Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bull Spears

Plenty of animals were harmed during the making of Francesco Rosi's 1965 bullfighting docudrama, THE MOMENT OF TRUTH. Rosi's film is a blunt depiction of the sport and viewers are not spared the intrinsic buckets of taurine blood.

The above still depicts the eponymous event, just before the central character -- torero Miguel Romero (Miguel Mateo) -- plunges his sword into the neck of the bull, declaring another victorious match. It's a move the film will show dozens of times and it never gets any less wince-inducing.

Gruesome stuff, to be sure, but the new Blu-ray (out on Tuesday from Criterion) of Rosi's previously unavailable film is savagely beautiful. Despite what what my frame grabs would indicate (I have no way of getting good images from Blus; the stills here are taken with my HD FlipCam aimed at my LED TV), the film has been cleaned of any noise/dirt/grain, the color is super-saturated, and Rosi's vivid images probably look better than they did when first projected forty-odd years ago. Better examples of the new transfer can be seen at DVD Beaver and Criterion's own site.

I have a more detailed review up at GreenCine this week.

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