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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Augustin, King of Kung Fu")

directed by Anne Fontaine
France 1999

What a loveable and touching bittersweet comedy. Don't let the title fool you... it has very little to do with the martial art. Instead it eventually laments on fatalistic timing and its influence on relationships and missed opportunity. Augustin is an affable, yet severely geeky, young actor playing obscure bits-parts in television advertisements etc. His delusional passion is Kung Fu. He is drawn to it, not for the physical disciplines, but a calling that he is barely aware of; to travel to China. His obsession with Kung Fu leads him to seek formal teaching in the Chinatown of Paris, but he quickly realizes his psychological failing is a roadblock - he faints when he is touched. This severe hindrance to his keen goal causes him to seek homeopathic therapy in the form of an Acupuncture Doctor, and recent émigré from China, Ling (played by Maggie Cheung). Acceptance and understanding of a particularly sensitive and simple soul drives the plot. We meet Augustin, smile at his unusual demeanor, are impressed by his unique charm and chuckle at his affliction while eventually feeling pity for the cruel hand that fate had delivered him on one important night.  This film has not been given its fair due... mostly, I would guess, because of the misconstrued title. Don't let that stop you from indulging yourself in this marvelous human interest experience. A true hidden gem!  out of  

Gary W. Tooze


Theatrical Release: August 25th, 1999 - France

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DVD Review: IVL (Hong Kong) -  Region 3 - NTSC

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Distribution Intercontinental Video Limited (IVL) [Hong Kong] - Region 2- PAL
Runtime 1:23:30 
Video 2.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.3 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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




Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 
Subtitles English, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), None

Release Information:
Studio: Intercontinental Video Limited

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.31:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: October 28th, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 12



This is a well done DVD. I don't remember reviewing a disc from IVL before, but was pleasantly surprised by this offering. It is a sharp, anamorphic image with true colors and no evidence of edge enhancement. Clear 16X9 friendly subs (with no usual grammar or spelling faux-pas). The solid 2.0 audio is consistent. Single layered and no extras.out of     

Gary W. Tooze

Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard Notes on the Cinematographer by Robert Bresson Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni
Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana

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Distribution Intercontinental Video Limited (IVL) [Hong Kong] - Region 2- PAL


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Gary Tooze