Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 28th, 2018
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1978
Director: Federico Fellini
Writers: Federico Fellini, Brunello Rondi
Cast: Balduin Baas, Clara Colosimo, Elizabeth Labi, Ronaldo Bonacchi, Ferdinando Villella, Franco Javarone
BluRay Release Date: February, 12th, 2018 (UK), February, 13th, 2018 (USA)
Approximate running time: 72 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: PG (UK), NR (USA)
Sound: LPCM Mono Italian
BluRay Release: Arrow Academy USA
Region Encoding: Region A,B
Retail Price: $34.95 (USA) / £19.99 (UK)
Orchestra Rehearsal was co-written and directed by Federico Fellini whose other notable films include, La Dolce Vita, 8 ½ and the ‘Toby Dammit’ segment from Spirits of the Dead. Key collaborators on Orchestra Rehearsal include, cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno (The Leopard, The Stendhal Syndrome) and composer Nino Rota (A Quiet Place to Kill, The Godfather).
Though this film’s narrative takes on a quasi-documentary. The end result, is film that features all the ingredients that have since become synonymous with Federico Fellini.
The film’s opening set up, revolves around the musicians discussing their instruments. The middle section of the film, shift the focuses on the musicians and their revolt. With film’s final act providing a very satisfying conclusion to the events that have just unfolded.
Through the use of music, this film uses the orchestra as a metaphor about society. With harmony being achieved, when everyone works together for a singular goal. And anarchy regaining supreme, when individuality becomes each character’s focus.
From a production standpoint, this film’s premise is superbly realized and there is a deliberate momentum to the events that unfold. The visuals are another area where this film excels. And without a doubt, this film greatest asset is Nino Rota’s pitch perfect score.
Orchestra Rehearsal comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The 2k transfer created for this release was sourced from a brand-new 2K restoration from original film elements, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release. Details look crisp, colors and flesh tones look accurate, grain looks natural and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in Italian and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The audio sounds, clean, clear and balanced.
Extras for this release include, an image gallery titled Felliniana Archive Gallery, a visual essay on the film by Fellini biographer John Baxter titled Orchestrating Discord (23 minutes 10 seconds) and an interview with film scholar Richard Dyer, who discussed Nino Rota and Orchestra Rehearsal (20 minutes 43 seconds).
Topics discussed in the visual essay include, background information about Orchestra Rehearsal, Federico Fellini’s and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Richard Dyer include, composer Nino Rota and Federico Fellini’s creative process, Orchestra Rehearsal’s score and his thoughts about the film.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and a twenty-four-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled In a Nutshell written by Adrian Martin, an essay titled Orchestra Rehearsal: In the Picture written by Tony Mitchell and information about the restoration / transfer. Overall Orchestra Rehearsal gets a solid release from Arrow Academy.
Note: This film is also being released by Arrow Academy on DVD.