directed by Stephan Elliott
UK / Canada / Australia 1999

I have read, with furrowed brow,  the pundits, pros and armchair reviewers lambaste this visually spectacular foray into a psychoanalytical regression of two deeply troubled, yet fascinating characters. I have watched the film "Eye of the Beholder" on multiple occasions now, garnering more from each viewing. I freely state my own opinion that this is the most unappreciated, misunderstood film of the 90's. So there!

 

"Eye of the Beholder" lends itself much more to the artistic level of cinema than the Hollywood cookie-cutter approach. The camera angles, long pans, sharp cuts and panoramic vistas make this visually splendid in its own right. This imagery helps us to avoid the cloying explanation of the events on screen, which are superfluous to our requirements to enjoy the production.

The beauty of visuals, in general, is the interpretive nature which they are expressed. The dynamic chemistry and grace of these two characters onscreen couldn't be more apparent. Two of the most charismatic actors in the film business playing totally flawed personas. The thrill is not in the capture, but the chase, not in the climax but the foreplay, as their impending meeting is on the horizon. 

 

My own opinion is that the general population had expectations of this as a run-in-the-mill thriller but its only flaw may actually be by the director Elliott lending "Eye of the Beholder" to that comparison with Hitchcockian homage shots that bind it to that genre.

Excerpt from Gary Tooze's review on DVDBeaver found HERE

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Theatrical Release: August 28th, 1999 - South Korea

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DVD Comparison:

Columbia Tri-Star  Widescreen - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Columbia -Open Matte (2nd side)

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

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Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star Home Video

Region 1  - NTSC

Seville Pictures (Canada)
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:41:24 1:41:06
Video

2.30:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.19 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Open Matte format
Average Bitrate: 4.76
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Columbia Tri-Star

 

Bitrate:

 

Seville Pictures

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)

Subtitles English, Spanish, French and none None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios

Aspect Ratio(s):
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.30:1

Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

DVD10 - two sides - one layer

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Stephan Elliott
• Production notes
• 4:3 Theatrical trailers ( Eye - 1:56, Pillow Book - 1:27)
• Making Of Featurette
• Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats

DVD Release Date: July 2, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Seville Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
1.33:1 - Open Matte

Edition Details:
• Two deleted scenes (one is an alternate ending)
• Production notes (text screens)
• 4:3 Trailer (2:10)
• Bios (some Cast & Crew)

Single Layer - DVD5

DVD Release Date: September 24th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Comments:

First lets disregard the Seville Pictures DVD which is hazy and only offers the dreaded "Open Matte" version of the film. Although I enjoyed the two short deleted scenes that they include in their Extras.

Okay, now on to the interesting stuff. The 'Open Matte' version of this film crops very little off the sides (around 7%). The 2.30 widescreen theatrical release crops around 30% from the top and bottom. Composition is a debatable thing, but obviously in this case the film was made knowing it would be shown theatrically, So the artistically preferable method of watching "Eye of the Beholder" is, as the director Stephan Elliott, intended: 2.30:1. To throw and even more convoluted monkey wrench into things, the Open matte Columbia is sharper than its widescreen counterpart... and slightly brighter. It is truly negligible, but at least interesting. So I guess if you can zoom in (depends on system) you may want to watch the Open Matte Columbia and get a slightly sharper/brighter image. My goodness, the trouble we go to try to watch films as good as we possible can :) . Obviously buy the Columbia Tri-Star... it is the sharpest version out there. By the way, the Columbia commentary (director Elliott) is one of the most frank I have ever heard. I loved it. Columbia's 5.1 audio is superb.

NOTE: There is a very good documentary on the making (and attempted butchering) of this film and I have hopes that someone will release it with the film on DVD one day. There was rumor that Seville would in an upcoming release but that is now been officially cancelled.

 - Gary W. Tooze





DVD Menus

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Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 


 

Screen Captures

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE vs. Columbia 2nd side - BOTTOM)


 


(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE vs. Columbia 2nd side - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE vs. Columbia 2nd side - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE vs. Columbia 2nd side - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE vs. Columbia 2nd side - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE vs. Columbia 2nd side - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Seville Pictures (Canada) - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE vs. Columbia 2nd side - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Columbia Tri-Star

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Columbia Tri-Star

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