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Marguerite, a beautiful woman of affairs, falls for the young and promising Armand, but sacrifices her love for him for the sake of his future and reputation.
For more about Camille 2000 and the Camille 2000 Blu-ray release, see Camille 2000 Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on February 13, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Director: Radley Metzger
Starring: Nino Castelnuovo, Eleonora Rossi Drago, Daničle Gaubert
» See full cast & crew
Camille 2000 Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, February 13, 2013
Radley Metzger's "Camille 2000" (1969) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Arrow Video. The supplemental features on this release include the film's original theatrical trailer; audio commentary by director Radley Metzger and film historian Michael Bowen; restoration comparison; making of featurette; deleted and alternate scenes; and more. The release also arrives with a collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by Robin Bougie, as well as reversible sleeve featuring original and newly illustrated artwork by The Red Dress. In English, with optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free.
While visiting Rome, the handsome and wealthy bachelor Armand (Nino Castelnuovo, Rocco and His Brothers, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) meets the stunningly beautiful Marguerite (Daniele Gaubert, Milanese Story, Paris Does Not Exist). The two are instantly attracted to each other, but Marguerite is unable to break free from her excessive lifestyle.
Once Armand shows willingness to share the eccentric parties and wild orgies Marguerite enjoys, things begin to change. She warms up to him and he begins fantasizing about spending the rest of his life with her. However, Prudence (Eleonora Rossi Drago, Le Amiche, Violent Summer), Marguerite's best friend, warns Armand that he should be ready to experience disappointment.
As time goes by, Armand begins to understand why - Marguerite is addicted to sex and money, and loyal to Count de Varville (Philippe Forquet, In the French Style), a man who years ago saved her life. But during a romantic trip to the countryside, Marguerite vows to change her destructive habits and love only Armand. A few days later, however, she is confronted by Armand's father (Massimo Serato, Mermaid of Naples, Don't Look Now), a famous businessman convinced that Marguerite is after his family's wealth, who warns her to stay away from his son.
Radley Metzger's Camille 2000 is a stylish psychedelic take on the famous Alexandre Dumas fils novel La Dame aux Camélias. Like most of Metzger's films, it oozes a type of erotic energy which contemporary films simply cannot reproduce.
The lavish parties and orgies – which unlike the ones seen in Metzger's later films leave plenty to the imagination – are shot with attention to detail which at times rivals that observed in the films of Luchino Visconti (The Damned). Inside the villa (which was once the home of the great Gina Lollobrigida) where Marguerite resides there are theme rooms that look remarkable. The dresses, costumes and various accessories seen at the parties are also outstanding.
The progression of Marguerite and Armand's relationship is occasionally marred by random overly melodramatic scenes that make the film look somewhat inconsistent. In these scenes it is easy to understand what motivates the two lovers, particularly during the second half of the film after Marguerite is forced to make the important decision that alienates Armand, but the majority of their reactions look unnatural.
Elsewhere, however, the fantastic psychedelic atmosphere is so overwhelming that the melodrama becomes incredibly easy to tolerate. A similar effect is present in Lucio Fulci's cult thriller Una sull'altra a.k.a Perversion Story, which was released during the same year Camille 2000 was, 1969 - the plot inconsistencies are easier to absorb because of the film's terrific style.
The film is complimented by a superb soundtrack courtesy of the great Italian maestro Piero Piccioni, whose work is arguably as influential as that of the legendary Ennio Morricone. The superb "Chains of Love", "Easy Lovers", "Charms", and especially "Pearls" enhance the terrific 60s feel in the film exceptionally well. (Piero Piccioni has composed music for such films as Antonio Pietrangeli's La parmigiana, Alberto Lattuada's Mafioso, Sergio Corbucci's Minnesota Clay, Elio Petri's The 10th Victim, and the Italian version of Jean-Luc Godard's Le mépris, among others).
Camille 2000 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.33:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Radley Metzger's Camille 2000 arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British Distributors Arrow Video.
The high-definition transfers appears to have been sourced from the same master Cult Epics had access to when they prepared their Blu-ray release of Camille 2000 for the U.S. market - and this is certainly very good news.
According to information provided on the Blu-ray, the new master was prepared in 2011 from the original 35mm negative, with additional scenes taken from a 35mm interpositive print. The restorers also left the various minor scratches and dust specks in - so as to not to disrupt the grain structure - in order to preserve the original theatrical feel. I personally feel that some additional clean-up could have been performed, but given the film's history on the home video market the final result really is quite the revelation. There are still some very small clarity fluctuations, but depth and contrast stability are greatly improved. Color reproduction is also a lot more convincing. The macroblocking patterns from previous DVD releases is also missing. Lastly, there are no traces of excessive degraining or sharpening corrections. To sum it all up, while there is still some room for minor improvements, the new restoration is guaranteed to please anyone who has previously seen this most beautiful film on DVD. The upgrade in image quality is tremendous. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location. For the record, there is no problematic PAL pr 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu).
Camille 2000 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one standard audio track on this Blu-ray disc: English LPCM 2.0. For the record, Arrow Video have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they split the image frame and the black bar below it.
Unlike the Cult Epics, Arrow Video's release of Camille 2000 comes with a solid lossless audio track. While dynamic range is obviously limited, depth is certainly improved. Piero Piccioni's wonderful psychedelic soundtrack in particular benefits a great deal, but a few of the party sequences also sound better. The dialog is crisp and easy to follow. Some minor sync issues remain but you should not be concerned as they exist because a few of the European actors overdubbed their lines.
Camille 2000 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Note: All of the supplemental features on this release are perfectly playable on North American Blu-ray machines, including the PS3.
Camille 2000 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
There are a lot of favorite films that I've added to my library since the high-definition format was launched, but Camille 2000 is one of a few that I keep revisiting - Ennio Guarnieri's cinematography is quite incredible, while Piero Piccioni's soundtrack is one of the best that I've heard for a genre film during the years. The entire film is like a beautiful dream. This new Blu-ray release from Arrow Video uses a transfer that was sourced from the same 2011 restoration Cult Epics used for their release in the U.S., but it adds a lossless audio track. I think that it is the one to own. Consider adding Camille 2000 to your collections, folks. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Camille 2000 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Upcoming Radley Metzger Releases Detailed - January 25, 2013
British distributors Arrow Video have officially announced and detailed their upcoming Dual Format releases of Radley Metzger's Camille 2000 (1969), The Lickerish Quartet (1970), and Score (1974). The releases will be available for purchase online and in shops ...
• Arrow Video Announces More Titles for Release in 2013 - October 26, 2012
Next year, Arrow Video are planning to bring more genre films to Blu-ray. Officially announced and detailed are the following titles: Radley Metzger's Score and Camille 2000, Mario Bava's Black Sunday/I Vampiri and Lisa and the Devil, and Wes Craven's Deadly B ...
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