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Better in Blu
le 20 décembre 2013
Please pardon my American English.
This music has been part of my life for the better part of five decades. I bought the soundtrack LP when I was first learning French in 1966, and heard it so many times I knew what words were coming next. I imported the IVC laserdisc from Japan, which had Japanese subtitles and widescreen. I was disappointed with the subsequent home video releases on laserdisc and DVD, because they cropped the widescreen to Academy Ratio (1.66 to 1). I always felt claustrophobic watching those transfers. The new blu-ray from France, which will soon be released also by StudioCanal in England, has 1.85 to 1 ratio, and allows the film more elbow room, as well as having much crisper detail and color.
The music has been remixed not entirely to my satisfaction. The dialogue has been made louder, and the orchestral music softer. The sound editors seem to have thought of this as film first and musical theatre second. I think that was a mistake, especially in the orchestral interludes. The opening title sequence was capable of a stronger sound transfer.
I have to try and find that Japanese laserdisc. I think it's at my friend's house in Oregon. If I manage to locate it, I will add some comparison to this review. Regardless of the outcome, this blu-ray will not prove an embarrassment to anyone who loves this film.