La femme publique

 
 

Region 0 (USA) Limited Premium Edition - Mondo Vision
vs. Region 2 (France) - L.C.J. Éditions
vs. Region 2 (Italy) - Minerva Video
vs. Region 2 (Japan) - IVC

 

Details

 

 

DVD

R0 USA LPE
 

 

DVD

R2 France
 

 

DVD

R2 Italy
 

Disc(s)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)
1x compact disc

 

1x single-sided single layer (DVD5)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)

Running Time

 

Approx. 114 mins (NTSC)

 

Approx. 110 mins (PAL)

 

Approx. 109 mins (PAL)

Video

 

1.66:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 7.76 Mbps
NTSC 720x480

 

1.66:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: ?? Mbps
PAL 720x576

 

1.66:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 5.73 Mbps
PAL 720x576

Audio

 

French:
Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192 Kbps

 

French:
Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192 Kbps

 

Italian, French:
Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 448 Kbps

Subtitles

 

English

 

None

 

Italian (incomplete)

Extras

 

Disc 1:
- Audio commentary
- Andrzej Zulawksi interview
- 1984 pre-release trailer
- Image gallery

Disc 2:
- Original motion picture soundtrack CD

Additional extras:
- Individually numbered certificate (2,000 copies)
- 10 black and white reproductions of the original Japanese publicity photos
- Commemorative 48-page booklet

 

- Filmographies

 

- Italian trailer
- Biographies
- Filmographies

 

 

 

DVD

R2 Japan
 

 

 

 

 

 

Disc(s)

 

1x single-sided single layer (DVD5)

 

 

 

 

Running Time

 

Approx. 110 mins (NTSC) (PAL to NTSC standards conversion)

 

 

 

 

Video

 

1.66:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 5.31 Mbps
NTSC 720x480

 

 

 

 

Audio

 

French:
Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192 Kbps

 

 

 

 

Subtitles

 

Japanese

 

 

 

 

Extras

 

- Liner notes
- Biographies

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Captures

Example 1

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 2

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 3

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 4

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 5

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 6

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 7

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 8

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 9

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 10

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA LPE | R2 France | R2 Italy | R2 Japan

DVD Image Comparison

 

Comments

This is one of the more interesting comparisons I've done lately, primarily because all four versions that have been put to the test appear to have been taken from the same master. Of the four, the Japanese version by IVC, a PAL to NTSC video standards conversion with all the associated artefacts, immediately stands out as the worst. One step up is the Italian release from Minerva Video, which features a native PAL transfer. However, unlike the other native PAL version being compared here, the French release by L.C.J. Éditions, it has been subjected to a low pass filter, stripping out the finest layer of detail and rendering it quite diffuse in comparison.

Of the two remaining releases - the French and US versions - there really is very little difference in terms of still frame detail levels. At a pinch, I'd give a very slight edge to the French release, which has the added benefit of PAL's increased resolution. In movement, however, it is another story. The US disc, by Mondo Vision, not only trumps the French release in terms of compression but stands head and shoulders above the other two releases in that regard as well. As a result of this, any minor gains in terms of detail made by the French release become something of a moot point as most of it is lost in a sea of compression artefacts. Look, for example, at the painting on the far left in Example 7: in the US release, you can see the fine grain structure; in the French release (and, in fact, the other two versions as well), it's just mush. There is only a single instance in which the French release displays a clear gain in detail over its American counterpart: the shot displayed in Example 10 appears, on the US disc, to have been slightly filtered to ease the workload of the encoder in what is a decidedly difficult shot to compress.

Audio-wise, there are no appreciable differences in quality between the four releases, all of which include the original French mono mix in Dolby Digital 2.0 form. Unusually, the Italian release features a high (for 2-channel audio) bit rate of 448 Kbps, versus 192 Kbps for the other three releases, but there are no appreciable differences in terms of quality beyond the fact that the audio on the Italian release has been mixed at a slightly higher volume. Obviously, the US release, the only one to include English subtitles, will be the version of choice for English speakers. Likewise, it clearly trumps the other releases in terms of its extras - in the case, there is no competition.

- Michael Mackenzie