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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Tale of Cinema" or "Keuk jang jeon" )

 

directed by Hong Sang-soo
South Korea 2005

 

One of the greatest new talents working today, the films of South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo are essentially non-existent for American audiences. Not one of his six remarkable features have secured US distribution, and if it were not for confident festival programmers and the freedom granted us by owning an all region DVD player, these films would continue to remain as hard to see as they are great.

Hong’s latest film, a last minute entry at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, takes on the structure of a film-within-a-film as it tells the story of two hopeless romantics who fall in love with the same woman. The less you know about the film’s structure the better, suffice to say that it’s a magical way for Hong to deal with his familiar theme of the romantic triangle. As is typical of a Hong film, a great amount of time is spent watching these people drink booze as they converse about love and life. It’s no surprise that Hong’s films have often been compared to the work of Eric Rohmer in their handling of talk heavy adult infatuation, however there is an underlying theme of alienation and a focus on history and memory in all of his works that places his films closer to Antonioni and Resnais in my book. Unique to this film, is a distinctive abandonment of Hong’s typical stationary camera for one that frequently zooms to convey emotion, an interesting device that serves as a stepping-stone into unlocking the wonders that this film has to offer. After all, a “tale of cinema” can only be told in the language of cinema, as perfect a case as ever for life imitating art.  out of   

 

Adam Lemke

 

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: May 19th, 2005 Cannes Film Festival (In Competition)

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Comparison:

Woo Sung DVD (Korean release) - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Adam Lemke for the DVD Review!

Box Covers

   

    

Distribution

Woo Sung DVD

Region 3 - NTSC

Arrow Video
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1.29.15 1:29:23.524
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

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

Disc Size: 49,190,476,846 bytes
Feature Size: 19,985,922,624 bytes
Average Bitrate: 24.04 Mbps
Dual-layered
Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Videos

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

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Korean 1618 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1718 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 512 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Korean 1650 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1798 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles Korean, English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Woo Sung DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by two Korean Film critics (unsubtitled)
• Interviews with the actors (unsubtitled)
• Promo reel

DVD Release Date: 8/04/05
Clear Keep Case w/ Cardboard Slip cover

Chapters 14

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Disc Size: 49,190,476,846 bytes
Feature Size: 19,985,922,624 bytes
Average Bitrate: 24.04 Mbps
Dual-layered
Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Videos

Edition Details:
Newly filmed introductions to both films by Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns (see below)
"Tony Rayns on Woman..." (41:54)
"Tony Rayns on Tale...." (20:29)
Introduction to Woman is the Future of Man by director Martin Scorsese (02:29)
The Making Woman is the Future of Man, a featurette on the film s production (38:13)

Interviews with the actors of Woman is the Future of Man:
Sung Hyunah (18:29)
Yoo Jitae (05:40)
Kim Taewoo (07:47)

Interviews with Kim Sangkyung, Lee Kiwoo and Uhm Jiwon, the stars of Tale of Cinema:
Kim Sangkyung (14:13)
Uhm Jiwon(11:36)
Lee Kiwoo(07:05)
Stills gallery
Original trailers
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films by Michael Sicinski
 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 16th-17th, 2018

Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters: 13

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Arrow - Region FREE- Blu-ray - July 18': "Tale of Cinema" comes to us from Arrow Video on a dual-layered Blu-ray also containing Hong Sang-soo's "Woman is the Future of Man". This Blu-ray is is simultaneously released in the UK and North America by Arrow. The UK and US discs are absolutely identical which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup. The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.

The 1080p image is in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This is a major improvement over the previously reviewed SD DVD in every regard. Colors look more realistic, with flesh tones looking more natural. The detail of the image is also quite improved, though not as drastically as much as on the "Woman is the Future of Man" image. A small bit of grain is evident, giving the picture a filmic appearance, when in motion. Contrast looks good, with deeper blacks.

Both "Woman is.." and "Tale of Cinema" have the option of original Korean 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio (24-bit) or 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (16-bit).
The film is, predictably, passive in terms of effects and has another lilting score by Yong-jin Jeong (Woman on the Beach, Woman is the Future of Man) that suits creating a warmth for the situations.  There are optional English subtitles on this Region-free Blu-ray.

Arrow gives us the option of watching "Tales of Cinema" with a 20-minute introduction by Tony Rayns. Arrow has also included interviews with the 3 stars, Kim Sangkyung, Uhm Jiwon, and Lee Kiwoo. The film's original trailers (Korean and French) are included, as well as a stills gallery. There is also a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow and on the First Pressing, an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films by Michael Sicinski.

This is generally considered the better of the two Hong Sang-soo films in this Blu-ray package. Although made right after Woman is the Future of Man it shows more confidence of his medium, the themes run deeper and I think the pacing carries more momentum. It reminded me how embracing the directors films are and I hope we have more of his uniquely talented work coming to stellar image and audio presentations. This Blu-ray set is wonderful.

Colin Zavitz

ON THE DVD: The Korean DVD releases of Hong's films are usually all we ever get, so love it or hate it, this will more than likely be the only way you will ever get to see this film. Fortunately here, we have an above average DVD. There is slight combing evident in some of the earlier outdoor sequences, indicating a non-progressive transfer, but for the most part the image is crisp and finely presented.

The subtitles and audio are both high quality, placing this in the upper tier for R3 DVD’s in both categories.

The special features include a commentary by 2 Korean film critics (unsubtitled unfortunately) and interviews with each of the three principal leads (also unsubtitled). out of     

 

 - Adam Lemke


DVD Menus 

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Subtitle sample

 

(Woo Sung DVD (Korean release) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM) 

 

 


(Woo Sung DVD (Korean release) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM) 

 

 


(Woo Sung DVD (Korean release) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM) 

 

 


(Woo Sung DVD (Korean release) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM) 

 

 


(Woo Sung DVD (Korean release) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM) 

 

 


  (Woo Sung DVD (Korean release) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM) 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Box Covers

   

    

Distribution

Woo Sung DVD

Region 3 - NTSC

Arrow Video
Region FREE -
Blu-ray


 




 

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