Home Page  
 
 

SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • French PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Le scandale Clouzot, a sixty-minute documentary from 2017 on director Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Interview from 1960 with Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Interview with actor Brigitte Bardot from the 1982 documentary Brigitte Bardot telle qu’elle
  • An essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau

La verite

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Henri-Georges Clouzot
1960 | 128 Minutes | Licensor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #960
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: February 12, 2019
Review Date: February 10, 2019

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

Beautiful, troubled Dominique Marceau (Brigitte Bardot) came to bohemian Paris to escape the suffocation of provincial life, only to wind up in a courtroom, accused of a terrible crime: the murder of her lover (Sami Frey). As the trial commences and the lawyers begin tangling over Dominique’s fate, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Oscar-nominated La vérité delves into her past, reconstructing her struggle to find a foothold in the city. What emerges is a nuanced portrait of an impulsive young woman misunderstood and mistreated by those around her, and of her ultimately tragic affair with an up-and-coming conductor. With an astonishing performance by Bardot, Clouzot’s affecting and intricately constructed film—a huge late-career success for the French master—renders a harsh verdict against a hypocritical and moralistic society.


PICTURE

Henri-Georges Clouzot’s La verité comes to Blu-ray through the Criterion Collection, presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 on a dual-layer disc. The 1080p/24hz high-definition encode comes from a new 4K restoration, sourced from the 35mm original negative and a 35mm master positive.

I had fairly high expectations for this presentation and they have been pretty well met. A handful of shots can look a little fuzzy and darker than the rest of the film (maybe what was sourced from the master positive?) but in all the image is very sharp, very clean, and very pleasant. The level of detail is stunning at times, with the stitching on clothing sticking out, and fine patterns appearing clear and distinct. Film grain is fine but it’s clearly there and still rendered wonderfully and naturally. Contrast is gorgeous, with strong blacks that still allow for excellent shadow detail, the details of the black robes worn by the various court officers offering the best example of this. The grays also smoothly transition, helping to provide a wonderful photographic look.

The restoration work has cleaned up blemishes beautifully, and I never noted anything severe coming up (I also don’t recall any minor marks). It all looks wonderful and is just another wonderful looking black-and-white presentation.

9/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

AUDIO

Outside some minor background noise the film’s French soundtrack (presented in lossless PCM 1.0 mono) is clean and stable without any severe damage. Voices sound great and there’s some surprising depth and fidelity in there, never coming off edgy, even when voices are raised.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Criterion’s special edition first presents a new 62-minute documentary from 2017 on Clouzot called Le scandale Clouzot, covering the director’s life and films. The documentary starts with his early life and then moves on to his film work during the Nazi occupation of France (where he was not seen as a threat), where he first made The Murderer Lives at Number 21. The Nazi overseers were so happy with the film that they gave him more freedom with his next one, Le corbeau, and the filmmaker ended up making a film that criticized the Nazi expectation that citizens should anonymously rat out other citizens. He was promptly fired, though the film still managed to receive good reviews.

The documentary then looks at the period after the war, where he was shunned for working for the Nazis (despite his one film being critical) and then finally being allowed to work again, this time on Quai des Orfèvres. This is where he would meet his future wife Vera (who was then married to one of the actors), and whom he would cast in his next films, The Wages of Fear and Diabolique. The documentary ends up spending most of its time on these two films, even getting interviews with other filmmakers who talk about the technical craft found in the films. The documentary then offers a glimpse behind La verité.

At an hour it does rush through things, but it does offer a rather fascinating portrait of the man, going over the experiences that more than likely inspired the topics he would cover in his films, and even looking at his many insecurities, including a doubt that anyone, including his wife, ever really loved him. It’s a strong inclusion.

Criterion then digs up two archival features, starting with a 5-minute interview with Henri-Georges Clouzot from a French television program in 1960. The director goes over why he chose to make a film about the French legal system before having to defend Bardot as an actress when the host suggests she isn’t a real one (he seems a little agitated, too). Criterion then includes a 20-minute excerpt from the 1982 documentary on Brigitte Bardot, going over her life (newly married) around the time La verité was made, and features interviews with Bardot and others (including Alain Carre, who went behind her back to sell personal stories about her).

Ginette Vincendeau then provides the only academic angle to the features with her essay on the film in the included insert. It’s a modest little edition (somewhat unfortunately) but the material is great, with the documentary on Clouzot bringing a notable edition.

6/10

CLOSING

The features are slim, but the impressive A/V presentation easily makes up a little bit for that.


View packaging for this Blu-ray

Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca