Wednesday 26 February 2020

On Blu-ray - David Hare enthuses over MAX ET LES FERAILLEURS (Claude Sautet, France, 1971)

Screens from the new Kino Lorber (derived from a new StudioCanal) Blu-ray of Sautet's Max et les Ferailleurs.
The screens of leads, Piccoli (above) and la Schneider below), deliver a fine impression of the superb grading, grain management and color balance in this new resto. Not only is this a game changer for the first (official) disc release of Maxwith English subs, it is also one of the best rendered reissues of any Sautet out there, along with Canal's new Un Coeur en Hiver. 
The restoration credits card (bottom) is rather unusual. For the non Franglais amongst us, it announces that the restorers created a new inter-positive - a process similar to what Warner MPI does with all its new 2K or 4K masters for the Warner Archive label. In addition to original work including scanning done by Lab Eclair, further work for DCP and production of HD disc masters has been done by a new post house, VDM, an outfit new to me. 
Kino Lorber seem to be entering a third or fourth tranche of these releases licensed from Canal this year, among them the Sautets and a giant bunch of early B&W Chabrols. 
These may be the dying days of physical disc media but my thanks go to the digital goddess out there, for Canal, Warner/MPI and the Brit labels Powerhouse and Arrow, as well as MoC from whom I've just ordered the next three Keaton features, restored in 4K by Cohen and Ritrovato. These are all due in late March: Seven Chances, Battling Butler(a personal favorite in which Buster playing a rich boy is given a superb high end wardrobe) and The Navigator. 
Joy abides. (Who is Joy?)

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