Tristana Blu-ray Review
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one of filmmaker Luis Buñuel's
overlooked works in his
entire filmography - and it is now once again presented to audiences,
time with a brand new and vastly improved restoration that was made
through the Cohen Film Collection. This is certainly an impressive
release of a classic and complex work of art that is still
debated by film fans today. Tristana
is a complicated character study; complicated by the performances of
and actresses and the complex story.
is certainly a difficult film to try and grasp
entirely. There are plenty of layers to the story and to the
characters. Tristana absolutely excels as an
excellent example of truly magnificent filmmaking as a result of (or in
spite of) that element. The entire production
is one with an interesting and vast history that is in some ways as
as the film itself. That adds elements of intrigue to this film and it
to the high quality artistry of its entirety. Something about Tristana is difficult to grasp, but that
makes it all the more fascinating to behold.
Catherine Deneuve as the title character, a young
woman thrown into an awful situation when her mother passes away and
becomes the "daughter" of a guardian named Don Lope (Fernando Rey), who
decides to try seducing her to make her his life partner, his wife, and
daughter... and all at once. This is the core conflict at the center of
This core concept becomes explored throughout the course of the story
unfairness existing within Don Lope's attitudes and beliefs and
growing resentment towards Lope.
the course of the story, Lope becomes much more
demanding, overbearing, and angry with
Tristana and for a variety of uncalled for reasons. Nothing about
relationship is healthy or normal. It is a relationship that shouldn't
it all, Lope shows that he is obsessed and uncompassionate towards her.
Tristana wants to escape from his
controlling behavior and his lustful obsession and to find her own love
happiness in life. The film begins to unravel while telling the story
unstable relationship and it explores these characters negative and
overwhelming connections to each other. It is a driving force of the
is a complicated and absorbing film, but it also manages
to reach this aspect of greatness while avoiding using a lot of plot
elaborately as some stories from Buñuel have - It makes up for
this by being
more intense and complex as a character driven piece, and it does
have several interesting historical elements that will be relevant and
for those who can understand the time period and setting relevant to
some of these historical elements initially flew past
me, and I only noticed how historically fascinating this film was upon
exploring detailed and well-made supplemental material included on this
particular release. It's clear that a lot of thought went into the
it: something about this story was entirely suited to being explored by
historians and all moviegoers fascinated by some of the deeper elements
in cinema. The film will become more fascinating for viewers upon
greater understanding of the historical material.
for how the production eventually came about and became
realized: it's an entirely interesting question. Buñuel had
wanted to make Tristana at several points throughout
career but he also wasn't able to make it due to controversies,
restrictions in Spain, and other issues that kept getting in the way of
vision. Luckily for Buñuel and
for film fans, the ability to make the film began
shifting and he was able to film in Spain at last after many years of
this wasn't even one of his favorite books
from the original novel's author; Buñuel claimed that he felt it
was his worst
novel, but that it was a good springboard for a film. Tristana
was a passion project for Buñuel and one clearly fueled by
his love for filmmaking, Spain, and his interest in looking at the
surrounding the characters.
makes the film so undeniably powerful and resonant after all these
in some stellar performances, mesmerizing cinematography, and more than
dash of solid intellect and the film demonstrates the work of a top
working brilliantly to realize the story and the character's journeys.
is entirely a character driven piece and that is what
makes everything fascinating in the long run. It's a worthwhile film
Buñuel's dedication to characterization (as both co-screenwriter
and because he is able to bring remarkable performances out of the
includes Catherine Deneuve, Fernando Rey, and Franco Nero. Tristana
is a good example of classic cinema.
1080p 1.66:1 transfer of Tristana is impressive. The
colors are often muted in appearance
but this seems to be in tune with the artistic cinematography by José
and it suites Tristana as this is an
often bleak and melancholic drama to behold. There was a lot of effort
in restoring this film. The presentation seems to have been crafted
several of Tristana's sources but the
work is uniformly well-done. There is a fine layer of film grain
it helps to keep the theatrical appearance intact. If there is any
appears that some scenes are a bit too dark. Yet for the most part this
the case. The presentation is also free from print damage and other
aspects (such as edge enhancement and DNR) that sometimes overwhelm
classic film presentations.
presented with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation. The dialogue is
crisp and well-defined and the music sounds beautiful. There are some
sound effects too, and these elements work well with the presentation.
decent sounding lossless presentation.
audio portion of this film's presentation is a bit more
difficult to grade because of the way the film is presented with
film is intended to be seen dubbed into Spanish. It was originally
Catherine Deneuve speaking French and Franco Nero speaking Italian. In
own voice was retained for the presentation. I am unsure about Nero
supplemental commentary essentially made me feel even more confused on
dubbed into Spanish by different actors and it seems as
though this is the version utilized for the film in most markets. This
version is the intended version. Of course, it would be wonderful to
French audio as an optional element to the audio presentation. It's not
included though (not even as a supplemental feature).
English dub is also included on this release, but the
best option would be to stick with the Spanish language version of the
Surprisingly, the dubbing is actually well-done, but for those of you
have liked to hear Deneuve and Nero's own voices in French and Italian,
out of luck.
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supplement included on this
release is wonderful and worthwhile. This is a brilliantly realized set
supplements that aids in the enjoyment and understanding of Tristana.
The included video supplements
are even provided in HD.
the Blu-ray packaging is a booklet featuring a
new essay from Cineaste
magazine editor Richard Porton and
excerpts from Catherine Denueve's personal diary (as written during the
and also an excerpt from Raymon Durgnats book Luis
lengthiest and most enjoyable
supplement may be the audio commentary
with Catherine Deneuve and critic Kent Jones which was recorded in 2012
aptly described as being a conversation between the two. It's a
laidback and conversational
approach but there's good details to be heard from Denueve, who shares
good insights into her methods and her working relationships with
Buñuel and (to
a lesser extent) other filmmakers. It is a slowly unfolding commentary
that feels relaxed, nicely paced, and enjoyable to listen to. I
recommend it to
fans of Denueve, who should enjoy hearing her thoughts on Tristana.
Essay Featurette with Peter William Evans (30
min.) is a quite fascinating piece focused
entirely on Peter Evans, a Buñuel expert and scholarly author,
fascinating background information on the film's creation and the
themes of Tristana. It's one of those supplements
everyone should see if they are at all a fan of the film and of
Buñuel as a
filmmaker. The provided insights are informative and revelatory. This
incredibly smart supplement. Essential.
An Alternate Ending is included. It runs a little over
and it only differs in a few snippets of film.
the 2012 Restoration Theatrical Trailer
and Original French Theatrical Trailer
beautifully filmed dramatic
exploration with remarkable performances by Catherine Deneuve, Fernando
and Franco Nero. It is one of Luis Buñuel's most personal
projects and it's an
important film that deserves more recognition from audiences today.
This is a delicately
made film. Both longtime fans and newcomers to the works of director
will enjoy this fascinating and complex character-driven work of art.
Group has released an impressive Blu-ray for this newly restored
of the film and all serious film fans will want to add this quality
their collections with it's worthwhile video transfer, lossless audio
presentation, and generous inclusion of quality supplemental materials.
is an incredible presentation and it is one which fans will cherish
owning. If you have any interest in
Buñuel or foreign
language classic cinema in general, consider this a worthwhile purchase.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.