Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sophia Loren 4-Film Collection |
Neapolitan Carousel / Attila / Madame Sans-Gene / Sunflower
Actors: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
THE SOPHIA LOREN 4-FILM COLLECTION includes 4 films featuring the 1991 Honorary Academy Award(r) winner for lifetime contribution to film. See Sophia Loren like never before in limited edition collectible vinyl packaging -... more »
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Dennis P. Cannon | BROOKLYN, NEW YORK United States | 07/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I LIKE SUNFLOWER WHICH IS PART OF THE SOPHIA LOREN COLLECTION.
IT IS A WONDERFUL FILM AND THE MUSIC BY HENRY MANCINI OUT OF THIS WORLD.
WAS WONDERFUL SEEING THIS FILM HAVE WAITED A LONG TIME FOR THIS."
About the DVDs (Widescreen & Full Screen)
myxoplik | United States | 03/11/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"All the other reviews seemed to have covered the bases with regard to the films, so I just wanted to add some technical details. First of all, beware: the package is not entirely accurate. It says you get Carosello Napoletano "16x9 Widescreen", Attila "4x3 Full", Madame Sans-Gêne "16x9 Widescreen" and Sunflower "16x9 Widescreen". This is correct except that Carosello Napoletano is presented in 4x3 Full.
Don't worry about that, because I've done some research, and apparently 4x3 Full is the original aspect ratio. I've seen at least one copy of Carosello Napoletano "Widescreen" floating around (as well as Attila, which is presented here in 4x3), but after comparing some screenshots pixel-by-pixel, it's apparent that the "Widescreen" copies are just stretched versions of the original 4x3 which we get in this collection.
In other words, I think these versions are the proper ones, and you get everything the way it was originally shown in theatres with no cropping, matting or distortion. I hope this info is useful because I spent an entire morning comparing screenshots!
I don't think these have been remastered, so don't expect to see crystal clear sharpness like you'd come to expect with some of the more famous films that have been re-released. These seem pretty raw, but they're still very pleasing to watch.
The first two, Carosello Napoletano and Attila, can hardly be called Sophia Loren films because her roles were somewhat minor. But it's nice to have them for historical reference, since these were among the earliest films of her career. Carosello Napoletano is a beautifully-shot film with plenty of colourful sets & costumes. Unfortunately the source material is so old that the digital transfer is not as pleasing to the eyes as it could be. There's a bit of graininess and flicker on my (old CRT) television. Perhaps if you have an HD tv you might have better results.
The third film, Madame Sans-Gêne, is thoroughly enjoyable and shows us Sophia at the peak of her game as a forceful, energetic presence who has an impeccable sense of comedic timing and expression. Again, there are lots of colourful costumes and sets, this time in glorious widescreen, and the picture quality is a big improvement. This is my fave of the lot.
The final film, Sunflower, is an artistic masterpiece which shows us a more subdued and somber Sophia. There are some stunning images of Russia, showing both the grandeur and desolation of the country, and it's possibly one of the rare films that gives us an honest glimpse of Russia behind the iron curtain in the late 60s. Most of it is very flattering, but there's a haunting image of a long line of people, and it makes you wonder if this was one of the infamous "toilet paper queues" we read about in the 70s. This is a powerful film in both vision and content. The music by Henry Mancini is a real treat.
The Bonus feature is nice, showing interviews with Sophia's 2 sons and a few other industry figures. Don't be fooled by the widescreen clips of Attila and Carosello Napoletano shown in the bonus feature; those are the stretched versions.
All films are in their original language, Italian (except Madame Sans-Gêne in French) in 2-ch stereo, and they all have optional English subtitles as well as Spanish in a few cases. There are no alternate audio tracks (such as Dolby 5.1 or commentaries). No special features except the bonus featurette mentioned above. The packaging is really nice, though. You get a sturdy, puffy vinyl sleeve that holds the 3 DVDs in a fold-out box.
Despite the raw presentation (by today's standards), I'm really happy I bought this set. I have to echo what another reviewer already said: these aren't Sophias most well-known films, but it's great to own these obscure treasures in addition to your Sophia library. Actually I don't have a Sophia library other than this set, but after seeing these, I'm going to start collecting right away."