(aka "Secret Things" )

 

directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
France 2002

 

One of the best films that I’ve seen come out of France in the past few years is this eccentric erotic tale, named the best film of 2002 by Cahiers du Cinema. As Roger Ebert points out, w/r/t sex and cinema, it’s “amazing how seriously the French take it.” We don’t need to look far to find evidence of this—take the early collaborations between Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim for example, widely influential to the French New Wave filmmakers, but seen mainly as schlock to the rest of the world. Or look at the horrific American reception of Verhoeven’s “Showgirls” and the passionate Cahiers influenced defenders. Watching Brisseau’s “Secret Things” for the first time and you may find an artfully made exercise in soft-core porno, but have the courage to look deeper, and you will find a jaw-dropping brilliance that seeks to reinvent the ways that we watch movies. Brisseau turns Mulvey’s “gaze” on its ear, flaunting his attractive actors and their/his/our desire to display/present/see their naked bodies and rams it down our throat. His labyrinthine narrative resembles a blend of Beverly Hills 90210 and Greek tragedy.

Simply put, this film, like all great works of art, exist outside of time, solely to convey the director’s subtext. Combined with gorgeous cinematography and art direction that actually manages to out-Almódovar the Spanish master, this is cinema at its most intoxicating.

Adam Lemke from Movie Miser.com

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 16, 2002 (France)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Warren Murphy and Henrik Sylow for the Screen Caps!

(First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

First Run Features

Region 0 - NTSC

Tartan
Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:51:57 1:52:07 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.24 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

First Run Features

 

Bitrate:

 

Tartan (the ciné lumière collection)

 

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital French

2.0 Dolby Digital French

Subtitles English (fixed) English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: First Run Features

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Photo Gallery
• Director Biography and Filmography
• Bonus Trailers

DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
Amarey

Chapters 12
 

Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Original Trailer (0:59 / 4:3)
• Tartan Trailer Reel

 

DVD Release Date: September 26, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments RE: the First Run Features -

Warren Murphy

First of all, there seems to be some conflict regarding the OAR for this film. IMDB first listed the OAR as 1.37:1 but now lists it as 1.66:1. I'm not sure which is correct. The French DVD is also in 4:3, so I am guessing that this DVD is probably in the correct ratio. If it's not the theatrical ratio, then it is probably the director-preferred. The framing looks correct anyhow, so this isn't a P&S transfer. As for the DVD, this is the first one I've seen from First Run and I am not overly impressed. The subtitles aren't optional, although they are clear and easy to read. The transfer is kind of dull, and there seems to be too much red on the skin tones. It does look pretty good in outdoor scenes, but in darker indoor scenes it shows its limitations. It also seems to be a PAL-NTSC transfer (confirmed), as the original time for the theatrical release was 115 mins and the DVD just runs short of 112 mins. I only noticed some occasional ghosting, otherwise it isn't too distracting. There seems to be some edge enhancement (you'll notice in the title capture above), something I usually don't notice, but I noticed it here. Overall, not a great transfer but not unwatchable either. As I mentioned above, there is a DVD from France available, but it has no English subtitles.
 

Regarding the Tartan (the ciné lumière collection):

Henrik Sylow

Apart from macro blocking, the artifacts are at a minimum. So while the Tartan image isn't flawless, it looks beautifully. The AR is the correct OAR of 1.33:1.

The translation of First Run is interesting, as it says "so large a..." and not as the Tartan translation "such a large..."

The comparison clearly speaks for itself and due to no extra material, except a trailer, nothing more to be said, really.

 

 






DVD Menus
(
First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)
subtitle sample (English only)
PAL captures resized to 720px from 768px native resolution

 

 


(First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(First Run Features - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan (the ciné lumière collection) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Report Card:

Image:

Tartan

Sound:

Tie - Same 2.0 Dolby Digital track

Extras: ---
Menu: ---

 
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

First Run Features

Region 0 - NTSC

Tartan
Region 0 - PAL


 




 

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