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Rome Open City
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • Italian PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Documentary: Children of Open City

Rome Open City

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Roberto Rossellini
1945 | 103 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: £49.99 | Series: BFI
BFI Video

Release Date: April 1, 2015
Review Date: July 5, 2015

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SYNOPSIS

Available for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK, these stunning films by master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini are all undisputed classics of World Cinema. This limited edition Blu-ray box set includes Rossellini's celebrated War Trilogy, made during and immediately after World War II - Rome, Open City, Paisŗ and Germany Year Zero - as well as his controversial 1948 film L'Amore starring Anna Magnani and Federico Fellini. These are the films that established Roberto Rossellini as one of the most important and influential filmmakers of all time.


PICTURE

BFI presents Roberto Rosselliniís Rome Open City on Blu-ray in their Robert Rossellini: The War Trilogy box set. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of about 1.33:1 and is delivered on a dual-layer disc with a new 1080p/24hz high-definition image.

Of the three films in the set (which also contains Paisan and Germany Year Zero) Rome Open City is the best looking one, at least in terms of overall restoration. Though a few blemishes remain (minor scratches, a few marks, tram lines, all of which are more noticeable during transitions) itís surprisingly clean, easily the cleanest Iíve ever seen the film, even improving upon Criterionís already strong looking DVD edition of the film.

The transfer itself is also impressive. It retains a very filmic look, delivering sharp object details, cleanly defined edges, strong textures, and strong depth. Contrast levels are strong, with rich blacks and natural tonal shifts in the grays, and film grain is present, looking natural and clean.

In the end itís an impressive improvement over previous home video releases, even Criterionís own DVD.

8/10

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 mono soundtrack is fine but still clearly shows its age. Dialogue and music are a bit tinny and edgy yet distinguishable and easy enough to hear. Unfortunately there is still noticeable damage and noise in the background, from slight cracks and pops to a pretty consistent hiss in the background. Not a great presentation but I feel itís related more to the condition of the source elements.

5/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Compared to Criterionís rather stacked special edition the BFI clearly loses out but it still has one rather notable and fairly in-depth feature: Children of Open City, a making-of from 2005 running about 50-minutes. It features Vito Annicchiarico, the lead child actor from the film, revisiting locations that were used for the film (now far different) while we get an overview of the production edited in. It does excel over other making-of documentaries thanks to the random conversations struck up between Annicchiarico and people around during the period of filming, and thereís even a great moment where he just happens to run into one of his co-stars.

Sadly, thatís the only supplement specific to the film, the set itself has more supplements spread out between the discs.

3/10

CLOSING

It loses out severely to the Criterion in term of supplements but the presentation offers an enormous improvement over that edition, as does the box set as a whole.




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