember it in the cinema. At least the subtitles are off-image, but the text is distractingly flickery rather than stable and solid. The audio quality is also poor, with some low-level background buzzing in many scenes.

    This is one of Visconti's greatest films and it's sad to see such a shoddy DVD version. I hope Criterion will eventually do this film justice in a R1 release.
     
  2. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    This is a major disappointment. It was initially listed as being anamorphic and was to include a documentary on screenwriter, Cesare Zavattini who worked with Visconti on Bellissima, Siamo Donne, Boccaccio '70 and The Witches.

    The packaging proudly states, "Digitally Remastered from Restored Print". When - 1994?

    Nouveaux Pictures are pretty lazy when it comes to anamorphic enhancement; sometimes they encode for it, sometimes they don't. As this was a new release of a film that has not been released anywhere else in the world, I was presuming that a new video-master would have to be made - and like they say, they used a "restored" print, so I was expecting a sharp, colourful, clean, anamorphic transfer, but what we got is a mess.

    Nouveaux released the brilliant, My Name is Nobody, transfered from a "Restored Print" and it is anamorphic. It's problem is that it has a needlessly low bitrate averaging around 3.5mbps and there is some bad artifacting in quite a few scenes. Yet many other Nouveaux transfers have bitrates of around 7.5mbps! Bizarre working practices.

    At least it's 2.35:1 - I think that this is the first time the film has not been panned and scanned for home video.

    I think that New Yorker owns the U.S. distribution rights. The film is one of Visconti's best and deserves, at the very least, a gorgeous anamorphic transfer.

    Arrow Films' UK R2 DVD of Conversation Piece, on the other hand is beautiful - a fine anamorphic, high-bitrate transfer; very clean and stable. High recommended.
     

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