|1||The Chelsea Girls||3:14:36|
Raro Video's release of Andy Warhol's "Chelsea Girls" is quite expensive and hard to get, but worth every penny. This beautifully designed edition presents the film in its original split screen form. "Chelsea Girls" consists of 12 half-hour episodes and this disc shows them side-by-side as according to the instructions of the Museum of Modern Art and the Andy Warhol Foundation. Now the choice of which episodes are juxtaposed which each other (as well as which is run with sound) was always left to the projectionist. Here we get juxtapositions that work very well with each other and alternate soundtracks in the right moments.
The image quality of Raro's release is very good, while not quite stupendous. Considering that "Chelsea Girls" was shot on 16mm, the overall job is a fine one, even though I'm sure that an official release by the Warhol Foundation would improve on this. Still we can be happy to get fine contrasts, a good amount of detail and a relatively sharp image. Warhol plays around a lot with focus, light and (in the latter segments) color and so some of the distortions are intentional.
The English soundtrack is in 2.0. Dialogue is mostly audible, even though there are some moments when it drowns a bit in background noise. A supplement which I applaud are the optional English and Italian subtitles, which help in some of the scenes were dialogue is more difficult to hear.
The film itself is featured on the dual-layered first disc, whereas the single-layered second disc is filled with fascinating bonus material. We actually get a complete second movie here, Jonas Mekas' "Scenes From the Life of Andy Warhol", which is a brilliant and very moving film in its own right. There is also a so-called "videothing" by Enrico Ghezzi (actually a video essay), as well as interviews with the Italian Warhol experts Achille Bonito Oliva and Mario Zonta, plus a video in which co-director Paul Morrissey interviews avant-garde veteran Jonas Mekas.
Another much appreciated extra is a thick bi-lingual booklet featuring writing by Silvia Baraldini and Mario Zonta, illustrated with many beautiful stills from the movie.
Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 3:14:36 (4% PAL speedup)
Video 16:9 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.34 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
Audio :English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles :English, Italian