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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Hate" )

directed by Mathieu Kassovitz
France 1995

When he was just twenty-nine years old, Mathieu Kassovitz took the international film world by storm with La haine (Hate), a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically in the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly whiling away their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui)—a Jew, an African, and an Arab—give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their social marginalization slowly simmering until they reach a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, La haine is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis.

***

With ”La Haine”, director Mathieu Kassovitz illustrates the dichotomy, that exists between people from the projects outside of Paris and those from the outside. By society and topography seen as losers, there is little tolerance, acceptance nor understanding from either side, which leads to instant aggression, to hate, hence the title.

According to Kassovitz, who is a well educated middleclass Parisian Jew, this pattern of behavior can be found everywhere, in the US, the Germany, in the UK, hence, what he attempts to describe is a universal situation of a society on a self-destructive path. He illustrates this path of society by the story of a man falling down from a tall building; As he passes each floor, he says, “so far, so good”.

The approach Kassovitz takes is to illustrate the projects as a village, isolated from “society”, with its own laws. The “isolation” is a reaction against the attempt from the authorities to control the projects, so while it may seems strange, that the people will burn down, for instance, a gym, it is because it was financed by the authorities. The message is, we don’t need your help or hands down.

The story takes place over a day, where each “chapter” is marked by an intertitle clock. We follow the three friends, Vinz, Said and Hubert, their bumming around and their trip to Paris. There is little plot, but more a series of situation which illustrate the situation the film notes its motifs upon.

In order to film in the projects, Kassovitz, the production team and the actors, moved into the projects and lived there for three months prior to the shooting and during the three months of actual shooting, in order for those living there to get to know them. Many of the participants in the film are non actors. This gives the film a documentary feel, which is stressed by its black and white photography. Likewise, many of the situations in the film were written out of real events. As such, “La Haine” is fictionalized fact.

With the growing following of Le Pen in France, and the anti-Semitism and anti-immigration that follows, “La Haine” is still actual, and as long as society makes an active choice of making certain groups into outcasts, supported by official politics, then the situation will only get worse. Few films are as timeless and powerful as this.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 1995 (Cannes Film Festival)

Reviews          More Reviews          DVD Reviews

Comparison: 

Optimum (SE - 10th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

1) Optimum (SE - 10th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) Criterion (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

We suspect the Optimum is the same transfer but the French Universal Studio Canal Video Blu-ray which also has English subtitles BUT is Region FREE!:

Distribution

Optimum Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection - Spine # 381

Region 1 - NTSC

Optimum Home Entertainment

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection - Spine # 381

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:33:31 (4% PAL speedup) 1:38:18 1:37:31.845 1:37:50.906

Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.67 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.67 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 16,211,766,560 bytes

Feature: 16,030,666,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.94 Mbps

Codec: VC-1

1.85:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,233,958,646 bytes

Feature: 25,346,500,608 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate: Optimum

Bitrate: Criterion

Bitrate: Optimum Blu-ray

Bitrate: Criterion Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)  French (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)  DTS-HD Master Audio French 1932 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1932 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio French 3419 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3419 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2122 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2122 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English (fixed) English, none English, none English, none

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Mathieu Kassovitz
• Behind the scenes 1 (6:40)
• Behind the scenes 2 (5:50)
• Scenes in colour (6:13)
• Trailer
• Trailers for other releases

DVD Release Date: September 27th, 2004
Keep case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

 

Edition Details:
• New English-language audio commentary by Kassovitz
• Video introduction by Jodie Foster
• Ten Years of "La haine," a new documentary that brings together key cast and crew a decade after the film’s landmark release
• Video featurette on the film’s banlieue setting, including interviews with sociologists Sophie Body-Gendrot, Jeffrey Fagan, and William Kornblum
• Behind-the-scenes footage shot during the film’s production
• Deleted and extended scenes, each featuring a new video afterword by Kassovitz
• Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos
• Theatrical trailers
• Liner notes essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau and an appreciation by acclaimed filmmaker Costa-Gavras

DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2007
Double standard Transparent Keep case

Chapters 21

Release Information:

Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 16,211,766,560 bytes

Feature: 16,030,666,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.94 Mbps

Codec: VC-1

 

Edition Details:
• none

Blu-ray Release Date: August 17th, 200
9
Standard (thicker UK)
Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

 

1.85:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,233,958,646 bytes

Feature: 25,346,500,608 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• New English-language audio commentary by Kassovitz
• Video introduction by Jodie Foster
• Ten Years of "La haine," a new documentary that brings together key cast and crew a decade after the film’s landmark release
• Video featurette on the film’s banlieue setting, including interviews with sociologists Sophie Body-Gendrot, Jeffrey Fagan, and William Kornblum
• Behind-the-scenes footage shot during the film’s production
• Deleted and extended scenes, each featuring a new video afterword by Kassovitz
• Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos
• Theatrical trailers
• Liner notes essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau and an appreciation by acclaimed filmmaker Costa-Gavras

Blu-ray Release Date:
May 8th, 2012
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 20

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION Criterion Blu-ray - April 2012: Well, the technicals support the Criterion with a higher file-size and bitrate. But it tends to look a shade darker maybe even greenish. Looking very closely the Criterion is smoother with the Optimum showing a few light digital artifacts. Overall not a heck of a lot of difference for those less-picky - very few would notice disparity in playback but Criterion's dual-layering and more than 50% higher bitrate will get the, obvious, nod.

The Criterion track is technically more robust that a discerning ear would notice. It has a bit more crispness and depth in the separations - but quite minor in the larger scheme. The Criterion has optional English subtitles and their Blu-ray is region 'A'-locked.

Extras duplicate the 2007 DVD with the commentary, Ginette Vincendeau liner notes essay, video introduction by Jodie Foster and other supplements (see below).

Powerful film and Criterion appear to have produced the definitive Home Theater release - an easy recommendation. 

***

ADDITION Optimum Blu-ray - August 2009: I don't know what Optimum's motivation is here. Why are they releasing puny, single-layered, bare-bones Blu-rays? with none of the solid extras of their own DVD edition... and they have region-locked it to 'B' when there is a comparably serviceable region FREE Blu-ray already available? They certainly aren't maximizing the format capabilities with a 16 Gig transfer. While the image and audio quality is superior than any of the DVDs compared below - especially in the contrast department - I don't know that it's enough to be bothered picking up - and most likely, if individuals were inclined - they would have already bought the Region FREE French edition HERE that also has English, and other, subtitle options.

Personally, I'd probably still lean to the Criterion with its bountiful supplements or, if you must own this in 1080P - the French hi-def release.

Gary Tooze

***

ADDITION: Criterion - March 07': Short story on the image - the Criterion is superior on every front. It is sharper, much better contrast and even more information in the frame. The Optimum has a slim black border circumventing the frame limiting the horizontal resolution but the Criterion is tight to the frame edges. Criterion's subtitles are removable (unlike the Optimum) and are far less intrusive. Both DVD editions offer audio in both 2.0 and 5.1 flavors.

NOTE: There is a Finnish Two disc set from Universal with subtitle options in Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech and Polish - audio in French DTS, DD 5.1 DD 2.0 and a Spanish DD 2.0 DUB. One screen capture is compared below. It looks a shade brighter than the Criterion but may have some very minor edge enhancement -Thanks Per-Olaf! who says - "The film is very grainy, and I think it's intended to achieve a documentary style. It seems that both Optimum and Criterion have tried to remove the grain from the image and both have ended up with a soft(er) image. The Finnish Universal master-tape is from Studio-Canal, and it seems to be a port from the French DVD (that doesn't have English subs).".

I have not heard the Optimum commentary (nor the French) but Criterion state that their commentary is a new one - recorded specifically for them in 2006 in Paris. Director Kassovitz pulls no punches and speaks quite frankly about the politics of the project, production details, people involved and the impetus for the film. He makes comments about the current state of France - with regard to a potentially fascist leaning government - speaking his displeasure as the voice of many French citizens.  His accent is not harsh and his English is fully understandable. He remarks how he is a Criterion fan owning many of their LaserDiscs from years gone by. He seems proud to have his film produced onto DVD by them.

Jodie Foster gives an articulate, heartfelt 15 minute introduction. She is wonderful to listen to - this is a highly intelligent person detailing why she got involved in the distribution of the film to the US. She gives a brief overview of the narrative from her personal standpoint.

Disc 2 is stacked with supplements - most notably a 1 1/2 hour documentary entitled Ten Years of "La haine". It pulls together some of the backstory details of the project with some archive news footage and vital comments. It is very well done and I really enjoyed watching it. There is much more including 4 deleted scenes and 4 extended scenes, a short featurette on the making of a scene and another on preparation for shooting. The disc 2 digital supplements have optional English subtitles.

Included also is a 24-page liner notes booklet with black and white photos. It contains an essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau and a 2-page appreciation by acclaimed filmmaker Costa-Gavras.

Criterion have done it again with an entirely complete package of an important film experience - both educating and enlightening. It is a powerful and ultimately eviscerating cinematic pleasure that Criterion have rendered expertly to digital. Strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

***

On the Optimum: The new digital remastering is simply stunning. Complete flawless black and white, with deep blacks and crisp details. It simply looks great. The DVD comes with the original stereo / mono mix (Kassovitz recorded certain passages in mono to pinpoint the situation on screen) and a newly mixed 5.1 DD track.

As additional material there first is an audio commentary by Kassovitz. This is a newly recorded commentary in English and how much it resembles the commentary on the French DVD I don’t know. Kassovitz goes into great detail describing the background for the film, the situation in France, the acting and production. He obviously has a lot to say, but at times he does stray of on a tangent. Nevertheless, this is a very informative commentary, which only adds to the already impressive film.

Following this, there are two short “behind the scenes” featurettes, where we are taken behind the scenes, and excerpts in colour, so one can see how the film was recorded. Finally we get the trailer.

The only negative comment for this DVD are the subtitles. They are fixed, which while practical, still are intrusive, if one wishes to watch the film without them.

 - Henrik Sylow


Menus

 

(Optimum Home Entertainment (SE - 10th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)
 

 
 

 

Criterion - Disc 2

 

 

 

 


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

Subtitle sample

NOTE: Not exact frame

 

1) Optimum (SE - 10th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Universal (Finland) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Optimum (SE - 10th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum (SE - 10th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum (SE - 10th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum (SE - 10th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion Blu-ray

Sound:

Criterion Blu-ray

Extras: Criterion / Criterion Blu-ray

 

Box Cover

 

We suspect the Optimum is the same transfer but the French Universal Studio Canal Video Blu-ray which also has English subtitles BUT is Region FREE!:

Distribution

Optimum Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection - Spine # 381

Region 1 - NTSC

Optimum Home Entertainment

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection - Spine # 381

Region 'A' - Blu-ray



 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...