How would you like a stylish, beautiful late silent era production from France? With a new restoration and 4K scan on Bluray? Well, today is your day! L’Argent is on Blu and we’re taking a closer look.
Thanks to Flicker Alley for the review copy!
L’Argent was released in 1928 and stars Pierre Alcover but viewers will likely be more familiar with Metropolis veterans Brigitte Helm and Alfred Abel. Based on the novel by Zola, it’s an examination of greed and shenanigans as the stock market is manipulated, something that was all too topical in the 1920s. Further, the film boasts sumptuous designs and jazz age styles that will make you want travel back in time just to order one of everything.
As is typical for Flicker Alley, this Bluray-only release is loaded to the gills with extras, including two fine orchestra scores, one from the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and the other from Olivier Messot. The package also includes a booklet, documentaries on both the making of the film and its restoration, as well as the 1921 L’Herbier short film Prometheus Banker.
Here are some samples of the restoration:
This is a beautiful release that is sure to please anyone interested in L’Herbier, Zola, one of the film’s stars or devotees of the 1920s aesthetic. It would be an ideal gift for the movie geek who has everything.
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Is it a regular resolution bluray based on a 4K scan, or is the bluray also 4K?
Most bluray players are still incompatible with 4K resolution.
One reason why I am asking is that I would like to buy a region-free bluray player. However, I want to buy a device that can be used for a long time. I don’t think 4K is really needed for silents, but if the bluray industry will make a transition to 4K, it would stupid to buy a device that cannot play future blurays. On the other hand, region-free 4K players are still quite expensive (I don’t mean 4K upscaling, but true 4K).
This is a regular resolution Bluray, as far as I can tell. All the screencaps came out to the usual 1920×1080 with pillarboxes. I should note that this disc is labeled “regions A, B, C” on the back, so you should be able to play it on your non-North American player with no issues. I can provide an image of the region information, if you like.
Thank you for the information! My interest was more general than just this film. I have many Flicker Alley discs and I’m happy they are region free unlike some other US releases.
So 4K transition is not yet happening for silents. I’m totally satisfied with standard bluray resolution. My only interest is to get at some point a player that can play everything, but if I buy a region-free standard bluray, there is a risk that soon there will be lots of 4K stuff that are incompatible with my new player.
Hi Fritzi, Thanks for your review and for putting this film on our radar. I will look forward to catching this film sometime. 🙂
About two years ago I bought the only disc of this remarkable film that I could find that would play on my machines. The video quality is acceptable & it is accompanied by an intense & innovative piano score that works wonderfully with the film. But I do prefer orchestra scores & may have to ask for the Flicker Alley disc for Christmas.
The film is very absorbing & deserves to be ranked with La Roue, Napoleon, & Greed, the last of which which would make an interesting companion feature for L’Argent if one could sit for so long! Am I right in thinking that some of the same camera crew had been involved with Napoleon? It certainly seems that way, & I note that the main character at times assumes a “Napoleonic” stance: the Napoleon of finance who winds up the same way as the original.
I am not sure about the shared camera crew but I wouldn’t be surprised as there were a lot of swapsies going on. I am sure you will love this release because the image quality is absolutely pristine.
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