Film Daten

Titel:
Flavia the Heretic
Originaltitel:
Flavia, la monaca musulmana
Land & Jahr:
Italien / Frankreich 1974
PAL-Laufzeit:
96:04
NTSC-Laufzeit:
101:04
Regie:
Gianfranco Mingozzi
Darsteller:
Florinda Bolkan
Mariá Casares
Claudio Cassinelli
Anthony Higgins
Spiros Focás
Diego Michelotti
Raika Juri
Jill Pratt
Franca Grey
Laura De Marchi
Eduardo Filipone
Ciro Ippolito
Carla Mancini
Luigi Antonio Guerra
Giuseppe Pertile
Alternativtitel:
• Castigata - Die Gezüchtigte
• Flavia - Leidensweg einer Nonne
• Nonne und der Freibeuter, Die
• Nonnen bis aufs Blut gequält
• Flavia
• Flavia la défroquée
• Flavia the Rebel Nun
• Flavia, Priestess of Violence
• Heretic, The
• Muslim Nun, The
• Rebel Nun, The
Weitere Infos:
IMDB  OFDB

DVD Daten

DVD Cover - X-Rated
Label:
X-Rated
Regionalcode / Norm:
2 / PAL
Bild / Zeit:
1.78:1 / 96:04
Sprachen/Ton:
Deutsch - DD 1.0
Englisch - DD 1.0
Untertitel:
-
Extras:
  • Trailer
  • Bildergalerie
  • Entfernte Szene
  • Deutscher Originalanfang
  • Italienisches Originalende
  • Anfangsszene ohne Credits
  • Trailer: Die Nonne von Verona
  • Trailer: Der Nonnenspiegel
  • Bonus-DVD mit dem kompletten Soundtrack

DVD Daten

DVD Cover - Synapse Films
Label:
Synapse Films
Regionalcode / Norm:
1 / NTSC
Bild / Zeit:
1.78:1 (anamorph) / 101:04
Sprachen/Ton:
Englisch - DD 1.0
Untertitel:
-
Extras:
  • Interview mit Florinda Bolkan
  • Bildergalerie
  • Booklet mit Liner Notes

Flavia the Heretic

Review

Flavia the Heretic - Logo

(Ein Review von Carsten Henkelmann)

I skipped the part of the synopsis and my view of the movie. In the following paragraphs I will only write about the differences between the dvds by Synapse and X-Rated to fulfill several requests from english speaking moviefans. I hope my english is not too bad. If you are unfamiliar with the movie take a look at these fine reviewsites:

Mondo Digital: http://www.mondo-digital.com/flavia.html

DVD Drive-In: http://www.dvddrive-in.com/reviews/e-h/flaviatheheretic197476.htm

Monsters At Play: http://www.monstersatplay.com/flavia.shtml

There were some controversaries about the dvd releases by Synapse in USA and X-Rated in Germany. X-Rated announced that they got access to the world longest version of the movie and that they can offer material not available to Synapse. Nothing special so far, you heard that several times from some german studios. But then they posted in a german board that they got information that Synapse is going to release a version cut by 2 minutes and that Synapse apologised for it in american boards. Synapse was of course not amused and disclaimed X-Rated's statement as completely nonsense and blamed them to bash the Synapse release in public to make a higher profit. The final conclusion was that X-Rated spread a rumor they got told on a public market which nobody verified. To this point none of both dvds were even released! To bring some light into this topic I took both releases and compared them. To take the final word ahead nearly everything X-Rated told was overstated. But fans of the movie have to make a hard decision nevertheless which dvd to take. Both releases have their advantages and disadvantages and which version you buy is dependent on your personal favors and what is more important for you.

Flavia the Heretic - ScreenshotFlavia the Heretic - Screenshot

First I'll pay attention to the cut/uncut topic. For this comparison I watched the Synapse disc three times and the X-Rated dvd two times. I couldn't see any difference between the prints. If there is a millisecond more or less in one of the versions please give me a hint where to find it. So both dvds are uncut. But with one restriction: if you judge it very hard the X-Rated print is "cut". Not in the movie itself, there everything is fine. But the Synapse print goes black after the end credits and you can listen to the final score which is played completely to its end for a minute and some seconds. On the X-Rated dvd the score is faded out 3 seconds after the end credits are through. So there is a difference of one minute. Mathematically speaking: the Synapse transfer has a running time of 101:04 minutes in NTSC. X-Rated has 96:04 minutes in PAL, both times taken from the first frame of the movie until the point when the music is completely silent. If you take 4% from the NTSC running time to get to the PAL time you get a little over 97 minutes PAL. And this difference of one minute is dispositional to the fast fading of the last score on the X-Rated dvd.

Now I take a look on the transfers itself. Both dvds show the movie in 1.78:1 aspect ratio even when the X-Rated cover states 1.85:1. The main difference is the anamorphic enhancement on the Synapse disc. In a direct screen comparison the Synapse picture is noticeably sharper, even on my non-widescreen tv, has the stronger colors and deeper black levels. But there is a noticable Edge Enhancement the X-Rated disk is missing. But the Synapse print has lesser picture damage and white spots. This doesn't mean the X-Rated transfer has to be avoided. Besides the missing anamorphic enhancement you get the best picture I've seen on a X-Rated dvd so far. The transfer was taken by themselves and not converted from a NTSC source as they made it sometimes in the past. But in direct comparison X-Rated has to take a step behind Synapse. For your own impression I took some screenshots from both dvds. But attention: the loading time can be very long!

Screenshots Synapse - X-Rated

Flavia the Heretic - ScreenshotFlavia the Heretic - Screenshot

But there is one big difference. By reasons unknown to me the Synapse disc presents the beginning and the end credits in a "windowboxed" form. The picture was scaled down and placed in the middle of the screen. In addition to that it was matted on the sides so picture information gets lost. X-Rated shows the credits in its full size and without mattings. I don't think that Synapse made this by themselves and that it was already done on their master and i can't see any practical reason besides that the credits don't get cut off by the overscan of tvs. I don't know if this is intended by the director. I took some expample shots and if you take closer look you can see - especially in the third picture - that small areas in the X-Rated print are brighter than the main part. This could be a sign of markings for a possible masking. On the left side it's identical to the matted part of the Synapse version, on the right it seems that there was more picture information matted. (Addition: Synapse postet some information about this in a forum. Look at the end of this text for more information.)

Credits Synapse - X-Rated

And now to the sound. None of the dvds offers the original Italian track so apparently there is no clear winner. The english monotrack on the Synapse disk is free from hiss and distortion and left nothing to criticise, dialogs are easy to understand. The X-Rated dvd is something different. The english track has some noise but not in disturbing dimensions. But oddly it has some sort of reverberation which is clearly evident right at the beginning when you hear a crackling fire. Even Agathas and Flavias walk in the convent during one scene sounds if they are in a big cathedral. It might be that I noticed it because I have a direkt comparison to the Synapse sound. The german monotrack is fine. But when the movie was first released in Germany it was cut. So there is no complete german dubbing present. In the non-dubbed scenes you hear the englisch dub and german subtitles are shown. Luckily they are optional and not burned into the print but not complete and translate only what is really necessary.

Flavia the Heretic - ScreenshotFlavia the Heretic - Screenshot

Regarding the extras there is nothing in common between those two releases. Synapse took the effort to interview main actress Florinda Bolkan who tells in almost 12 minutes her view of the role, why she took the role and some details about the production. Because this interview was recorded in a coffee bar there are some distracting noises from outside. The recording is very bright too. The only other extra is a stills gallery of promotion material and production shots. Surprisingly here are more german motives than on the X-Rated dvd from Germany. Some of the productions shots are quite interesting as they show scenes not used in the final movie. Liner notes by Nathaniel Thompson are provided in a small booklet where also a chapter list is printed.

X-Rated seems to offer more bonus materials but only on the first look. Regarding the content it delivers nothing of importance or interesting bits. Besides the trailer (which looks somehow own-produced) there are the original german credits (with the title "Nonnen bis aufs Blut gequält", loosely translated: "Nuns tortured to their blood"). Than you have the original italien end credits with a complete cast and running over the full length of the final score. Next are the start credits again but without any letters printed on it, scenes only. Nice to see but needless. The picture gallery shows only a few motives and some are shown several times but with another area zoomed in. At least there are trailers of the two other movies released in X-Rated's "Nunsploitation" series called Die Nonne von Verona (Le Monache di Sant'Arcangelo) and Der Nonnenspiegel (Storia di una monaca di clausura). The "Deleted Scene" should habe been called "Deleted Snippet" because it takes just one second and offers nothing of importance. It's just one second more of Livias marching off by two other sisters to Flavias father, right after the horse castration scene. That's all.

Flavia the Heretic - ScreenshotFlavia the Heretic - Screenshot

The real winner on the X-Rated dvd is the addition of the complete soundtrack on a second dvd. But there are two points to criticise: first, I would have prefered a real audio cd and second, the extra dvd was not necessary. Both dvds are one-layered DVD-5 discs so one double-layered DVD-9 could have taken the movie, all the extras and the soundtrack. I don't think that two DVD-5 are cheaper than one DVD-9 (if I'm wrong I'm open to correct myself). Besides these flaws the presentation of the soundtrack is quite fun. When you insert the disc you will be asked if you want to play the soundtrack. If you select "No" the disc stops right away. If you take "Yes" you see a starting record player, the needle hits the vinyl and the soundtrack starts (at last a replacement for your open fire dvd...). This is truly original. Alternatively you can select individual tracks.

As a final statement I can only tell that there is no definitive conclusion which dvd to buy. Synapse has the better (anamorphic) picture but windowboxed credits, a cleaner englisch track and the supplements with the most information value. The picture on the X-Rated DVD is not as good and lacks anamorphic enhancement but has the full picture information in the credits. The englisch track is not without it flaws but additionally there is the (uncomplete) german dubbing track. Besides the complete soundtrack the extras are nice supplements but deliver nothing informative. Which dvd you buy you must decide for yourself. I prefer the Synapse DVD because of the better technical aspects but the soundtrack dvd by X-Rated makes that package attractive too. It seems that die hard fans have to get both.

For an additional comparison between take a look to the german website Webtor2K: http://www.webtor2k-dvd.de/reviews/flavia/flavia.html

Additional information 06-13-2003

Don May jr., Head of Synapse Films, postet in the Moebius Home Video Forum the following interesting statements:

Zitat

There ARE two complete soundtrack 'tracks' on the Synapse DVD if you listen...
On not only the MAIN MENU, but also on the SPECIAL FEATURES MENU, if you let the music play out on the menus, we included two full-length complete cuts of music from the original soundtrack. Each menu has one track that plays completely through, in stereo, I might add. The movie was downmixed to mono for theatrical release back in the day.

As far as the windowboxed credits are concerned... this new anamorphic transfer was given to us, but the credits were indeed REALLY outside the NTSC title-safe area. We windowboxed and moved them in so that the credits would be visible on most televisions. I honestly don't know WHY the credits were that way (and the main feature is pretty dead on the same ratio as the other release)... that's just the way the masters were like when we got them. Weird.

Also, we did do a lot of audio restoration on the soundtrack to the film, as well as a bit of Digital Restoration (like we did with BLUE SUNSHINE) to clean up the picture, too. I spent a few extra bucks to make the audio much cleaner and that's why there is such a difference between our disc's audio compared to the German one.

Autor: Carsten Henkelmann
Film online seit: 11.06.2003
Letzte Textänderung: 06.07.2004

© 1998 - 2017: Sense of View / Carsten Henkelmann