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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Lars von Trier
Denmark | France | Germany | Sweden | Belgium  2018

 

Lars von Trier's upcoming drama follows the highly intelligent Jack (Matt Dillon) over a span of 12 years and introduces the murders that define Jack's development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack s point of view, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork.

***

Built into the multi-leveled architecture of what already feels like von Trier’s greatest film to date is a relentlessly probing self-critique. The House That Jack Built resembles, at its foundation, various other predation and victimization narratives from throughout von Trier’s filmography, stringing together vignette-like “incidents”—five in all—that depict brutal murders committed by Jack (Matt Dillon), an OCD-afflicted psychopath. But embedded within the recognizable dramaturgy of von Trier’s formally accomplished serial-killer film is the frame of an essay—an enthralling discourse on art and violence conducted through dialectical narrators and dizzying montages that smash together Glenn Gould’s music, William Blake’s poetry, fermenting grapes, Nazi concentration camps, and clips from von Trier’s other films.

Excerpt from Slant Magazine located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 14th, 2018 (Cannes Film Festival)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:32:34.041         
Video

2.39:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,907,131,485 bytes

Feature: 37,092,304,896 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3420 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3420 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Region:

Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Artificial Eye

 

2.39:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,907,131,485 bytes

Feature: 37,092,304,896 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Introduction by Lars von Trier (00:26)
• Making of featurette (20:28)
• Interview with Lars von Trier (35:08)
• Trailer (02:22)


Blu-ray Release Date:
March 4th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

Lars Von Trier's extreme "The House that Jack Built" was shot on an ARRI Alexa Mini. Curzon Artificial Eye present the 2.5-hour film on a dual-layered Blu-ray with a supportive bitrate. The 2.39:1 HD digital image is quite detailed, even with a camera often in motion. There is a filmic look to the presentation, thanks to the ARRI's multiple strengths. Low-lighting shows information in shadows, and creates an eerie atmosphere. Childhood flashbacks have a greenish hue, but this is certainly intentional. Though I cannot stress enough how divisive and at times repulsive the images can be, there is a painterly quality to the various macabre mise en scène on display.

There is the option of watching the film with either a 24-bit 2.0 linear PCM or 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio track. The separation in the 5.1 track creates a nice tension to the film, with Virgil's narration having an eerie omnipresence. The linear 2.0 track is also a fine option, though lacking in surround effects. To add to the creepiness, the film eschews a traditional score, instead inserting rather jarring music, whether diagetic or not. Performances from Glen Gould are included (on-screen) and David Bowie's "Fame" accents some grisly scenes. There is no way I would spoil the closing song, as it is perhaps the biggest laugh-line of the film. Sadly, there are no subtitles on this Region 'B'-locked
Blu-ray.

The 35-minute interview with VonTrier is a rather revealing intellectual conversation, covering everything from the impetus of the film (Patricia Highsmith's psychopath), to its psychological roots. Von Trier says this is the closest to Hitchcock he has ever come, and even goes so far as to say he avoided Hitchcock's one regret from "North by Northwest". The 20-minute featurette starts with Von Trier addressing his Cannes controversy, and boy does it go on from there. Von Trier talks about everything from his admiration of Tarkovsky's Mirror, to his public persona, to President Trump. The film's trailer rounds out the
Blu-ray disc.

To say that your mileage may vary when it comes to this film is quite the understatement. I must stress that this film features many scenes of depravity, whether it is children being murdered or a double mastectomy being performed. That said, I have no reservations in saying that seeing this in a theatre was one of the most raucous and rowdiest shared audience experiences I have ever witnessed (which is horrifying in itself). Whereas Haneke's "Funny Games" seems to ask the audience why on earth they would want to witness such violence against women, Von Trier seems to be asking, "why must 'I' create these images?" The tension in this film is almost unbearable, akin to the opening of Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" or Hitchcock's "Psycho". The dramatic irony at play is that we must identify with the lead characters psychopathy, in essence creating a drawn out sense of dread in each sequence. That the film's denouement is basically a psychopath's ultimate delusion of grandeur seems to show a level of self-actualization by Jack (interchangeably Lars) until... well, I don't want to spoil it all. Highly recommended with the largest of caveats; there are the aforementioned depictions of violence against women and children, and, oh ya, animals! If you can get past all this, there is a rather enjoyable sick sense of humor at play. You've been warned.

Colin Zavitz

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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