The second title in Criterionís first World Cinema Project box set, Emilio Gomez Murielís and Fred Zinnemannís Redes gets a dual-format release, presented in its original aspect ratio of about 1.33:1. The Blu-ray version shares a dual-layer disc with Touki-Bouki and gets a new 1080p/24hz high-definition transfer. The DVD version receives its own single-layer disc. This transfer has not been window-boxed.
Of the six films it should be unsurprising that this film, made in 1936, is the roughest looking one, but in no way is the transfer any less impressive than the other transfers in the set. The source, a duplicate negative (the original negative is long gone) is littered with scratches, primarily fine ones with a few larger ones scattered about, and they rain through constantly. Pulsating, stain remnants, tram lines, and missing frames are also an issue.
Despite all of these leftovers, though, the restoration is still impressive. I suspect damage was far heavier than what we get here and large, glaring issues (other than the missing frames and few larger blemishes that couldnít be helped) are few and far between. Thankfully the image wasnít softened at all to hide the finer scratches, and this allows for an incredibly sharp image. Detail is high, whether close-ups or long shots, with clearly defined edges and perfectly rendered film grain.
The DVDís transfer uses the same high-definition transfer and I must say I was rather impressed. Itís not as crisp as the Blu-rayís transfer but upscaled it still comes off fairly staggering. Compression is minimal (though the filmís scratches and stains may distract from that) and I couldnít detect any other artifacts. It looks very good.
Considering the filmís age and its near-forgotten status the presentation is a real surprise. Its source still shows its age but the transfer delivers as crisp and clean an image beyond what many would expect. 7/10
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.