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Loving Memory
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 2 Discs
FEATURES
  • One of the Missing (Tony Scott, 1968, 27 minutes): taught psychological short about the lonely fate of a confederate soldier in the American Civil War
  • Boy and Bicycle (Ridley Scott, 1965, 28 minutes): follows the adventures of a truant schoolboy - played by the young Tony Scott - as he cycles round Hartlepool
  • Fully illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essay by Kim Newman and production notes on the film.

Loving Memory


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Tony Scott
1970 | 55 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: £19.99 | Series: BFI
BFI Video

Release Date: August 23, 2010
Review Date: August 31, 2010

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SYNOPSIS

An extraordinary debut from one of Hollywood's most bankable UK ex-pats, Tony Scott's Loving Memory (1970) follows an isolated brother and sister who live with heir memories and a grisly secret. Critically acclaimed on its release Loving Memory was beautifully photographed by celebrated cinematographer Chris Menges - who captures perfectly the misty mystery of the Yorkshire moors - and feature a stunning, sinister performance from Rosamund Greenwood (Village of the Damned, The Witches) as a haunted innocent.

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

BFI Video presents Tony Scottís early film, Loving Memory on Blu-ray in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 on a single-layer disc. The transfer is presented in 1080p/24hz.

The transfer found on here is impressive, one of the more impressive ones from the company. Filmed in 1969/70 it looks as though it could have been shot just yesterday. The image is crisp and clean, with a striking amount of definition and clarity. The detail level in everything is just shocking, better than a lot of Blu-rays for newer films from the majors. Contrast is excellent and gray levels are spot on, though I noticed a small bit early on where the image looks to take a slightly greenish tinge for a few seconds.

The source materials are also in spectacular shape and I recall very little damage being present, the worst offender being a very slight vertical line in a few sequences that you pretty much have to be looking for to notice. In all itís an absolutely incredible looking black and white transfer, one of the better ones Iíve seen.

(This is a UK release but is region free and should therefore play on all Blu-ray players. I had no issue playing back on my PS3. The included DVD presents a standard definition version of the film, and looks to come from the same high-def transfer used for the Blu-ray. The disc is region free but is in a PAL format.)

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 lossless PCM mono track is unfortunately not as clean as the image. Iím not sure if itís the source materials but it sounds heavy and clunky. It can be a little hard to hear the dialogue during a few scenes and I found myself turning on the subtitles. But the track is at least free of damage; I didnít notice an noise or static of any sort.

5/10

SUPPLEMENTS

BFI includes, as supplements, two short films, one directed by Tony Scott, and the other directed by his brother, Ridley.

First is One of the Missing, a 26-minute short film by Tony made in 1968. Loving Memory is very different from Scottís recent films, lacking the kinetic energy and quick editing heís known for, coming off far more calm and leisurely, definitely more reflective. One of the Missing is more in line with what heís known for today (though not to the extreme of his last few films.) Following a Confederate soldier who goes out to scout enemy territory during the civil war, the editing is more energetic and quick after a slower start, but manages to not feel choppy or disorienting (something Scottís films can be guilty of now.) In terms of its editing itís actually quite impressive for what is essentially a student film.

The second film, called Boy and Bicycle is one of Ridleyís first films and runs about 28-minutes. This one, which shows the directorís visual flare rather early, with plenty of striking compositions and interesting angled shots, follows a young boy who rides around on his bike, talking and complaining about any old thing that enters his head. Itís unfortunately not all that involving, the boyís thoughts being nothing particularly interesting, but seeing this, and knowing the work that Ridley would eventually do, makes it a worthwhile viewing.

BFI then includes a booklet containing a few essays. First is a piece on the work of both Tony and Ridley Scott by Kim Newman, followed by a brief interview with Tony Scott by Time Out in 1970, after the release of Loving Memory. Christopher Dupin then offers a piece about BFI and their work with the Scott brothers (and even includes an interesting footnote about John Barryís score for Ridleyís Boy and Bicycle.) The booklet then concludes with what looks to be a reprint of the treatment for Loving Memory. Though a thinner one, like always itís a great read and adds some real value to the edition.

In all Iím pleased with this edition. Itís disappointing that they probably couldnít get Tony Scott to participate in supplements, but I rather enjoyed looking at his early work (and an early film by his brother) and the booklet has some great information.

6/10

CLOSING

Again BFI blows away my expectations. Maybe I wish there was more in the way of supplements, but the short films are great inclusions and as always their booklet is excellent. But in the end itís the video transfer for the feature film that sells this disc: It looks gorgeous, almost like it was filmed recently. Itís a striking image and one of the best black and white transfers Iíve seen on the format.




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