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The Conformist [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Italian LPCM 2.0 Mono (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Certification: 15
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Run time: 113 Mins.
  • Studio: Arrow Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 27, 2012
  • RRP: £19.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B005PLP5X6[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:5/5]

A magnificent art house film from Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci that oozes style in its astonishing camerawork by Vittorio Storaro and sleek, 1930’s Fascist Italian production design by Ferdinando Scarfiotti, The Conformist (Il Conformista) turns the Alberto Moravia into a much more fascinating story.  It’s a condemnation of the fascist Italian uprising told through the story of the timid and cowardly “conformist” Italian Marcello Clerici (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who spends his time preoccupied with pleasing others and getting his life on track through a mundane marriage to the patently average Giulia (Stefania Sandrelli) and strict adherence to the fascist ideals. Clerici is engaged to kill his former university professor and mentor, an assignment he takes despite his reservations, showing once again his inability to standup to any societal pressures and form his own opinions.

Bertolucci tells the story of Clerici’s life through a series of nearly surrealist flashbacks and implies through a childhood incident that Clerici’s marriage and strict adherence to fascism are all attempts to cover up his own secrets. Those secrets are that he may be himself a homosexual.

The Conformist is an elegant and powerful film that is universal in its appeal, but wholly continental in its style. Even some forty-two years later, this film still has the same impact today that is did then. It’s impossible to sit through and witness these flowing visuals of symbolic imagery and not be touched on a subconscious level. This is powerhouse cinema.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The Conformist comes in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio with an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement that looks generally film-like with a medium level of grain and generally good colors for a film of this era. While there is little in the way of source damage apparent, contrast could be a bit stronger overall and black levels sometimes look just a tad faded. Despite these minor issues, The Conformist is a solid looking transfer to Blu-ray.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The film shows up with its original Italian monaural soundtrack in LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit). As far as mono mixes go, it’s decent, although there is a persistent amount of low hiss and distortion that can be heard throughout.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

An audio commentary, archival video interview with Bertolucci himself and a reprinted interview as well makes for a very compelling supplemental package from Arrow.

The supplements:

  • Audio commentary with David Forgacs
  • Bernardo Bertolucci: Reflections on Cinema (1.33:1; 00:51:32)
  • A comprehensive booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by critic Michael Atkinson a re-printed interview with Bernardo Bertolucci from 1971 and Bertolucci’s thoughts on filmmaking, illustrated with original stills.
  • DVD

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Bertolucci’s triumphantly powerful visual and psychological cinematic feast, The Conformist, arrives in an equally powerful Dual Format edition from Arrow that cineastes need to scoop up immediately. Highly recommended.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B005PLP5X6[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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