Let’s Wash Our Brains: RoGoPaG [Masters of Cinema] [UK] Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (24Hz)
- Audio Codec: Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono (48kHz/16-bit)
- Subtitles: English
- Subtitles Color: White
- Region: B (Region-Locked)
- Certification: PG
- Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
- Studio: Eureka Entertainment (Masters of Cinema)
- Blu-ray Release Date: August 27, 2012
- RRP: £20.42
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Four filmmaking auteurs of European cinema came together in 1963 to create this collaboration of short comedic films commenting, in classic fashion, on the condition of humanity in the modern world. Roberto Rossellini’s Illibatezza (Virginity) is a surprisingly modern look at obsession and stalking as an airline stewardess is faced with an American tourist who is obsessed with her virginal beauty. In Jean-Luc Goddard’s Il nuovo mondo (The New World), an oddly Italian-speaking Paris beset by an atomic blast above the city serves as the backdrop for an exploration of love during Cold War paranoia as an attractive couple’s relationship breaks down while the rest of the city succumbs to anxiety and pill popping. Pier Paolo Pasollini probably wins for most scandalous, as his La Ricotta (literally, Ricotta, as in the cheese), about a film production about the crucifixion, Orson Welles in the role of the enigmatic director, earned Pasollini a four-month prison sentence, suspended. Finally, last, but not least, is Ugo Gregoretti’s Il pollo ruspante (Free-Range Chicken) that follows the tribulations of a middle-class family house hunting in an increasingly complex, technological world.
Let’s Wash Our Brains: RoGoPaG, its subtitle a combination of the four director’s last names, is everything you would suspect it would be from these master filmmakers. It is innovative, sexy, hysterically funny, cutting, and scandalous. A mixture of cinema verite and the more, previously tested grounds of the nouvelle vague, the various shorts each reflect their director’s personal styles while blending into the defining theme of the work as a whole quite effortlessly.
The 1.85:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p transfer of Let’s Wash Our Brains: RoGoPaG is quite a handsome one, despite a few obvious, but unavoidable rough patches here and there given the age of the film and techniques of the day. Most of the highly grainy and soft parts are spliced in scenes that are most likely dupes and effects. Otherwise, the presentation is quite clean and film-like with a good layer of grain imparting a strong, textured appearance and lots of detail. The black and white imagery is consistent and shows strong contrast while the color sequences of the Pasolini portion of the film look absolutely brilliant – possibly seeming even more vibrant due to being juxtaposed against the greys of the rest of the film.
The audio for Let’s Wash Our Brains is presented in its original monaural mix with an Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. The audio is limited mostly by the technology of the day here and does sound somewhat boxy and narrow in range with instances of crackle. Still, it suffices for the material given the time period, all things considered.
The on-disc supplements are much weaker than usual for a Masters of Cinema release as this title is only provided with the original theatrical trailer (1.85:1; 1080p/24). It does, however, include a 56-page booklet with new essays on the film and archival images. A standard DVD of the release is also included in this set.
The Definitive Word
Let’s Wash Our Brains is a master class in humorous social commentary and uncompromising visual style. This seminal work is one of the models for the collaboration of great filmmakers and it shows. Eureka have another stunner in their Masters of Cinema series with this one. Highly recommended.
Additional Screen Captures