Artificial Eye have done a good job for this
one and although the image is not perfect it is way above the average
and the edition even comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.
Progressive, sharp, clear, and keeping a natural white balance I found
the image "good enough" for a quality presentation. Noise is constant
but it is not degrading and the level is expected in movie completely
filmed in overcast days. "Edge halos" are very rarely present and are
hard to detect anyway and the rest can be considered at least adequately
balanced with detached but natural looking colors and a strong contrast
that imbues the "main focuses" without darkening shadows excessively by
concealing important details.
This can be just a false impression but it seems there is a light
greenish cast over the image, this wouldn't be all uncommon and I don't
find it troublesome, but I think it deserves to be mentioned.
At first sight this looks like a "center speaker" kinda movie, but it is
actually quite busy and separated. So much so that it clearly takes
advantage of the Dolby Digital 5.1. These details I am referring to are
basically the natural surroundings, that seems a bit dull but it is so
present that immersion and the overall mood is significantly improved by
it. The DD 5.1 is very clear, reproduces all dialogues evenly and while
details are enhanced the mix is free from unwanted noise.
Timing and clarity is very good, but it looks a bit too high on the
monitor, approaching the middle of the screen.
This is light on supplements, but the Making Of... is enjoyable
and informative even though short. It goes about the movie production
itself and a bit about the historical context as well. It is in a
There are also a Theatrical Trailer (anamorphic) and a section dedicated
to the director's biography. The subtitle font, size and height used in
the trailer are much better in my opinion, but I believe the size chosen
for the presentation is more "universal" and easier on the eyes.
Although the movie is far from being emotionally exploitative, I found
it very moving while historically relevant. This is a honest and
precisely acted film with a subtle plot that surprisingly unfolds
peculiar situations that range from a fun and classy dance scene to
sinister and dramatic events. Believe me, this is not a plot that tries
too much and gets lost in the middle but instead a concise biographical
storytelling that is capable of successfully sharing contrasted moments
of life in a short 115 minutes period while keeping the pace.
I find I difficult to compare this film with previous Wang Xiaoshuai'
works, I like all of them, but this one has a specific and different
style and I ended up finding it more captivating. If you enjoy this one
too, films like Tian Zhuangzhuang's "The Blue Kite",
Zhang Ke Jia's "Still
Life" and "Platform"
should also appeal.
This DVD is concise but it delivers the goods pretty well, both the
movie and this edition are well worthy.