La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

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La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)
The Lady Without Camelias
BluRay Full 1:1 | M2ts | VC-1 | 1920x1080 | 25231 Kbps | 23.976 fps | 16:9 | DTS-HD Master Audio | 01:41:33 | 20.1 GB
Languages Available: Italian | Subtitle: English
Genre: Comedy | Extra: Gabe Clinger Introduction, Antonioni in the Fifties, Trailer gallery

Clara Manni, commessa in un negozio di tessuti, per la sua bellezza viene scelta per interpretare un film che ha molto successo. Le vengono subito offerti altri ruoli in cui potrà mettere in risalto le sue doti fisiche ma un produttore, Gianni Granchi, s'innamora di lei e la sposa, impedendole di girare quei film. Lui vuole che sua moglie si faccia notare per le doti di artista ma il film "Giovanna d'Arco", che ha realizzato per lei, risulta un fiasco. La rovina economica spinge Gianni a tentare il suicidio e Clara, per salvarlo, riprende a recitare nei film che il marito aveva scartato. Ma anche il matrimonio l'ha delusa e Clara finisce per accettare la corte di un giovane diplomatico col quale fugge. Si tratta però di una nuova delusione: la donna scopre ben presto che il suo spasimante non l'ama veramente. Ritorna al cinema nella speranza d'affermarsi ma anche questo tentativo non riesce. Clara arriva a comprendere che le uniche doti che i produttori apprezzano in lei sono quelle fisiche. Alla fine, sentendosi vinta, si rassegna ad accettare le parti insulse che le offrono e a vivere una vita senza amore.

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

IMDB Rating 7.3/10
Michelangelo Antonioni's "La signora senza camelie" a.k.a "The Lady Without Camelias" (1953) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Eureka Entertainment. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original Italian theatrical trailer; short introduction and a video interview with film critic and teacher Gabe Clinger. The disc also arrives with a lengthy booklet containing newly translated critical pieces about the film, excerpts with Michelangelo Antonioni, and a lengthy debate between the Italian director and critic Luigi Chiarini on the subject of the film. In Italian, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

The main protagonist in Michelangelo Antonioni's La signora senza camelie is a young woman from Milan named Clara Manni (Lucia Bose, Story of a Love Affair), who has come to Rome to become a movie star. She has already appeared in a low budget film and impressed local filmgoers with her beauty and elegance, but the early consensus amongst people in the industry is that she lacks the talent that would help her become a star.

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

Director Ercole (Gino Cervi, Indiscretion of an American Wife) has hired Clara for his latest film, which features a series of provocative lovemaking scenes. Clara is right in the middle of them, and the film's producer, Gianni Franchi (Andrea Checchi, Honor Among Thieves), isn't happy because he is planning to marry her. Gianni isn't an old-fashioned man, but the idea of other men bedding his future wife in front of the camera is driving him crazy.

The shooting of the film comes to a halt when Clara moves in with Gianni, who is reluctant to let her go back to Cinecitta. Eventually Ercole and Gianni team up again for a 'serious film', which they hope would provide Clara with a new image that will radically transform her career and make her a star. Unfortunately, the film bombs at the box office.

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

Director Antonioni's third feature film and second with Bose is as much about a young woman's quest for identity as it is about the transformation of the Italian film industry from the 1950s. There is a parallel story that focuses on the new 'vices' that have grown strong roots in it and began changing various expectations and standards. Early in the film, Ercole identifies them as politics, religion and sex.

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

The various debates between Ercole and Gianni about what constitutes a serious film are fascinating. The former passionately argues that the definition is meaningless as long as the film delivers big at the box office; the latter is a traditionalist with a great deal of respect for classic cinema who disagrees and eventually invests in a remake of Joan of Arc.
The only key character without a strong opinion on the subject - at least until the final third of the film - is Clara. Blinded by her desire to become a star, she sacrifices her freedom, and then realizes that success is possible but at a price that she cannot afford to pay.

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

The film's message is extremely cynical but incredibly honest. A single scene at the end ties the two stories and strips the entire film from its superficial glamor. For a few minutes Antonioni's camera observes Clara from afar and then leaves her behind with her thoughts.

Technically, La signora senza camelie is not in the same league with L'avventura, La note and L'ecclise, but it is just as far-reaching and accomplished. It is also an incredibly modern film that effectively debunks common myths and conventional wisdom about success, fame and fortune.

The title of the film, La signora senza camelie (The Lady Without Camelias), is a witty update of Alexandre Dumas' famous novel La Dame aux camellias (The Lady of the Camellias), which tells the tragic story of a beautiful Parisian courtesan.

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

La signora senza camelie Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Michelangelo Antonioni's La signora senza camelie arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Eureka Entertainment.

After years of waiting to get a decent English-friendly SDVD release of La signora senza camelie, which never materialized, we now have a beautiful new Blu-ray release. Quite unbelievable, really. Let's hope that Il Grido, L'Avventura, La notte, and L'ecclise are not too far behind. It would be a very, very special day when they are finally announced on Blu-ray.

La signora senza camelie looks absolutely beautiful. Fine object detail is exceptionally strong, clarity fantastic, and contrast levels a lot better than I expected them to be. Color reproduction does not disappoint either - the blacks are rich and well saturated while the variety of grays and whites are gentle and fresh. The short sequence with the Cafe (see screencapture #5), for instance, looks quite incredible. I did not see any traces of excessive noise reduction - there is a light but steady layer of well resolved grain. I also did not see background flicker, macroblocking patterns, or severe aliasing issues to report in this review. There are a few scenes where some extremely light edge-enhancement is trying to creep in (see screencaptures #18 and 19), but it is never distracting. In fact, in motion it is hardly even noticeable. There are also a few inherited frame skips, but it is fairly obvious that they have been inherited. To sum it all up, the presentation is exceptionally strong, and I could not be any happier with it. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

La signora senza camelie Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (with small portions of English). For the record, Eureka Entertainment have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.

The Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is exceptionally strong. It is quite obvious that it has been thoroughly cleaned up and stabilized. The dialog is crisp, clean, stable, and very easy to follow. There are no balance issues with Giovanni Fusco's music score either. Lastly, I did not detect any disturbing pops, cracks, hissings, or dropouts to report in this review.

La Signora senza Camelie (1953)

La signora senza camelie Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras

Gabe Clinger Introduction - a short introduction by film critic and teacher Gabe Clinger. In English, not subtitled. (10 min, 1080p).
Antonioni in the Fifties - Gabe Clinger discusses Antonioni's maturation as a film director. In English, not subtitled. (9 min, 1080p).
Trailer - In Italian, with optional English subtitles. (1 min, 1080p)

There was never a quality English-friendly SDVD release of Michelangelo Antonioni's La signora senza camelie. To have the film now on Blu-ray is an incredible treat. Bravo Eureka Entertainment. You cannot afford not to have La signora senza camelie (and Le amiche) in your collections, folks. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Disc Title: Signora.senza.camelie.edi
Disc Size: 23,527,898,969 bytes
Protection: AACS
BD-Java: No
BDInfo: 0.5.6

Total Video
Title Codec Length Movie Size Disc Size Bitrate Bitrate Main Audio Track Secondary Audio Track
––- ––– –––- ––––––– ––––––– –––- –––- ––––––––– ––––––––––-
00000.MPLS AVC 1:41:33 20.558.413.824 23,527,898,969 27,01 25.23 DTS-HD Master 2.0 668Kbps (48kHz/16-bit)


Disc Title: Signora.senza.camelie.edi
Disc Size: 23,527,898,969 bytes
Protection: AACS
BD-Java: No
BDInfo: 0.5.6


Name: 00000.MPLS
Length: 1:41:33 (h:m:s)
Size: 20.558.413.824 bytes
Total Bitrate: 27,01 Mbps


Codec Bitrate Description
––- –––- –––––-
MPEG-4 AVC Video 25231 kbps 1080p / 24 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1


Codec Language Bitrate Description
––- –––– –––- –––––-
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 668 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 668 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 512 kbps / 16-bit)


Codec Language Bitrate Description
––- –––– –––- –––––-
Presentation Graphics English 45,787 kbps

REGIA: Michelangelo Antonioni
SCENEGGIATURA: Michelangelo Antonioni, Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Francesco Maselli, Pier Maria Pasinetti
ATTORI: Lucia Bosé, Gino Cervi, Andrea Checchi, Ivan Desny, Alain Cuny, Monica Clay, Oscar Andriani, Anna Carena, Enrico Glori, Laura Tiberti, Gisella Sofio, Xenia Valderi, Elio Steiner, Luisa Rivelli, Nino Dal Fabbro, Nuri Neva Sangro, Mario Meniconi, Renato Navarrini, Rita Mara, Vittorio Manfrino
Ruoli ed Interpreti

FOTOGRAFIA: Enzo Serafin
MONTAGGIO: Eraldo Da Roma
MUSICHE: Giovanni Fusco
PAESE: Italia 1952
GENERE: Commedia
DURATA: 105 Min
Critica: "E' la seconda volta che il cinema italiano del dopoguerra prende se stesso a soggetto delle sue narrazioni. (…) Il primo fu Visconti con 'Bellissima' (1951) (…) Il secondo è Michelangelo Antonioni, il quale, con 'La signora senza camelie' offre una pittura meno vivida e scavata di quella del suo predecessore, ma, in compenso, ne precisa e determina il significato di costume. (…) Hanno nuociuto indubbiamente all'opera la fretta con cui è stata realizzata e lo schiamazzo che le si è fatto intorno." (F. Rocco, "Rassegna del Film", 13, aprile 1953).


La Signora senza Camelie (1953) | |

What are M2TS files?

As mentioned in the introduction, M2TS files are used primarily with Sony hardware. Camcorders make use of M2TS in the form of AVCHD, a recording format made specifically for camcorders. Some camcorder models from Canon also use M2TS files. These files are also present on Blu-ray disc compilations, therefore they are capable of storing quite a large amount of information and data tracks. Software called the "Picture Motion Browser" is distributed with Sony camcorders and can play these kind of files, but this article assumes you do not have that software.

The video content is typically high definition video content, but if ripped from a Blu-ray disc, playback might be quite tricky. Also, depending on the speed of your computer, playback might not be that good looking.

AVCHD playback

Playing M2TS files from AVCHD folders (BDMV and CERTIFICATE) can be achieved with some commercial software including Corel WinDVD 9 and CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra.

This is probably the safest method for playback, as these two software items are literally built for playing High-definition video content, particularly Blu-ray and AVCHD.

These software items are not free, they are both commercial solutions and are built to play movies from discs with compatible drives, therefore buying either item without a Blu-ray or HD DVD disc drive is probably a waste of money, you should check the other possible options below.

An alternative free approach - VLC Media Player

Tests that we carried out with a bunch of M2TS files showed that VLC Media Player could play back the content (as it supports H.264 video and AC3 audio directly without needing DirectShow filters), but we did run into some problems with several M2TS files. Nevertheless, it is software that is certainly worth having installed on your computer as it can play almost any multimedia file.

Blu-ray Players and the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) console

Blu-ray players and the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) console support playing AVCHD files, and the at least the PS3 supports playing M2TS files directly without authoring to AVCHD first.

If you have your M2TS files already authored as AVCHD (CERTIFICATE and BDMV folders) then you can learn how to burn it a DVD disc and play it back on PS3 or Blu-ray players in either of the following guides.

Huge Thanx to afterdawn for this guide

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