Bill Douglas Trilogy


My Childhood (1972)        My Ain Folk (1973)        My Way Home (1978)

 


Titles

 

 


 

Bill Douglas's award-winning films - My Childhood, My Ain Folk and My Way Home - which the BFI is releasing together in a two-disc DVD set with special features, are three of the most compelling and critically acclaimed films about childhood ever made.

The narrative is largely autobiographical, following Jamie (played with heart-breaking conviction by Stephen Archibald) as he grows up in a poverty-stricken mining village in post-war Scotland. In these brutal surroundings, and subject to hardship and rejection, Jamie learns to fend for himself. We see him grow from child to adolescent - angry and bewildered, but playful, creative and affectionate.

In My Childhood (1972), eight-year old Jamie lives with his granny and elder brother in a Scots mining village in 1945. With his mother in a mental home, and his father absent, he is subject to the hardships of poverty. In My Ain Folk (1973), Jamie is sent to live with his paternal grandmother and uncle; a life full of silence and rejection. My Way Home (1978) sees Jamie's ultimate victory over his circumstances; after a spell in foster care, and a homeless shelter, he is conscripted into the RAF, where he embarks on a redemptive friendship with Robert, which allows him to emerge from his ineffectual adolescence to pursue his artistic ambition.

Watching the Trilogy is far from a depressing experience. This is cinematic poetry: Douglas contracted his subject matter to the barest essentials - dialogue is kept to a minimum, and fields, slag heaps and cobbled streets are shot in bleak monochrome. Yet with its unexpected humour and warmth, the Trilogy brims with clear-eyed humanity, and affection for an ultimately triumphant young boy.

Excerpt from the BFI wesbite located HERE

Theatrical Releases: Various from 1972 - 1978

  DVD Reviews

Comparison:

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

DVD Box Cover

Distribution BFI - Region 2 - PAL BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Time: 1:08:42, 44:32, 52:54 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:11:38.000, 46:24.625, 55:10.041
Stats 2 dual-layered discs

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,212,947,149 bytes

Feature: 12.8 - 19.5 Gig

Video Bitrate: 32.39 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate:

DVD

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (2.0) LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz /
2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33

Edition Details:

Second Disc:

Bill Douglas: Intent on Getting the Image (2006, 63 mins), a new documentary about Bill Douglas's life and work.
Come Dancing (1970, 15 mins), Douglas's remarkable, rarely-seen student short.
Rare archive interview with Bill Douglas (4 mins)
Illustrated booklet containing newly commissioned essays, notes and credits.


DVD Release Date: June 23rd, 2008

Transparent Keep case (see image above)
Chapters:
various

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,212,947,149 bytes

Feature: 12.8 - 19.5 Gig

Video Bitrate: 32.39 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Second Disc:

Bill Douglas: Intent on Getting the Image (2006, 63 mins), a new documentary about Bill Douglas's life and work.
Come Dancing (1970, 15 mins), Douglas's remarkable, rarely-seen student short.
Rare archive interview with Bill Douglas (4 mins)
Illustrated booklet containing newly commissioned essays, notes and credits.


Blu-ray Release Date: July 27th, 2009

Standard
Blu-ray case (see image above)
Chapters:
various

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: BFI - Region FREE Blu-ray - August 09': This masterpiece trilogy, that received multiple award mention in your DVD of the Year 2008 Poll, is now available in region FREE Blu-ray. The disc is dual-layered taking up a whopping 48 Gig. As the original image quality appears - so the 1080P resolution improves it. We see more grain, especially with My Childhood, and superior detail - especially in My Ain Folk and My Way Home. There are times it looks absolutely stunning. Contrast is remarkable and the entire package's visuals are ever so impressive. These are now in theatrical running time - no PAL speedup.

Audio has been given a lossless linear PCM upgrade with about 2000 Kbps - I can't see it sounding any better. The optional English subtitles remain. My Momitsu tells me this Blu-ray is Region FREE!

The second PAL, single-layered, disc of extras is duplicated and discussed below but it won't play on region 'A'-locked Blu-ray machines. The same booklet is also included.

This is a little over a year since the DVDs came out and I expect it was a transitional time to put on Blu-ray. This wasn't an attempt to gouge for double-dipping. BFI are putting out both format titles simultaneously now. Even if you own on DVD I strongly suggest the upgrade. Very highly recommended!  

***

ON THE DVD package: The first disc of this package has the three main features running between 45 and 68 minutes each. It is progressive and dual-layered. The second is single-layered and has the supplements. Both are coded for region 2 in the PAL standard. It is housed in a standard transparent keep case (see above image).  At present these three Bill Douglas films are not sold separately and are only available in this Trilogy collection. The features can be played individually or one immediately following the next with a 'Play all' option.  

Each have original English audio with an option for English subtitles in a white font with black border (see samples below). The extras, also in English, also have optional subtitles.  

Image: All three are transferred in their original 1.33 aspect ratio. My Childhood looks the weakest, probably more from the source than from anything BFI could have done. It suffers from its more meager production roots and has some definite contrast flickering visible. It shows grain but when it's that heavy it is never really translated perfectly for digital  - showing some significant blocking. It looks... as it looks and that is not really that bad at all. Thankfully it is consistent throughout. The other two, My Ain Folk and My Way Home both look fabulous with exceptional black level contrast and a healthy amount of detail. All things considered these have very impressive visual appeal. I think they look tremendous on this BFI DVD.    

Audio - All have 2.0 channel audio that sounds flat and unremarkable - this would be akin to original. It's clean and clear enough but shows signs of its simple roots and the optional subtitles are appreciated (samples below) especially for those unfamiliar with the occasionally strong accents.

The second disc is single-layered and has some supplements - a great hour-long documentary featurette entitled Bill Douglas: Intent on Getting the Image made in 2006. It focuses on his life and work with testimony from long-time friends and co-workers. Come Dancing is a 15 minute Bill Douglas student short from 1970. It has rarely been seen before now and looks about the same quality as My Childhood. Finally, on the digital front, there is a rare 4 minute archival interview with Bill Douglas talking about his inspiration and personal obsessions with his own childhood. There is also an illustrated liner notes booklet containing newly commissioned essays, notes and credits.   

Overall impression: One of our strongest recommendations of the entire year to date. Kudos to BFI for bringing this to the digital light. This will get some healthy endorsement in our year end voting. Incredible images consistently infest these masterwork films. I'm kind of speechless. Buy now.

I really can't put it better than is stated on the case 'Three of the most compelling films about childhood and adolescence ever made - released for the first time on DVD.' We consider this package essential viewing.             

Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus


Second DVD (same on both editions)

 


 

 

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

 

 

My Childhood (1972)
 

Screen Captures

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 My Ain Folk (1973)

 

 

Screen Captures

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


My Way Home (1978)

 

Screen Captures

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution BFI - Region 2 - PAL BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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