directed by Philip Kaufman
U.S. 1988

Philip Kaufman achieves a delicate, erotic balance with his screen version of Milan Kundera’s “unfilmable” novel. Adapted by Kaufman and Jean-Claude Carrière, the film follows a womanizing surgeon (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he struggles with his free-spirited mistress (Lena Olin) and his childlike wife (Juliette Binoche). An intimate epic, The Unbearable Lightness of Being charts the frontiers of relationships with wit, emotion, and devastating honesty.

Poster

Theatrical Release Date: February 5, 1988

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DVD Comparison:

Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC

(Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC LEFT vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1,2,3,4  - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #55 O.O.P.

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM 
Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:54:04 (disc1) + 58:38 (disc 2) = 2:52:42 2:52:18 2:52:36
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.91 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.12 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.07
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Warner Disc 1

 

Bitrate:

Warner Disc 2

Bitrate:

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

MGM

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)

English (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Subtitles English, Spanish, French and none English, and none English, Spanish, French and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1 



Edition Details:
• Commentary by: director-screenwriter Philip Kaufman, screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere, editor Walter Murch, and costar Lena Olin
• Emotional History: The Making of The Unbearable Lightness of Being
• Theatrical trailer

 

DVD Release Date: February 7th, 2006
Double slim Keep Case

Chapters 41

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Phillip Kaufman, cowriter Jean-Claude Carriére, editor Walter Murch, and actor Lena Olin
• New, director-approved widescreen transfer

 

DVD Release Date: July 24, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: M G M, Inc

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1



Edition Details:
• none

 

DVD Release Date: September 17, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 24

 

Comments: ADDITION: Warner - February 06': I suppose this will amount to a personal decision. I actually saw this film theatrically (twice!) but cannot recall the appearance as it was so long ago. The new Warner image is a vast improvement over the hazy manipulated MGM travesty, but I think I might still lean towards the Criterion for the picture quality (although it does show excessive reds at times). To be honest, I am not sure which transfer is best between the Criterion and the Warner (Criterion sharper?) but I am thankful that Warner have taken more care in producing this disc package than MGM did. Warner has spread the film across two discs (one dual layer DVD9 and one single-layered DVD5). They have included the same excellent commentary as the Criterion DVD... as well as a 30:00 'Making of' featurette. The new edition has an optional French DUB. The Warner is a very good package and we recommend it to those who do not have the Criterion (which IS labeled as 'director approved'). I really love this film and will still hold on to my out-of-print Criterion DVD.  

****

The MGM is cropped on all sides... if only slightly. The Criterion picture is much sharper and the colors are more true ( look at skin tones ). MGM has bumped the contrast in places and taken definition out. The Criterion has a Commentary track and although it is supposed to be 'Out Of Print', you can still buy it in a number of places. The MGM has bumped the sound to 5.1 but not given the option for the original 2.0 soundtrack. Criterion all the way again!... Buy it now if you don't already have it.

- Gary W. Tooze





DVD Menus

(
Criterion R1 - NTSC-Left vs. MGM R1 - NTSC-Right)


 

Warner Disc 1

 

Warner Disc 2


Screen Captures

 

(Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)



(Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)


(Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 



(Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)


(Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)



(Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)


(Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion / Warner ?

Sound:

Warner (for DUB)

Extras: Warner
Menu: Criterion

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1,2,3,4  - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #55 O.O.P.

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM 
Region 1 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze