- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, German Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, Spanish (Castilian) Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, Spanish (Latin American) Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
- Subtitles: English SDH, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish (Castilian), Swedish, Thai
- Region: A (B? C?)
- Rating: NC-17
- Discs: 1
- Studio: MGM
- Blu-ray Release Date: February 15, 2011
- List Price: $19.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Bertolucci’s 1973 classic, Last Tango in Paris, starring Brando (he only needs one name), is infamous for its well known “butter” scene, so much so that people who know little else about the film think it is a rampant piece of erotica, no more than soft porn. In fact, Last Tango, burdened with a perplexing NC-17 rating in this release, is far more than that. It’s art, jazz, melodrama, and, yes, sex, all rolled into the superb cinematography of Vittotio Storaro.
Paul (Brando), distraught from his estranged wife’s recent, bloody suicide returns to France for her funeral where he meets Jeanne (the recently deceased Maria Schneider), a young, 20-year-old French girl in a complicated relationship with a filmmaker. The two soon take up a secret sexual relationship in a bare apartment, keeping their names from each other. Two lost souls, looking for an escape from the world and themselves. A tango of hot sex and hot emotional drama, set to the seething and sultry jazz of Gato Barbieri.
This is a classic European art house Drama – melodramatic, emotional, sensual, not always immediately apparent in its purpose, but always beautiful, and somehow perfectly capturing a real slice of life.
Last Tango in Paris will probably never look perfect, but this AVC encodement captures the often diffuse, art-like cinematography of Vittotio Storaro with a minimal amount of artifacts. There is some film grain imparting a film-like quality, sometimes pushed to the brink of a harsh, video noise look, and detail can sometimes disappear into softness, but the transfer is overall pleasing, if imperfect.
It’s provided in lossless DTS-HD 2.0, but there is only so much that can be done with this original monaural soundtrack from 1972. It has all the earmarks of a soundtrack from that era, sounding dull, closed-in, and producing much distortion when
I realize we are dealing with Brando and Bertolucci here, but couldn’t someone scrounge up even a hint of some archival interview footage or some behind-the-scenes production stills? Nothing? Well, all we get is the theatrical trailer in HD (1.85:1; 1080p/24). I’m jumping for joy.
The Definitive Word
Perfect Brando, beautiful imagery, sexy jazz, intimate moments, and butter – it must be Last Tango in Paris. Unbelievably, this tame, by today’s standards, film has been hampered with an NC-17 rating, while Saw films and I Spit on Your Grave remakes get mere R ratings. Color me confused.
Additional Screen Captures