Innocente, L' (1976)
Main Menu Audio
Trailer-La Terra Trema, Rocco And His Brothers, Ossessione
|Year Of Production||1976|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (71:40)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Luchino Visconti|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Based on a late nineteenth century novel by Gabriele D'Annunzio, L'Innocente is set in the aristocratic world of that era. Tullio (Giancarlo Giannini) is trapped in a marriage with the frigid Giuliana (Laura Antonelli). He carries on a relationship with Countess Teresa (Jennifer O'Neill), who wants him all for herself. Tullio is attracted to his wife, but finds her uninterested in sex. Giuliana loves her husband deeply and is shocked by his affairs, so much so that she has an affair with a writer who promptly contracts a mysterious illness and dies. Meanwhile Giuliana has managed to get her husband away for a few days and rekindles their relationship. When Giuliana reveals she is pregnant, the decadence and inhumanity of the aristocracy is brought to boiling point.
This was Luchino Visconti's final film. He was ill during production and died during the editing phase, some two months before it was released. While set in a similar milieu to his greatest work (The Leopard) it is unfortunately not nearly as successful, though many trumpet its virtues. The pacing is often slow and even leaden, with beautiful images often substituting for narrative thrust and subtlety. Giannini at this stage of his career is not up to the task of portraying the complexities of the character, and I suspect that Visconti's original choice for the role, Alain Delon, would have brought more shading to the part. But he asked for too much money. On the other hand it is fortunate that Romy Schneider fell pregnant and was replaced by Antonelli, who is quite good as the put-upon wife. Also in the cast is Massimo Girotti, who starred in Visconti's first film more than three decades earlier.
It may seem that I have given this movie short shrift, and indeed many critics feel that this is one of Visconti's finest works. To me it feels lifeless and lacking in the epic grandeur and insight into human emotions that Visconti brought to his best work. It is not a terrible film by any means, but it simply does not rank with the likes of The Leopard, Rocco and His Brothers and Ossessione.
The film is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
Unfortunately that is the bright spot in this transfer. Otherwise it is quite a disappointment. It is a little blurry. At first I thought it must have been another NTSC to PAL conversion, but there doesn't seem to be any ghosting. Nor is there currently an NTSC edition of this movie that it could be taken from. There is slight smearing of detail in motion, and otherwise the detail levels are poor.
The contrast appears to be boosted, so that the whites of collars are impossibly bright, and black and dark portions of the image lose most of their detail. Reds are very bright and unrealistic. Flesh tones are too dark.
There is also some artefacting. There is some low level noise and chroma noise visible in many scenes. Film artefacts are prevalent, with lots of small flecks and specks, and some larger instances of damage.
Optional subtitles are provided. There are two subtitles streams in English, the only difference being that the default subtitles are in yellow font and the secondary ones in white. I found the white ones to be easier to watch. There are a couple of spelling mistakes (Shubert instead of Schubert for example) and some grammatical errors.
The disc is RSDL-formatted with the layer change placed at 71:40 in the middle of a scene and slightly disruptive as a result.
The sole audio track is Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 and appears to be monaural, which would be the original audio configuration.
The audio fares a little better than the video. While there is some sibilance and minor distortion, and a couple of brief instances of crackling, for the most part it is serviceable. Dialogue is clear and the sound is reasonably full. There is some audible hiss during quiet passages.
Audio sync is variable. As was the practice in many Italian productions, the film was shot silent and the audio dubbed in later. A reasonable job is done with the Italian-speaking actors, though Jennifer O'Neill is patently not speaking that language.
I quite like the discordant music score by Franco Mannino. It is very effective when it appears, giving some insight into the characters' emotional states. It is supplemented by a few classical items by Mozart, Liszt and Gluck.
|Surround Channel Use|
The music of Gluck from the soundtrack can be heard with the menu.
Trailers for three previous Visconti releases plus a Rossellini into the bargain. Each is preceded by a ten second presentation of the OFLC rating, which fortunately can be skipped.
The UK Region 2 is not 16x9 enhanced and has burned-in subtitles in a non-16x9 friendly position. Otherwise the transfer quality sounds roughly the same as the Region 4. There is no Region 1 release at this time.
A less than impressive attempt at an epic by Visconti, who died in the process of making it.
The video quality is below average.
The audio quality is average.
No substantial extras.
|DVD||Sony DVP-NS9100ES, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Main: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: Richter Thor Mk IV|