Wednesday 15 February 2017

On Blu-ray - David Hare rejoices at a new (French) edition of Sternberg's BLONDE VENUS

Blonde Venus (Click to enlarge)
The biggest surprise of the year, coming right out of left field. Finally a very high quality Blu-ray of Blonde Venus from Elephant Films in France, from their continuing river of fine 35mm HD master transfers. Dietrich here on the lam at the edge of skid row, about to lose everything before she reincarnates herself as woman, persona (as Helen Faraday), actress and a metteur en scene in her own right with Sternberg in what is one of my top ten films of all time.

Blonde Venus (Click to enlarge)
No official word yet on any further Sternberg-Dietrich titles from Elephant but the 35mm element and older DVD transfer for Venus was always the very best of the old Euro PAL DVD series, with Devil is a Woman and Scarlet Empress not far behind. 

Blonde Venus (Click to enlarge)
I don't need to offer much encouragement to others for this, just to say the transfer is everything one could have hoped for. Taking endless screens reveals healthy grain structure in the image, which the 1080p renders very elegantly, along with great contrast and detail. In motion the BD image is orgasmically satisfying. Watching it again reminds me of the old days in Paris when one could see all these movies on almost every visit there in lovely new pristine 35mm prints. And the newly repeated experience of viewing a Sternberg-Dietrich film of this visual quality is again akin to the best possible opium high imaginable but with all the coherence of an astringent intelligence intact. 

Blonde Venus (Click to enlarge)

1 comment:

  1. I bought (of course - anyone with a film brain would buy) and am about to watch :)


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