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(aka 'Hidden')

Directed by Michael Haneke
France / Austria / Germany / Italy  2005

A television presenter, Georges, starts to receive anonymous packages containing videos of himself with his family that have been secretly filmed from the street along with a number of violently disturbing sketches. As the content becomes more personal and he begins to suspect that he knows the perpetrator. However the police refuse to help as no direct violence has actually been made. George decides to take the matter into his own hands and discovers something that has disturbing results.

****

A master of the icy yet visceral shock, Austrian-born Michael Haneke often turns his formidably unpleasant imagination to the movie equivalent of a cruel prank. But in CACHE ("Hidden"), the subject matter is worthy of his nastiness: What first appears to be a subtly sadistic campaign of terror against one annoyingly smug, bourgeois French intellectual proves rooted in global discontents, national character and personal responsibility. Middle-age TV personality Georges (Daniel Auteuil), host of a literary roundtable program, lives with his wife, Anne (Juliette Binoche), and their 12-year-old (Lester Makedonsky) in a handsome apartment filled with books, art and cultured knickknacks. Cocooned in a world of brittle conversation and middle-class comfort, they're deeply unsettled when a videotape appears outside their front door, one that consists of a lengthy surveillance shot of their building. If it's a joke, neither Anne nor Georges can figure out the punch line. If it's a threat, they're both baffled by its nature and origin. A second cassette arrives wrapped in a childish drawing of a blood-spattered face, followed by more tapes and more bloody scrawls. The police say they can do nothing. But even before the arrival of a tape showing the country home where Georges grew up and his aging mother (Annie Girardot) still lives, it seems increasingly clear that the veiled message is directed at Georges. His peevish protestations of ignorance ring hollow, and during a visit with his mother, he alludes to "Majid" and some long-ago unpleasantness that they circumvent with practiced deference. Yet another tape, which prowls the shabby hallway of a low-income building before coming to rest on a battered apartment door, leads Georges to a charged confrontation with Majid (Maurice Benichou), an Algerian man his own age whom life has clearly treated less kindly. But Majid denies knowing anything about the matter, and Georges' decision to keep their encounter secret has serious repercussions at home when the stalker delivers a new tape showing their lengthy conversation; her husband's secretiveness has made her look at him with newly ungenerous eyes. Haneke's trademark perversity guarantees that while the drama between George and Majid comes to a brutal conclusion, the persecution doesn't.

Excerpt from Maitland McDonagh's review at TV Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 14th, 2005 - Cannes Film Festival

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DVD Comparison:

Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL vs. Artificial Eye - Region FREE - Blu-ray

DVD Box Cover

Also available in an NTSC DVD edition from Sony:

Distribution Artificial Eye Film Company - Region 2 - PAL Artificial Eye Film Company - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:53:12 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:57:53
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.30 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio - Blu-ray

Feature Size: 19,8 Gig

Disc Size: 22,937,496,452 bytes

MPEG-4 AVC Video, single-layered

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

DVD

Bitrate: 

Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)   DTS-HD Master Audio French 2005 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2005 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Michael Haneke interview by Serge Toubiana (25:26)
• Making of Hidden (31:50)
• Theatrical trailer (2:00)
• Filmographies

DVD Release Date: June 19th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio - Blu-ray

Feature Size: 19,8 Gig

Disc Size: 22,937,496,452 bytes

MPEG-4 AVC Video, single-layered

Edition Details:

• Michael Haneke interview by Serge Toubiana (25:26)
• Making of Hidden (31:50)
• Theatrical trailer (2:00)

Blu-ray Release Date: October 27th, 2008
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 1
4

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Artificial Eye - Blu-ray - November 08': A dramatic improvement that I am happy to say resides on a region-FREE Blu-ray disc. The transfer doesn't give away too much of its HDCAM roots - looking a shade glossy at times, but detail has some strikingly detailed moments. The image quality also exhibits some healthy depth. The feature takes up about 20 Gig of space and I see no digital manipulations to enhance the picture. Black levels are piercing and colors (especially skin tones) seem far more true.

Audio gets a DTS-HD Master bump and it is apparent in many scenes with both greater range and more subtleties in the mix.

Extras are duplicated (see description below of the 2 featurettes) and in the PAL format - meaning they will be inaccessible to most region 'A' player owners. We keep the trailer (it's not in HD - or are any of the extras) but lose the text filmographies.

We already endorsed the film and it looks vastly superior with a great new track. Strongly recommended!

****

 

ON THE DVD: For the most part this image looks excellent. It is possible that there is some black boasting, but the 1.78 anamorphic transferred colors and detail are top notch. At times objects in the background can appear out of focus but I can only assume this is how it was shot - I seem to recall a similar technique on Haneke's Code Unknown. Subtitles are well done but a shade high on the screen. Audio is clear and consistent.

Extras include an optionally subtitled Haneke interview where he discusses his intent to make the film a 'moral tale' with discussion of the behavioral aspects of his characters. He details certain areas of the film he intentionally left 'open' (without resolve). Also included are a 30 minute "Making of..." featurette that shows cast members discussing the film and deals more with the 'nuts and bolts' of production. A theatrical trailer and some text screen bios are included. Overall this is an exceptional DVD, which we will compare to the Region 1 edition as soon as we can.

I don't know if there is such a thing as a typical Haneke feature but his signature style and mise en scène seem imbedded in Cachè. Certainly previous themes of communication breakdown and its social relevance are evident. Another thought provoking piece of modern cinema from Haneke.

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus /  + Blu-ray Extras


 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

NOTE: This is a scene that is shot through a lesser video camera lens to give the impression of a recorded talk show.

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


More Blu-ray captures
 

 

 

 


DVD Box Cover

Also available in an NTSC edition from Sony:

Distribution Artificial Eye Film Company - Region 2 - PAL Artificial Eye Film Company - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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   CANADA

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