Saturday, July 16, 2022

The Sacred Spirit: Limited Edition – Arrow Video (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Spain/France/Turkey, 2021
Director: Chema García Ibarra
Writer: Chema García Ibarra
Cast: Llum Arques, Nacho Fernández, Rocío Ibáñez, Joanna Valverde

Release Date: July 18th, 2022 (UK), July 19th, 2022 (USA)
Approximate Running Time: 97 Minutes 30 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.60:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Spanish, LPCM Stereo Spanish
Subtitles: English
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £24.99 (UK), $39.95 (USA)

"A missing girl. A community in shock. Jose Manuel lives a quiet life. He works in his modest tapas bar, takes care of his elderly mother and attends weekly meetings of the Ovni-Levante, a group of devoted UFO enthusiasts who gather after hours at the office of a local estate agent to exchange information about extraterrestrial messages and alien abductions. When their leader dies unexpectedly, only Jose is left to know the cosmic secret that could alter the future of humanity. And only Jose knows what he must do." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Here’s the information provided about the transfer, "The High Definition master was supplied by Heretic."

The Sacred Spirit comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 45.6 GB

Feature: 28.4 GB

The source used for this transfer is in excellent shape, and it does a great job of retaining this film’s intended look. That said, colors, image clarity, and black levels are strong throughout.

Audio: 4.25/5 (DTS-HD 5.1 Spanish, LPCM Stereo Spanish)

This release comes with two audio options: a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Spanish and a LPCM stereo mix in Spanish. You can’t go wrong with either of these audio mixes. They both sound clear, balanced, and robust when they should. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.

Extras:

Extras on disc one include an image gallery (5 images), a theatrical trailer (1 minute 36 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), a section titled Uninterrupted TV Broadcasts, uncut TV clips, background television broadcasts shot especially for the film and presented here in full - Advert: Miguel Porras - Consultancy and Legal Services (35 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), News: Shoemakers Demonstration (1 minute 47 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), News: Explosion (1 minute 2 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), and Magazine: Easter Special (3 minutes 21 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), promotional videos in which the characters of The Sacred Spirit talk about themselves - Grandma (15 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Andrea (18 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Jose Manuel (8 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Mum (15 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), The Bad (15 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Raul (19 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Lady (19 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), UFO (18 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), and Raul Navarro (18 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Elche Vision, a series of six location reports about the making of the film, hosted by actress Lorena - Episode 1 (1 minute 40 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Episode 2 (2 minutes 50 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Episode 3 (1 minute 40 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Episode 4 (1 minute 51 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Episode 5 (1 minute 28 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), and Episode 6 (1 minute 22 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), behind the scenes, four short featurettes shot during production - Cinematographer and Production (2 minutes 28 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Director (2 minutes 33 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), Production Design (2 minutes 16 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), and Cast (2 minutes 25 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), an interview with writer-director Chema Garcia Ibarra titled Domestic Science Fiction (18 minutes 46 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles), a visual essay examining conspiracy, class and capitalism in The Sacred Spirit by Josh Nelson tilted Pyramid Scheme (20 minutes 59 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English subtitles for Spanish dialog), and a visual essay about the use of surveillance and Egyptology in The Sacred Spirit by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas titled Beyond the Eye of Horus (16 minutes 53 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles).

Extras on disc two include six short film directed by Chema García Ibarra, The Attack of the Robots from Nebula-5 (6 minutes 18 seconds, LPCM stereo Spanish with non-removable English subtitles), Protoparticles (7 minutes 15 seconds, LPCM stereo Spanish with non-removable English subtitles), Mystery (12 minutes 4 seconds, LPCM stereo Spanish with non-removable English subtitles), Uranes (59 minutes 14 seconds, LPCM stereo Spanish with non-removable English subtitles), The Disco Shines (12 minutes 12 seconds, LPCM stereo Spanish with non-removable English subtitles), and The Golden Legend( 11 minutes 7 seconds, LPCM stereo Spanish with removable English subtitles).

Other extras include reversible cover art, a fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork, a limited-edition slipcover (limited to first pressing) and a twenty-four page booklet (limited to first pressing) with cast & crew information, an essay titled Maximal Escape: Chema García Ibarra’s The Sacred Spirit written by Shelagh Rowan-Legg, an essay titled In Search of the Sacred Spirit written by Pablo Vergel, About the Transfer, and Production Credits.

Summary:

What starts off as a story about a group of individuals who believe in extraterrestrials transforms into something far more sinister than little green men.

Everything you need to know about the Sacred Spirit is laid out by a young girl who is doing an oral report for school. And without giving too much away, what she is discussing is... let’s just say that it has nothing to do with UFOs or extraterrestrials.

The Sacred Spirit is filled with social commentary. The themes explored in The Sacred Spirit include mysticism and capitalism, most notably the exploitation of workers. Also, other things that The Sacred Spirit explores are secret societies and conspiracy theories. Needless to say, The Sacred Spirit is a melting pot of genres and ideas.

The most surprising aspects of The Sacred Spirit are the performances, especially Llum Arques in the role of Veronica, a twin whose sister was kidnapped. She delivers a remarkable performance that is far beyond her years of experience. The Sacred Spirit is her first film. The rest of the cast are all very good in their respective roles.

From a production standpoint, there is not an area where The Sacred Spirit does not excel. The premise is well-executed, the narrative does a good job of letting key moments resonate, and an out of left field finale provides the perfect coda. Also, though the visuals are never flashy, they are filled with symbolic imagery. Another strength is a solid soundtrack that does a superb job of heightening the mood. Finally, The Sacred Spirit is an unusual film that quickly draws you in and stays with you long after its pivotal moment.

The Sacred Spirit gets an exceptional release from Arrow Video that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a lot of extra content, including short films also directed by Chema García Ibarra, recommended.








Written by Michael Den Boer

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