Friday 2 December 2016

On Blu-ray - David Hare dissects the Criterion edition of Bunuel's enigmatic THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL...and a plea for more

A Liebestod moment from Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel photographed by the titanic Gabriel Figueroa. 
Criterion's new Blu-ray is a redux of their earlier, very fine, extras packed DVD 2 discer which the Blu now delivers intact. The transfer is a very high quality remaster indeed and I am guessing they chose to use the same film elements for this scan and BD. For one thing it is literally INTACT, like their earlier DVD, not mutilated by an outrageously stupid act of cutting perpetrated on a subsequent video transfer which was made and used by Arrow in the UK and Madman in Oz, for which some idiot in post prod has removed two repeated shots early in the movie when the two female servants are readying to leave the house before the guests arrive. The second shot is a long wide of the guests arriving. Bunuel then cuts to more activity in the kitchen and then the two shots are repeated in toto. This was one of apparently four incongruities he consciously included in the movie for the puzzlement and delight of his fans, but I confess to not recalling the other three. The shots are as they always were in the new Blu. 
There is also a newer 2k remaster of the film which was released a year or two ago by Divisa Spain which from screens anyway looks more sharp, and perhaps more black level boosted. But I have always very much liked the reproduction of grain and the shadow detail as the great Figueroa filmed it here. 
Now, how about a boxed set, in HD format, of all the Mexican Bunuels? Avid collectors will all know where to look for extremely good quality DVDs from Spain and Mexico of most of them but Criterion would really be doing the world a favor if it could put its mind to BDs of Los Olvidados (already restored I understand), El, El Bruto the sublime Subida al Cielo (Mexican Bus Ride), Archibaldo de la Cruz, Illusion Travels by Streetcar, Ensayo di un Crimen, Susana and his mad insane, beautiful, melodramatic reading of Wuthering Heights, Abismos de Pasion. After the Trump, Brexit and god knows what horror is next, the world needs Don Luis more than ever to cleanse the palate and keep us sane. And make a perfect dry martini.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.