directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
Japan 2004

 

After years of covering the human body in scrap metal (in the Tetsuo films), bruises, wounds and scars (in "Tokyo Fist" and "Bullet Ballet") and dirt (in "Gemini"), Shinya Tsukamoto was finally comfortable enough to expose it in all its naked glory in "A Snake of June". Asuka Kurosawa's liberation from emotional and physical repression while masturbating in the pouring rain took Tsukamoto on a new course. But with the skin as a seemingly obvious endpoint, it was a course that begged the question "Where to next?"

Continue in the same direction, is the logical yet surprising answer. With Vital he digs deeper, past the skin and into the body, his camera exploring our innermost like the modern-day equivalent to Leonardo DaVinci's sketchbook. Rest assured, though, for just as A Snake of June steered well clear of exploiting the topic of female sexuality, Vital wisely avoids lingering close-ups of organs and body cavities. Tsukamoto's goal is a much more philosophical one; his search is for our individual personality and where in our bodies we might find it.

Read entire review by Tom Mes on Midnight Eye

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 18, 2004 (Cannes Film Market)

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DVD Comparison:

Tartan - Region 0 - PAL vs. Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow and Gary Tooze for the Screen Caps!

(Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

Tartan
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:21:44 (4% PAL speedup) 1:25:06
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.31 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.85 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:

 

Tartan PAL

 

Bitrate:

 

Tartan NTSC

 

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese, 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese, DTS Japanese

Japanese (DTS), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Tom Mes
• Music Video (6:23 / 4:3)
• Venice Premiere Footage (10:46 / 4:3)
• Shinya Tsukamoto interview (11:06 / 4:3)
• Cast and Crew Q&A (2:46 / 4:3)
• Behind the scenes (18:46 / 4:3)
• Making the props (10:26 / 4:3)

DVD Release Date: February 20, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic -

Edition Details:
• Commentary by: author Tom Mes
• The Making Of Vital
• Behind the Scenes: Venice Film Festival World Premiere
• Interview With the Director
• Special Effects Featurette
• Music Video
 

DVD Release Date: January 24, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

 

 

 

Comments ADDITION: Region 1- NTSC - I don't see a heck of a lot of difference between these two releases - thankfully they have adhered to their correct standard (respectively PAL and NTSC). The Mes commentary is the same as are most of the duplicated extras - perhaps with the Region 1's 'Making of' being an additional supplement. Same audio and subtitle options and our advice is to buy the least expensive for your geographical location.

****

A stunning transfer. Colors are rich, deep and clear. Details are crisp. No artifacts visible, not even by zooming in. No ghosting. No combing. Picture perfect.

Sound is the usual three tracks from Tartan, here the DTS is to be preferred, as it really adds a lot of atmosphere and depth.

Of the additional, I would like to stress the high quality of the audio commentary by Tom Mes. It is insightful and superb. In his usual low-key voice, Mes adds an huge amount of anecdotes and informative information, as he not only knows Tsukamoto, wrote a book on him "Iron Man", but also was present during shooting of scenes.

 - Henrik Sylow

 

 






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Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
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(Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


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DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

Tartan
Region 1 - NTSC




 

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