Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 5th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Italy / France, 1990
Director: Federico Fellini
Writers: Ermanno Cavazzoni, Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli
Cast: Roberto Benigni, Paolo Villaggio, Nadia Ottaviani, Marisa Tomasi, Angelo Orlando
BluRay released: October 30th, 2017 (UK), October 31st, 2017 (USA)
Approximate running times: 121 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 12 (UK), NR (USA)
Sound: LPCM Mono Italian
BluRay Release: Arrow Academy USA
Region Coding: Region A,B
Retail Price: $39.95 (USA) / £24.99 (UK)
The Voice of the Moon 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 The Voice of the Moon include, cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli (Once Upon a Time in The West, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom) and composer Nicola Piovani (The Perfume of the Lady in Black, Footprints).
When one discusses postwar Italian cinema and beyond, no director has left a more undeniable mark on Italian cinema, than Federico Fellini. He would create a body of work unlike anything that has come before or since. And where it had become all too common in Italian cinema for directors to gravitate to whatever genre was popular at the time. He would maintain a singular vision, that he never wavered from.
Content wise, The Voice of the Moon features many of the themes that have since become synonymous with the film’s Federico Fellini. Most notably religion, voyeurism and madness. The narrative is well constructed and the film is wonderfully paced as there are ample amount of eccentric characters for the protagonist to interact with.
Performance wise the entire cast are enchanting in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance being Roberto Benigni (Down By Law, Life Is Beautiful) in the role of Ivo Salvini, a man who has recently been released from a mental hospital. He delivers a whimsical that perfectly captures his characters state of mind.
Without a doubt, this film’s greatest asset is its striking visuals and how there is an emphasis in regards to artificiality. And not to be overlooked, is this film use of sound, which was reportedly all recorded in post-production. Ultimately, The Voice of the Moon is very satisfying swan song to one of cinema’s greatest auteurs.
The Voice of the Moon comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. 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 this release. Colors look accurate, black levels remain strong throughout, details look crisp, 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 throughout. It should be noted that this film was shot without sound and that all sound and dialog was add post-production. With that being said, this audio mix has all the hallmarks that one would expect from an audio track created in post-production.
Extras for this release include, an image gallery titled Felliniana Archive Gallery and an archival documentary titled Towards the Moon with Fellini (58 minutes 7 seconds, in Italian with English subtitles).
The extra titled Towards the Moon with Fellini features onset footage and comments from Federico Fellini and the cast.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and twenty-four-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Fellini’s Swansong written by Pasquale Iannone and information about the restoration / transfer. Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall The Voice of the Moon gets an excellent release from Arrow Academy.