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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "She's the Bomb" )

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/roeg.htm
UK 1985

 

Four unnamed people who look and sound a lot like Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, and Joseph McCarthy converge in one New York City hotel room in this compelling, visually inventive adaptation of Terry Johnson’s play, from director Nicolas Roeg. With a combination of whimsy and dread, Roeg creates a fun-house-mirror image of fifties America in order to reflect on the nature of celebrity and lingering cold-war nuclear nightmares. Insignificance is a delirious, intelligent drama, featuring magnetic performances by Michael Emil as the Professor, Theresa Russell as the Actress, Gary Busey as the Ballplayer, and Tony Curtis as the Senator.

***

1954. As Monroe, Einstein, DiMaggio and McCarthy, Roeg assembles an excellent cast of non-stars, confines them in anonymous hotel rooms, and lets them rip on all his favourite topics: life, love, fame, hate, jealousy, atomic firestorm and the whole damn thing. As usual with Roeg, the firmament is streaming with large ideas and awkward emotions, which grow larger and larger in significance, and most of which come together in a delightful scene when Marilyn (Russell) explains relativity to Einstein (Emil) with the aid of clockwork trains and balloons. Curtis is Senator McCarthy, still witch-hunting phantoms of his mind; Busey is the washed-up ballplayer, aching for Marilyn's return. It may be a chamber piece, but its circumference is vast.

Poster

Theatrical Release: USA 2 August 1985

Reviews       More Reviews      DVD Reviews

Comparison: 

Future Film - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the DVD Review!

Future Film - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Future Film

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection, spine #566 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:44:08 (4% PAL speedup) 1:48:47.562
Video

1:1.85 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.87 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,241,682,066 bytes

Feature: 31,903,113,216 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

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

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Future Film

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1:1.85

Edition Details:
• Trailer
• DVD-5 (SS-SL)

DVD Release Date: 6 September 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,241,682,066 bytes

Feature: 31,903,113,216 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• New video interviews with Roeg, Thomas (12:57), and editor Tony Lawson (15:08)
• Making “Insignificance,” a short documentary shot on the set of the film (14:09)
• Original theatrical trailer (1:00)
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Chuck Stephens and a reprinted exchange between Roeg and screenwriter Terry Johnson

Blu-ray Release Date: June 14th, 2011
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 15

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - May 11': The disc is described as "Newly restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Nicolas Roeg and producer Jeremy Thomas". Criterion have given us a dual-layered transfer with a very high bitrate - it showcases some different colors at times from the single-layered Scandinavian DVD that Per-Olaf was kind enough to review for DVDBeaver. It seems more blue-green beside the Criterion 1080P rendering. The 1.78:1 framed image is much brighter, has more grain, and shows significantly more information in the frame. With Roeg and Thomas' endorsement I have no reason to disbelieve that this hi-def image is not a reasonably authentic theatrical representation. There is no depth but it is clean and nicely textured.

Criterion are faithful to the mono audio with a linear PCM track at 1152 kbps. There are very few effects and the dialogue is clean with notable flaws or negative impact on the presentation. It does its job well enough - there are optional subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is, predictably, coded for region 'A'.

Making “Insignificance is a 14-minute documentary shot on the set of the film and features interviews with Gary Busey, Tony Curtis, and Theresa Russell, among others. Insignificance was the third collaboration between director Roeg and producer Jeremy Thomas. Criterion include a 13-minute interview with the pair from December 2010. Before working with Nicolas Roeg editor Tony Lawson had collaborated with such acclaimed filmmakers as Sam Peckinpah (on Straw Dogs) and Stanley Kubrick (on Barry Lyndon). Included on the disc is a 15-minute interview recorded ion London at the end of 2010. There is the original theatrical trailer (running exactly 1-minute), plus a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Chuck Stephens and a reprinted exchange between Roeg and screenwriter Terry Johnson.

This was a great script to put into Roeg's hands and let him run with it. Insignificance offers amusement and historical thought provocation with entertaining performances - almost as mini-bios - leaving the viewer with a 'What if' seed planted in the back of their mind. I'm really glad Criterion released this which, strangely, had not really surfaced in North America via digital. I expect that most viewers will really appreciate Roeg's film as the unique expression that it is. Strongly recommended!

 - Gary Tooze  

***

ON THE DVD: These is a Nordic budget release, so I didn't expect too much. We get a DVD-5 (3.89 GB) in a 4:3 letterbox image. The film is in the correct aspect ratio, and it's reasonable sharp. Some soft scenes of Theresa Russell seems intended. The film is based on a stage play, so much is focused in one room. Maybe because of the lightning used, the picture looks a little muddy, has low level noise, and the details aren't the best. Also the red skin tones don't seem correct. But overall a DVD from the better side.

The audio is flawless and very strong. The extra material is a trailer in 4:3. The Nordic subtitles are removable.

As the R1 DVD is OOP, these disc seems, for the moment, a very adequate substitute. There's also a Spanish edition of these title, but we understand it is fairly poor.

The Finnish DVD is distributed by Future Film and the Swedish by Atlantic Film.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg


Menus
Future Film - Region 2 - PAL

 

 

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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Screen Captures

 

Future Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Future Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Future Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Future Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Future Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Future Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


  Future Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures


DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Future Film

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection, spine #566 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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