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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by John Hillcoat
Australia 2005

 

Facing a dilemma of justice, Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) gives the outlaw Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) a proposition: Locate and kill his psychotic older brother Arthur (Danny Huston) in order to save his younger brother from hanging on Christmas day.

While The Proposition is Australian in any way possible, it is one of the most valuable contributions to the western genre since Eastwood’s Unforgiven. It is in one way unique, given both the Australian context, yet universal in the way it addresses the conflict of letters of the law versus justice and in doing the right thing. As such, it portraits the human psyche facing justice and revenge, showing us both sides of the coin and the consequences.

Enriching these motives, the outback and primitive rural settings helps isolating the psyche by pure contrast. Man is alone with himself and his choices.

Within the context of the story, the question of morality is centre. What makes an officer of the law propose such a proposition? Is it moral to do so? Will the actions in its wake be moral? Is justice moral? Does the goal justify the means by which it is achieved? Is morality part of justice at all?

Adding to this, everything is camouflaged by despair. Not just the proposition by Stanley, as he has no guarantee of Charlie and his actions, but also in the mise-en-scene of his home, where his wife (Emily Watson) does what she can to maintain the Victorian lifestyle, by serving English breakfast and tea using china, and by importing a Christmas tree. Again, thru this, the film asks, if despair causes man to create illusions, and in length of this, is law and order an illusion?

Elevating the story, actors Guy Pearce, Danny Huston and Ray Winstone gives perhaps their best performances to date. They become not only their characters, they become signifiers of the films motifs.

The Proposition is an incredible strong and brutal contribution to the western genre and of the best films of the year. Not to be missed.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 12th, 2005 (Toronto International Film Festival)

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Review: BFI - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution BFI - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:43:51.833         
Video

235:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 96,012,181,141 bytes

Feature: 78,157,219,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 89.90 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

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

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1797 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1797 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

DTS Audio English 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
BFI

 

2.35:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 96,012,181,141 bytes

Feature: 78,157,219,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 89.90 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

Audio commentary by John Hillcoat and Nick Cave
Newly recorded audio commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Josh Nelson
John Hillcoat and Nick Cave in Conversation (2021, 53:06) : a newly recorded conversation between director John Hill and screenwriter Nick Cave as they look back on The Proposition

2022 trailer (1:12)

 

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

The Making of The Proposition (2005, 27:21): behind-the-scenes documentary
Inside The Proposition (2005, 43:09): a series of featurettes looking at the film's pre-production
Shooting The Proposition (2005, 24:55): featurettes on the production and the challenges faced during filming
Interview with Guy Pearce (2006, 13:39): the actor on his approach to the role of Charlie Burns
Interview with Danny Huston (2006, 7:33): the actor recalls his work on the film
B-roll footage (2005, 19:32): behind-the-scenes footage shot during the filming of The Proposition
Stills galleries (4:03)
Costume and Sketches Gallery (1:33)
Original theatrical (2:07) and teaser (1:39) trailers

 

Eighty-page book featuring new writing and recollections by John Hillcoat, Cat Villiers and Leah Purcell, plus essays by Andrew Graves, composer Warren Ellis, Professor Catriona Elder and Dr Stephen Morgan
Double sided poster featuring new artwork by Matt Needle and the original UK poster
Limited to 5000 copies


4K Ultra HD Release Date: April 11th, 2022
Black 4K Ultra HD Case

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: BFI 4K UHD (April 2022): BFI's have released John Hillcoat's "The Proposition" to 4K UHD. Firstly, no mater how hard I try, I cannot recreate how rich and gorgeous this 4K image is via the simulated screen captures below (see next paragraph.) The visual quality of "The Proposition" on 4K UHD is significantly superior. The below images can look saturated and I can assure the presentation is not. It is stunning and a huge leap beyond the Blu-ray that we compared to the DVD HERE. Despite the film having often, kinetic, hand-held camera sequences, the 3840 X 2160 presentation on my system is brilliant. The layered contrast handles the dark interiors and sun-baked exteriors with exceptional balance. The HDR appears to have been applied liberally but this suits the visuals experience of "The Proposition". It always had a heaviness and films-like softness but this 4K UHD seems the most adept to handle and export this.

NOTE: The Proposition starts with: "Members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are advised that this film contains images which may be offensive to indigenous people. It includes historical photographs of people now deceased."  

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 35 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: Nightmare Alley (2021) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Godfather (software uniformly simulated HDR), Le Crecle Rouge (software uniformly simulated HDR), An American Werewolf in London (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Hard Day's Night (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Piano (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Great Escape (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Red Shoes (software uniformly simulated HDR), Citizen Kane (software uniformly simulated HDR), Unbreakable (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mulholland Dr. (software uniformly simulated HDR), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Hills Have Eyes (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Servant (software uniformly simulated HDR), Anatomy of a Murder (software uniformly simulated HDR), Taxi Driver  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Wolf Man (1941) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Frankenstein (1931) (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Deep Red (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Misery (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Silence of the Lambs (software uniformly simulated HDR), John Carpenter's "The Thing" (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Cat' o'Nine Tails (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (software uniformly simulated HDR), Perdita Durango (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Django (software uniformly simulated HDR) Fanny Lye Deliver'd (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, (NO HDR applied to disc),  Rollerball (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Chernobyl  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Daughters of Darkness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vigilante (software uniformly simulated HDR), Tremors (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cinema Paradiso (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bourne Legacy (software uniformly simulated HDR), Full Metal Jacket (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Psycho (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Birds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rear Window (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vertigo (software uniformly simulated HDR) Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsing (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

The 4K UHD disc's audio gives the English language options of a robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track or a two-channel stereo choice. The surround is so impressive right from the first scene with careening, sharp echoing bullets and plenty of aggressive, usually-gun-related violence throughout The Proposition. It has a very healthy bass response supporting the film's highly impactful soundstage. The score is by the always impressive Nick Cave (who also wrote the film!) and Warren Ellis - they both worked together on Hillcoat's The Road and Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford among other collaborations. There are traditional songs; 'There Is a Happy Land', 'Danny Boy' and 'Rule Britannia' used in the film. The audio doesn't take a backseat to the film's pristine video. All 4K UHD discs are Region 'Free' and this offers optional English (SDH) subtitles - see sample below. As mentioned the included Blu-ray, with supplements, is region 'B'-locked.

There are extras on the 4K UHD disc. We get the older audio commentary by John Hillcoat and Nick Cave that covers much of the production. There is also a ewly recorded audio commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Josh Nelson. They discuss, with enthusiasm, the revisionist western, the ugly history of colonial Australia, the film has an allegorical representation to history, how it is structured - how it demythologizes violence with quotes from books like Felicity Collins's Historical Fiction and the Allegorical Truth of Colonial Violence in The Proposition and Richard Slotkin 's Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier. They talk about how The Proposition undermines national mythologies and the concept of 'fact and fiction' in film representation. The discussion remains political for most of the commentary addressing Australia's cultural past and Hillcoat's fascination with the western, influences from Peckinpah, Fuller, Scorsese plus Alexandra references Wake in Fright and how both films have connections to Canada (yeah Canada!). There is talk of conflicts of law vs. the outlaw, descriptions of The Proposition as 'Gothic western', the 'skull hole massacre', David Gulpilil  and his contributions to Australian cinema (he recently passed - November 29th, 2021 at age 68 - R.I.P.) and so much more. Also included on the 4K UHD disc is 'John Hillcoat and Nick Cave in Conversation' - a new (2021), almost hour-long, conversation between director John Hill (via phone?) and screenwriter Nick Cave as they look back on The Proposition and American influences, Guy Pearce being stoned etc. It is audio only with stills from the film shown. There is also a 2022 trailer and still gallery of stunning photos from the film.  

The package includes a second disc Region 'B' Blu-ray with more extras that have most of the supplements from the 2006 DVD and subsequent BDs. These include a 1/2 hour The Making of The Proposition - a behind-the-scenes documentary from 2005, Inside The Proposition runs 3/4s of an hour and is a series of featurettes looking at the film's pre-production. Shooting The Proposition is 25-minutes of featurettes on the production and the challenges faced during filming. There is a 2006 interview with Guy Pearce on his approach to the role of Charlie Burns, a shorter interview with Danny Huston as he recalls his work on the film. There are 20-minutes of B-roll footage showing behind-the-scenes footage shot during the filming of The Proposition, plus two stills galleries including one with costume and sketches , plus original trailer and teaser trailer. The package itself contains an eighty-page book featuring new writing and recollections by John Hillcoat, Cat Villiers and Leah Purcell, plus essays by Andrew Graves, composer Warren Ellis, Professor Catriona Elder and Dr Stephen Morgan, and a double sided poster featuring new artwork by Matt Needle and the original UK poster. It is limited to 5000 copies. 

BFI's
4K UHD release of John Hillcoat's "The Proposition" is an absolute must-own. The film has always held immense esteem but the previous digital representations, on DVD and Blu-ray, while impressive are absolutely blown-away by this 4K UHD transfer. I will reiterate, trust my video descriptions more than the screen capture representations. This is an intense western with such important political underpinnings.  "The Proposition" is a masterpiece and BFI's 4K UHD package is so worthy of the film with two commentaries (one new), a conversation with director John Hill and screenwriter Nick Cave, an entire BD with 2.5 hours of extras and an eighty-page book. Our highest recommendation!    

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

Included BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY and 4K UHD CAPTURE TO SEE IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 


1) First Look Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 


1) First Look Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) BFI - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 


1) First Look Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) First Look Pictures - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) BFI - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 


1) First Look Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 


More BFI - Region FREE - 4K UHD Captures
 
 
 

 

Examples of NSFW (Not Safe For Work) CAPTURES  (Mouse Over to see- CLICK to Enlarge)

 

 

 
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Distribution BFI - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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