Home Page  
 
 

Late Ray
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • Bengali Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 3 Discs
FEATURES
  • Includes the films: The Home and the World, An Enemy of the People, and The Stranger

Late Ray


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Satyajit Ray
2014 | 357 Minutes | Licensor: NFDC

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $44.95 | Series: Eclipse from the Criterion Collection | Edition: #40
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: January 7, 2014
Review Date: January 7, 2014

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

The films directed by the great Satyajit Ray in the last ten years of his life have a unique dignity and drama. Three of them are collected here: the fervent Rabindranath Tagore adaptation The Home and the World; the vital An Enemy of the People, based on the Henrik Ibsen play; and the filmmaker's final work, the poignant and philosophical family story The Stranger. They are complex, political, and humane depictions of worlds both corrupt and indescribably beautiful, constructed with Ray's characteristic elegance and imbued with autumnal profundity. These late-career features are the meditative works of a master.

Discuss the film and DVD here   


PICTURE

Criterionís 40th Eclipse set, Late Ray, brings 3 of Satyajit Rayís later films to DVD. The set includes The Home and the World, An Enemy of the People, and The Stranger across three dual-layer discs. All three films are presented in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and none of them have been window-boxed. Oddly, his second-to-last film, The Branches of a Tree is missing, suggesting either rights issues or a possible solo release (Iím going with the former since the only home video release I know of is a French DVD.)

I donít think Iíve ever been more surprised by any presentation when I popped in the first film, The Home and the World. Despite some impressive sets I think the brand is usually thought of as something that Criterion uses to dump films that may be considered odd curiosities or havenít (or canít) receive the same restoration work as films in their mainline. That wasnít the case at all with The Home and the World. Yes, Iím sure it can be argued the title probably deserves its own solo release, but what especially stunned me was just how incredible the presentation looked. Hands down, this is the best looking Eclipse transfer Iíve seen, and also one of the more impressive DVD presentations Iíve seen in recent memory. Other than maybe some pulsating and mild fluctuations I donít recall any blemishes popping upóthe biggest surpriseóand the level of detail in the image is staggering. The transfer is crisp and clean, with a minimal amount of noise and no major artifacts that I can recall. Film grain, which appears to be rather fine, is even rendered well. Colours are also striking with excellent saturation levels, with greens looking particularly brilliant. Black levels are decent, though a bit of crushing can occur.

The other two films in the set, An Enemy of the People and The Stranger, also receive the same effort. An Enemy of the People had some fine scratches and The Stranger has more issues with crushing blacks and what looks like a heavy dose of yellow in sequences (though maybe this is intentional) but otherwise their quality is pretty much on the same level. Itís early in the year but I doubt Iíll be more surprised by any other transfer this year.

9/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly 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

Unfortunately the audio on all of the films canít live up to their respective video transfers. Iím sure the materials and possibly the recording equipment used play something into it, but the audio, especially on The Home and the World and The Stranger, is distorted rather heavily. Dialogue is accompanied by static and music is harsh and edgy, delivering a rather grating sound. An Enemy of the People sounds a hair better, but not much.

Some English is spoken throughout the films and thankfully itís easy to hear, so I didnít require subtitles for these sequences. In all the Dolby Digital 1.0 tracks do what they can but are held back by the source materials.

5/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Michael Korseky provides another set of excellent liner notes, giving an overview of Rayís career and work, and explaining the more static, stagey nature to his last few films: in poor health after a heart attack, he had to keep the films extremely simple in terms of setting and camera movements.

Similar to a good majority of Eclipse sets thatís all we get.

2/10

CLOSING

Of the Eclipse sets Iíve been through this is easily the most impressive one. Audio is weak because of the source materials, and obviously there are no supplements, but the video transfers across all three films are stunning. They look amazing and itís a real shame these werenít carried over to Blu-ray.




Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca  




Join our Facebook Group (requires Facebook account)

This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection