Quite a bizarre film to start with, Luis Buñuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire is told in flashbacks about a dysfunctional and violent romance between Mathieu (Fernando Rey) and beautiful flamenco dancer from Seville, Conchita (played by two actresses, Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina). Opening with Mathieu trying to distance himself from Conchita (already showing signs of abuse) by catching a train out of the city. Once caught up with him, he proceeds to pour a large bucket of water over her head. Believing that this has deterred her from boarding, she manages to sneak aboard. Mathieu’s fellow compartment passengers witnessed by his fellow passengers (including a mother and her young daughter, a judge and a vertically challenged psychologist) They inquire about his motivation for such an act and he then explains the history of his relationship with Conchita. Including a backdrop of terrorist bombings and shootings, That Obscure Object of Desire is for an acquired taste.
Presented in its original 1.66:1 OAR in a MPEG4-AVC encoded 1080p transfer, That Obscure Object of Desire is a delight to view on Blu-ray. The transfer compliments the cinematography with a natural filmic quality with no post processing to be seen. Colours are bright with no bleeding and the image is stable throughout. The daylight scenes are quite bold which holds up well. It has a few inherit faults due to the original print but these can be overlooked.
The disc carries 3 different audio options. It’s original French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and dubbed English and German DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. A very dialogue driven feature with little in the way of music or sound effects, Studio Canal have given us quite a solid audio mix which is crisp with little fault. Dialogue is clear throughout and what little ambiance or music is present, it doesn’t force itself over the dialogue. I found that the English dubbed audio seemed weaker though and does not match the quality of the French or German tracks when switching between the three.
Interview with Carlos Saura (12 min, 1080/50i) – A sit down interview with Spanish director Carlos Saura who recalls his friendship with Luis Buñuel. In Spanish, with English, French, and German subtitles.
The Arbitrariness of Desire(34 min, 1080/50i). – An interview with writer Jean-Claude Carriere who recalls his collaboration with Luis Buñuel on That Obscure Object of Desire, as well as their professional relationship. In French, with English and German subtitles.
Lady Doubles (36 min, 1080/50i). – An interview with Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina who recall their first impressions of Luis Buñuel and discuss the making of the film. In French and Spanish, with English, French, and German subtitles.
Portrait of an Impatient Filmmaker (16 min, 1080/50i) – A brief Featurette featuring the assistant director, Pierre Lary and cinematographer, Edmond Richard, explaining why Luis Buñuel decided to replace Maria Schneider with Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina after shooting of That Obscure Object of Desire had already begun. In French, with English and German subtitles
Another fine entry to the Luis Buñuel’s Blu-ray series, Studio Canal have really set their place in the market by releasing fine quality European films on Blu-ray