“Passion in the Desert” Blu-Ray Review
From Honoré de Balzac’s controversial short story comes the story of a young army officer who finds himself stranded in the Sahara desert. Left to his own devices, Augustin Robert (Ben Daniels, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Crown) would surely die…but after stumbling across mysterious ruins home to a wild leopard, man and beast form an inextricable bond. The mysteries of Egypt unfold in this mystical and lyrical journey that explores the bond between man and beast, an exotic and brilliant experience you will never forget.
For thoughts on passion in the desert, please see our discussion on The Video Attic:
Kino Classics presents passion in the desert with a pretty strong upgrade in the form of a new 1080p 1.85:1 transfer that isn’t rated as coming from a new master, but looks good overall despite the fact that it might need some work. There are odd moments where certain shots, presumably optical, suffer a rapid drop in quality, but overall it’s a still enjoyable transfer. The film shows instances of damage and dirt, as well as recurring fluctuations in density. The film’s overall color palette seems slightly muted, but I’m not familiar enough with the title to know if that’s inherent in the production or not. Despite this, the transfer exhibits vivid colors in locations that hit with good saturation.
Skin tones look a little pale and the presentation delivers fairly deep black levels that only start to crash a little in the darkest moments. There’s a noticeable slight improvement in fine detail that should please fans of the film, although some shots look sharper than others. Fortunately, there does not appear to have been any digital manipulation of the source. The transfer provides a pleasing and natural film grain, without any compression artifacts or other such digital anomalies. While a new scan is preferable, Kino Classics has given this one a significant upgrade over standard definition.
The Blu-Ray comes with a nice DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track that pretty much represents the movie throughout. The low amount of dialogue and background noise is portrayed in pleasant harmony with all the competing elements. All sound effects and music seem to be faithful to the original sound. This record maintains a capable sense of fidelity that is appreciated during the most active moments. Fans will notice the vibrancy and clarity of the soundtrack when certain moments are accompanied by music. Despite the strength of this score, nothing ever overpowers the dialogue or other relevant information. This track shows no damning instances of age-related wear, like hissing or popping. Optional English subtitles (SDH) are included for the feature film.
- Trailers: A three-minute trailer is planned for passion in the desert. There is also a trailer provided for OK !
passion in the desert is an easy movie to dismiss when you only hear the premise, but if you actually spend time with it, you’re greeted with something quite moving and poetic. Ben Daniels’ performance is quite fearless as he abandons all vanity to become a physical presence on screen in a way that would make many performers uncomfortable. There’s not a whole lot of action in the story, but the emotional transcendence that’s achieved makes this one worth watching if you’re at least mildly interested in meditative narratives. Kino Classics has delivered a new Blu-Ray with a pretty decent A/V presentation and next to nothing in the way of special features. Recommended
passion in the desert is actually available for purchase on Blu-Ray and digital.
Note: Images shown in this review do not reflect Blu-Ray image quality.
Disclaimer: Kino Classics has provided a free copy of this disc for review purposes. All opinions expressed in this review are the honest reactions of the author.