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directed by Peter Weir
Australia 1979

What an interesting and obscure film by Peter Weir. Made for TV in the late 1970s it easily shows the directors keen eye for detail and expression of understated emotions. The three main actors (Judy Morris, Ivor Kants and Robert Coleby) would be most familiar to Aussie Soap Opera viewers than film fans. the plot centers on and academia-esq couple who are besot with a plumbing problem that expands to be a total invasion of the wife's privacy. The keen dialogue separates the wife and the plumber during the daytime with a slight sexual undercurrent. What transpires is to people at psychological odds to each other - both give an  effort to get-along, but essentially they detest each other. Having to work together in the same small apartment blows this situation out of control. Is the plumber purposely extending the job to irritate the woman that he hates? the ambiguity is a large part of the suspense element of the film... and the ending is one to mull over extensively as a personal triumph or guilt-ridden shameful joy? Low budget and black humor are key staples of this exploration. I am still thinking about this film months after seeing it. out of     

 Gary Tooze

TV Premiere: June 19th, 1979 - Australia

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DVD Comparison:

HomeVision (supplement on 'The Cars That Ate Paris' DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Gaumont Boxset (France) CTHV - Region 2 - PAL

(HomeVision - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Gaumont Boxset (France) CTHV - Region 2 -PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Home Vision

Region 1  - NTSC

Gaumont - Columbia Tri-Star HV
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:17:11 1:13:51(4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.84 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.76 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

HomeVision

Bitrate:

 

Gaumont

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 

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

Subtitles None French, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: HomeVision

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• Main Feature is "The Cars That Ate Paris"

New digital transfer approved by the director Peter Weir
• Interviews with Peter Wier on The Cars That Ate Paris (11:15) and The Plumber (7:38)
• Trailers for both films

• 2 - page each liner Notes essay for both films

DVD Release Date: October 21st, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Gaumont -CTHV

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1



Edition Details:
• Boxset includes 3 other Peter Weir films on separate DVDs - Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Last Wave, The Cars that Ate Paris
• Peter Weir Seminar (39:23) English with non-removal French subtitles

• Trailer (2:19)
• 3 Filmographies of cast and crew (moving text screens)

DVD Release Date: March 10th, 2004
2 Double Keep Cases inside Box
Chapters: 12

 

Comments: There is not much to choose from here in image - almost identical sharpness. Differences are that the Gaumont skin tones are slightly redder - perhaps unnaturally so - and the ratios are slightly different (1.75 vs. 1.78). Both are anamorphic but the Region 2 images are a little wider (fatter faces) and the Home Vision's 'slimmer'. I suppose the only strongly convincing differences are in the Extras. The HomeVision is on the same disc as Weir's "The Cars That Ate Paris" where the Gaumont has 4 Weir films in a Boxset (including 'Cars..."), but as we have noted - 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' and 'The Last Wave' are inferior to their Criterion counterparts. What is a kind of keen feature on the Region 2 is the "Peter Weir Seminar' - almost 40 minutes of the director talking about film - marvelous. Correspondingly, the HomeVision has two separate interviews totally almost 20 minutes with the director. I think you'd have to be very keen, and maybe a film student, to buy the Gaunmont over the HomeVision / Criterions... either that or desire a French DUB and/or French subtitles.

 - Gary W. Tooze





DVD Menus

(
HomeVision - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Gaumont Boxset (France) CTHV - Region 2 -PAL - RIGHT)


 


Subtitle Sample (no subs on HomeVision release)

(HomeVision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Gaumont Boxset (France) CTHV - Region 2 -PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(HomeVision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Gaumont Boxset (France) CTHV - Region 2 -PAL - BOTTOM)


 


(HomeVision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Gaumont Boxset (France) CTHV - Region 2 -PAL - BOTTOM)

 


 

(HomeVision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Gaumont Boxset (France) CTHV - Region 2 -PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(HomeVision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Gaumont Boxset (France) CTHV - Region 2 -PAL - BOTTOM)

 


 

Hit Counter


Report Card:

Image:

HomeVision (very slight edge)

Sound:

Gaumont (for the optional DUB)

Extras: both are very good!
Menu: Gaumont
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Home Vision

Region 1  - NTSC

Gaumont - Columbia Tri-Star HV
Region 2 - PAL

 


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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...