Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


Directed by Jane Campion
Australia 1989

 

Though she went on to create a string of brilliant films, Jane Campion will always be remembered for her stunning debut feature, Sweetie, which focuses on the hazardous relationship between the buttoned-down, superstitious Kay and her rampaging, devil-may-care sister, "Sweetie"--and by extension, their entire family's profoundly rotten roots. A feast of colorful photography and captivating, idiosyncratic characters, Sweetie heralded the emergence of this gifted director as well as the breakthrough of Australian cinema, which would take international film by storm in the nineties.

***

Kay (Colston) fears darkness and the secret, stifling power of plants; her teenage sister Dawn (Lemon) is crazy, throwing tantrums at all and sundry, and dreaming, unrealistically, of stardom. When the latter and her bombed-out boyfriend (Lake) arrive unannounced at the suburban home Kay shares with her equally loopy lover Lou (Lycos), all hell breaks loose. Tragedy looms. And all the aforementioned is played, partly, as comedy. Campion's first theatrical feature is a remarkable, risky exploration of the weird and wonderfully surreal undercurrents that can lie just beneath the surface of everyday suburban life, ordinary folk harbour dark, unfathomable obsessions, phobias and desires, and a familiar world is unsettlingly distorted by grotesque close-ups, harsh overhead angles and narrative ellipses. Amazingly, as she veers without warning from black comedy to bleak melodrama and back again, she manages to make us laugh at and like her confused, barely articulate characters, so that her dénouement is simultaneously ludicrous and deeply affecting. Sweetie confirms Campion as a highly original movie talent.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 1989 - Toronto Film Festival

Reviews       More Reviews       DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 356  - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 356- Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:39:35  1:39:47.982
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.85 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,201,714,629 bytes

Feature: 29,000,964,096 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 32.93 Mbps

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

Bitrate: DVD

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 3624 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3624 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary featuring Campion, Bongers and screenwriter Gerard Lee
• Making "Sweetie", a new video conversation between stars Genevieve Lemon and Karen Colston
• Campionï's early short films: An Exercise in Discipline: Peel; Passionless Moments; and A Girl's Own Story
• Jane Campion: The Film School Years, a 1989 conversation between Campion and critic Peter Thompson
• Gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and production stills
• Original theatrical trailer 
• Plus: A new essay by film scholar Dana Polan

DVD Release Date: October 24th, 2006

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 26

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,201,714,629 bytes

Feature: 29,000,964,096 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 32.93 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary featuring Campion, Bongers and screenwriter Gerard Lee
• Making "Sweetie", a new video conversation between stars Genevieve Lemon and Karen Colston (22:40 in 1080i)
• Campionï's early short films: An Exercise in Discipline (8:39 in 1080i): Peel; Passionless Moments (11:57 in 1080i); and A Girl's Own Story (26:33 in 1080i)
• Jane Campion: The Film School Years, a 1989 conversation between Campion and critic Peter Thompson (19:13 in 1080i)
• Gallery of almost 50 behind-the-scenes photos (by Regis Lansac) and production stills
• Original theatrical trailer 
• 16-page liner notes booklet with an essay by film scholar Dana Polan

Blu-ray Release Date: April 19th, 2011
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 26

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: (April 2011) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray: One of the most handsome transfers in Criterions DVD stable gets a 1080P upgrade and the results are impressive. Subtle tweaks in improved skin tones and vibrant colors, better contrast and tighter detail elevate the image although a discerning eye, or system, might be the only beneficiary of the 5 times factor of the bitrate. From the same strong source it, predictably, looks exceptionally good - near 'demo' for some visual attributes.

 

Audio is lossless and significantly more robust although above and beyond the call of duty for what the film is capable of exporting. English subtitles remain on the region 'A' Blu-ray`' disc.

 

Extras duplicate the DVD with the Campion shorts, etc. - now, as everything else, in HD and the fine commentary plus the liner notes. Certainly this is a film to recommend but the double-dip from the DVD may not be as prudent. The eventual decision should be based on how enamored you are with 'Sweetie'.

***

ON THE DVD (October 2006): Image quality on this Criterion DVD is absolutely marvelous. It is about as good as a standard DVD may get. I now recall what this digital image reminds me of - The Fantoma DVD transfers of Fritz Lang's -The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb - rich pastels with incredible sharpness. Sweetie is clean bright and totally artifact free. 'Immaculate' would be an excellent defining word.

Audio has been unusually bumped to 5.1 (a rare move for Criterion) but, although rarely tested, it sounds very good. The musical track seems to benefit from the bump - it sounds very 'full'. There are optional English subtitles rendered at Criterion's usual high level.

Extras include an ingratiating Campion commentary with cinematographer Sally Bongers and screenwriter Gerard Lee (who joins later). They reminisce quite fondly, and humorously, about the film production. Campion describes her inspiration for the film was her relationship with Gerard Lee - as well as her deep film interest in intuition, sex and relationships. Overall it is very warm and certainly worthwhile listening.

There is a 23 minutes 'Making of...' from the standpoint of stars Geneviève Lemon and Karen Colston. There is a 20 minutes conversation between Campion and critic Peter Thompson about her film school years with excerpts from some of her shorts - 3 of which are also included - An Exercise in Discipline: Peel; Passionless Moments; and A Girl's Own Story. She acknowledges her commitment to improved cinema (and television) - she is, as always, honest and refreshing. Rounding out the digital extras is an un-restored 1:44 trailer. There is also a 16-page liner notes booklet filled with color photographs and featuring an essay by Dana Polan.

Overall Criterion really goes to town with an amazing DVD package - a brilliant transfer, stacked supplements (including a viable commentary) - all for a unique, worthy and memorable debut landmark film of an, often overlooked, director - yet to reach her peak. This may be the most complete and professional DVD I've seen in a months.

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus


 

Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


DVD Box Cover

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 356  - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 356- Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!