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Bay of Angels
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • French Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • French PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 2 Discs
FEATURES
  • French television interview from 1962 with actor Jeanne Moreau on the set of Bay of Angels
  • New interview with journalist Marie Colmant, coauthor of the book Jacques Demy
  • Restoration demonstration
  • Trailer

Bay of Angels

Dual-Format Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Jacques Demy
Starring: Jeanne Moreau, Claude Mann
1963 | 84 Minutes | Licensor: Cine-Tamaris

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $124.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #715
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: July 22, 2014
Review Date: July 22, 2014

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SYNOPSIS

This precisely wrought, emotionally penetrating romantic drama from Jacques Demy, set largely in the casinos of Nice, is a visually lovely but darkly realistic investigation into love and obsession. A bottle-blonde Jeanne Moreau is at her blithe best as a gorgeous gambling addict, and Claude Mann is the bank clerk drawn into her risky world. Featuring a mesmerizing score by Michel Legrand, Bay of Angels is among Demy's most somber works.

Forum members rate this film 10/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

The second title in Criterionís box set The Essential Jacques Demy, Bay of Angels is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1. The new 1080p/24hz high-definition transfer is presented on a dual-layer Blu-ray disc while a standard-definition version is presented on a dual-layer DVD. The latter has been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

Lolaís transfer was an overly digitized blob of a presentation that wasnít much better than most mediocre DVD transfers. Since that was the first disc in the set it didnít speak well for the set as a whole but thankfully neither Bay of Angels nor any of the other films suffer this same fate, as it appears different groups were responsible for restoring and transferring each film.

Bay of Angels presents a far more natural and filmic look. Far sharper the image delivers incredible textures and depth in every shot. Close-ups and long shots alike present excellent definition and fine object detail. Contrast is excellent, never coming off to bright or dark, and black levels look strong and shadow delineation is excellent. Unlike Lola it hasnít been overly processed, tonal shifts are excellent, and film grain remains intact. A couple of darker scenes have an issue where the grain can look a tad noisy and pixilated but past this itís rendered cleanly and naturally.

The DVDís transfer also looks very good. It doesnít have the same handle on the filmís grain and long shots are a little fuzzier, but as a standard-definition transfer it looks very good, still delivering an excellent amount of detail on close-ups and nice gray levels and shadows.

I actually donít recall a single blemish so the restoration work is certainly impressive, more so since you donít even notice any digital tinkering. It looks absolutely great and was a welcome sight after Lola.

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.

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AUDIO

The filmís mono soundtrack is delivered in lossless PCM on the Blu-ray and Dolby Digital on the DVD. The audio is surprisingly crisp with some excellent range and depth. Music can be a little harsh and edgy during higher moments but dialogue is consistently clear. Overall itís surprisingly pleasant.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Out of all of the titles in the Demy box set Bay of Angels unfortunately gets the shaft when it comes to supplements, including just over a half-hour worth of content. We first get a charming interview with Jeanne Moreau from a 1962 episode of Cinťpanorama, which was conducted on location during the filming of Bay of Angels. For a little over 14-minutes she talks about the role and her career overall, admitting to not being all that selective of her roles at first (though now she is very strict) and offering advice to any would-be actors. Despite a number of eye-rolling questions from the interviewer, which she graciously answers, itís decent personal discussion with Moreau.

Next is an interview with journalist Marie Colmant who talks about Demyís interest in characters on the margins of society, the outcasts. She talks about a few characters that appear in his films (namely the two in Bay of Angels and a few in Une chambre en ville) and addresses possible influences on the director. She also talks about the appeal of Demyís films and how sheís made her own daughter watch them. The interview is a little over 10-minutes.

We get yet another restoration demonstration, but this one works a little better than the one found on Lola. Here we actually get to see the work being done, even getting to see someone quickly repair a tear in the film. Thereís also more clear comparisons. This one only runs 5-minutes.

The disc then closes with the filmís re-release trailer.

The features arenít bad, though this is clearly the weakest set of them in what is an otherwise impressive box set.

4/10

CLOSING

Supplements are scant but at least worth watching; in this regard the title is the weakest one in an otherwise fairly stacked box set. Past that, though, the digital transfer is an absolute marvel and one of the stronger ones in the box set.




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