(aka "When Father Was Away on Business" or "Papa est en voyage d'affaires")

 

directed by Emir Kusturica
Yugoslavia 1985

 

Mesha, returning by train with his mistress from one of his many business trips, carelessly remarks on a political cartoon in the newspaper. The mistress denounces Mesha out of jealousy to his brother, who is highly involved and devoted to the Communist Party and also seeing the same mistress, who arranges to have him sent to a prison where he is forced to work in a mine. His wife and children, who believe the father is on a prolonged business trip, are forced to cope for years with the void left by their father. When he is finally set free, the family must move away from Sarajevo in order to be "socially reconditioned". A very interesting film that shares much with Fellini's Amarcord in terms of political undertones and the social aspects which result from it.

Eric Portelance

Posters

Theatrical Release: Canada13 September 1985 (Toronto Film Festival)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg and Per-olof Strandberg for the Screen Caps!

(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Koch Lorber
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 2:10:08 (4% PAL speedup) 2:15:34
Video

1:1.66 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.20 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1:1.66 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 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.

Bitrate:

 

Artificial Eye

 

Bitrate:

 

Koch Lorber

 

Audio Serbo-Croat (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Serbo-Croat (Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0)

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1:1.66

Edition Details:
• Interview with Emir Kusturica (18:08)
• Biography
• Trailers

DVD Release Date: 21 Aug 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 15

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Lorber

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1:1.66

Edition Details:
• Interview with Emir Kusturica (22:04)
• Slideshow

 

DVD Release Date: April 26th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 33

  

Comments:
Both versions have used more or less the same transfer. Even though the letterboxed non-anamorphic image is sharper here than in Do you Remember Dolly Bell, the quality is not what can be expected from an fairly new DVD. This is a recycled an old master tape, made from a cinema copy. The black's are blocked in dark sequences, and overall the colors seems faded showing its age. The R1 disc has visible combing. The subtitles are inside the frame on both editions, and can be zoomed in, when watching it with 16:9 equipment.

Both have the same interview as extra material. They are only edited differently, and the AE interview has clips from the film.

What a missed opportunity, especially when there's a longer TV version of the film available, that was broadcasted in Finland as a three part mini series, and in Sweden as a "director's cut" without the credits between the parts.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

ON THE KOCH: It looks to me like Koch may have recycled their VHS transfer from years ago. While I have not seen the VHS, this DVD is analogue-sourced and exhibits some strange artifacts that lead me to believe this. There is a lot of grain in the image during the first part of the movie, especially in the blacks, but that settles down after a while. The image is quite soft and there is a fair amount of dust and other damage to the print, but nothing too distracting. The major flaw here is that this disc is non-anamorphic and exhibits ridiculous amounts of ghosting, which constantly detracts from the image. The colors also seem rather muted at times and there seems to be a greenish tint to the picture. Add on to this some occasional aliasing and some edge enhancement, and we end up with a disc that looks very poor.

The menu transitions are far too long due to the useless animations. The extras are lean, and the only one worth mentioning is the interview with the director. The major problem with it, though, is that the audio is horrible. Subtitles are removable but in a horrible shade of yellow. No big surprise here, another sub-par effort by Koch Lorber.

 - Eric Portelance

 



DVD Menus
(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
Subtitle sample

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

AE - marginal

Sound:

Extras:
Menu:

 
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Koch Lorber
Region 0 - NTSC




 

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