The Passion of Darkly Noon appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Within stylistic choices, this became a good presentation.
For the most part, sharpness satisfied. At times the image felt a little soft, but that appeared to stem more from photographic choices than issues with the transfer.
In any case, the movie usually looked well-defined, and I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects. Edge haloes remained absent, and I saw no print flaws.
In terms of palette, Passion opted for a heavy yellow overtone, with blues and greens thrown in as well. The hues came across as intended, so while they seemed less than appealing, they appeared to match the photographic choices.
Blacks felt dark and deep, while shadows offered appropriate clarity – within those stylistic decisions, of course. This was an unusual-looking film, but the Blu-ray rendered it well.
In addition, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 worked nicely for the material, and it opened up when necessary. Much of the film emphasized music and general atmosphere, but occasional scenes brought out more dynamic material.
These elements cropped up mainly via weather elements, though some other moments contributed active information as well. Gunshots used the soundscape well, as did the motion of vehicles. None of this felt rock-em sock-em, but the track used the audio a bit more than I might’ve anticipated.
Quality felt good, as speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other problems. Music sounded lively and rich.
Effects appeared accurate and full, with concise highs and deep lows. Though the nature of the material restrained the soundtrack’s impact, it still seemed like a good mix.
We get a mix of extras here, and these launch with an audio commentary from writer/director Philip Ridley. He provides a running, screen-specific look at the project’s origins and development, story and characters, cast and performances, inspirations and influences, sets and locations, themes and interpretation, visual design, costumes, cinematography, music, and other connected areas.
From start to finish, Ridley offers a splendid commentary. He touches on a wide array of topics, and he does so with engagement and wit. While I still don’t much care for Passion, this commentary allows me to appreciate what Ridley tried to do, so it succeeds.
An isolated score also can accompany the movie. It presents PCM stereo audio, so film music fans will enjoy it.
A few video pieces follow, and American Dreams provides a video essay. It spans 20 minutes, 43 seconds and provides notes from film historian James Flower.
He discusses aspects of Ridley’s films and other artistic works. Flower provides a useful examination of the director’s preferences and choices.
Next comes Eyes of Fire, a 22-minute, 14-second interview with cinematographer John de Borman. He chats about his career and his work on Passion during this informative reel.
Sharp Cuts lasts 16 minutes, eight seconds and brings notes from editor Les Healey. He covers his experiences on Passion and delivers another worthwhile piece.
Via Forest Songs, we find s 19-minute, 43-second interview with composer Nick Bicât as he looks at his score and connected domains. Expect a good chat that reveals interesting details.
A featurette from 2015, runs 16 minutes, 14 seconds and provides notes from Ridley, Bicât and actor Viggo Mortensen. They discuss aspects of Passion, with an emphasis on their particular experiences.
Some of this repeats from the commentary and prior programs, but the piece acts as a good overview. I especially like Mortensen’s discussion of his choice to remain mute through the shoot.
Three Pre-Shoot Music Demos appear: “Callie #1” (5:57), “Darkly” (11:34) and “Callie #2” (5:08). Fans of film scores should enjoy the chance to hear early versions of these themes.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we conclude with an Image Gallery. It offers 59 stills that cover movie elements and publicity. This turns into a decent compilation.
As an “early career” offering from a few notable actors, The Passion of Darkly Noon comes with novelty value. Unfortunately, its self-conscious oddness means it lacks substance. The Blu-ray comes with good picture and audio as well as a mix of bonus materials. Some will dig the film’s artsy pretensions, but it left me cold.