In the realm of Bernardo Bertolucci THE SHELTERING SKY, American naivety is framed as American vulnerability. When travellers Port and Kit Moresby (John Malkovich and Debra Winger) arrive in Algeria, its with a friend and without a plan. This slowly unravels after a sexual exploration seems to defuse into their dreams. Now the country they planned to flow through, becomes their nightmare.

Depicted beautifully, by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, that makes North Africa appear like barren dream. Paul Bowles world of the book is drier, harder and emotionally balanced. Bertolucci world is less caustic. Impassioned but he always excels at the sexual dynamic and the force of male psychology. Within this he ekes out a stunning performance from Malkovich. Give Winger range that she rarely is given chance to express and directs with rich imagery.

What Arrow have done with this is interesting. Very interesting. Its on the Academy label, makes sense, it is an art house film from an auteur director of note. They have used a HD presentation that looks a little tired and drained. They then use uncompressed stereo audio, which exemplifies the music of Morocco but bulges out on the score. This all said, it is an improvement on the DVD which stunk up the place.

The best 3 extras on the disc, are really all stuff that has floated around before. David Cairns & Fiona Watson essay is the only really good new extra. Andrew Sanders interview feels like a miss opportunity. The audio commentary is fluid and floats how a film gets made and why it gets completed.


  • High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Archival audio commentary with director Bernardo Bertolucci, producer Jeremy Thomas, and screenwriter Mark Peploe
  • Desert Roses (47 mins) – archival featurette
  • Brand new video essay by David Cairns & Fiona Watson
  • Brand new interview with art director Andrew Sanders
  • Image Gallery
  • Original Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original theatrical artwork

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kat Ellinger


Available to buy from ARROW

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