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Directed by Fernando Meirelles
Canada / Brazil / Japan 2008

 

Acknowledgment must also be given to the remarkable soundtrack, original music composed by Marco Antonio Guimaraes. Note that Guimaraes’ composition is not typical of the traditional film score. Highly original and evocative, it is more of a soundscape. Alternately serpentine, predatory, plaintive, melancholy, and wondrous, Guimaraes’ piece weaves itself into your head and stays there. It has been a long time since I heard anything as inventive and sublime as this.

Blindness does have its shortcomings, the chief of which is its length. The narrative momentum breaks down because Meirelles draws things out too long in many scenes. He makes a point and then continues to hammer it in over and over — I get it already. On the other hand, one very effective scene, the rape sequence, was executed well and is an integral part of this movie, one I’m glad they kept. I was concerned about it because advanced word had it that the principals were considering cutting it from the film. And that would have robbed the film of much of its impact.

Because of the rich subtext, there is much to ponder in Blindness; that is what makes it such a great movie — it makes you think. If the dark could be read as the soul, and light as the spirit, then ask yourself: is this a world in the throes of a spiritual crisis? Is the dreaded white sickness a scourge to humanity or does it serve a higher function, as I believe it does? Decide for yourself.

Excerpt from the Critics Choice located HERE  

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 14th, 2008 - Cannes Film Festival

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DVD Comparison:

MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray

MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

NOTE: We are unsure if the Fox Pathe Europa (France) is also Region FREE!

Distribution MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:00:59 2:01:05.758
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.78 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,176,099,032 bytes

Feature: 36,705,705,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.23 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1) Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1548 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1548 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Japanese 1605 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1605 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Subtitles English (SDH),  Spanish (SDH), None English,  Japanese, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MiraMax

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• A Vision of Blindness (55:28 - 25 chapters)
• 5 Deleted Scenes

• Previews

DVD Release Date: February 10th, 2009

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: Asmik

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,176,099,032 bytes

Feature: 36,705,705,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.23 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• A Vision of Blindness (55:34 - 25 chapters)
• 5 Deleted Scenes (optional Japanese subs)

• Previews

Blu-ray Release Date: April 3rd, 2009
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Asmik - Region FREE Blu-ray - June 09': Firstly, this Japanese Asmik Blu-ray is region FREE as identified by my Momitsu player although we cannot definitely state the coding for the French Pathe Europa edition. Image-wise it seems to accentuate the intentional cinematic style conventions - presumably - more accurately. The image is a bit brighter and more yellow than in the blown out whites - detail is a solid jump ahead and everything is that much tighter. There is a marginal amount more information in the frame - most noticeable at the top and bottom of the frame. The Blu-ray is filling the screen at 1.78. It shows some decent depth and skin tones are warmer. I was impressed with the 1080P appearance on a dual-layered disc with the feature taking up over 36 Gig with a video bitrate in the low 30's. This seems like a very solid hi-def transfer.

The original music by Marco Antônio Guimarães was strong in TrueHD - even at only 1500 kbps. The film's track is not particularly aggressive but the audio did stand out as superior to the DVD. There are optional English or Japanese subtitles.

Supplements duplicate the MiraMax DVD (see descriptions below) with the same excellent hour-long documentary entitled "A Vision of Blindness" where many of the cast crew and novelist, José Saramago, give input on the fairly extensive process made towards realism in the film, a few deleted scenes and some preview trailers. Nothing is in HD, and there are optional Japanese subtitles for the extras.

Menus are unfortunately in Japanese but are easy enough to navigate as there are not excessive options. I still really like this film - despite the harshness of its messages. It was great seeing it on Blu-ray - the best way to watch this impacting film in your home theater. We certainly recommend but double dipping might depend on your personal enjoyment of Blindness. The film is that much more 'real' and I think it's worth it. 

***

  

ON THE DVD: This is a dual-layered, anamorphic, progressively transferred DVD. The film's heavy cinematographic stylings leave the image quality difficult to judge in any comparative standard. There are plenty of intentionally hazy, out-of-focus shots, looking purposefully grainy or desaturated - often through impediments, like doors, gates, walls or windows, to establish both the realism and focus on the film's major theme of 'vision'. I have no reason to believe the transfer does not faithfully replicate the filmmakers intent. Good news again that I don't see excessive manipulation and the image is, expectantly very clean.  Audio is a fairly well-separated 5.1 track with optional Spanish DUB. I was particularly keen on the original music by Marco Antônio Guimarães (listed as 'Uakti') which, fittingly, haunts the narrative. There are optional English (SDH) or Spanish (SDH) subtitles and my computer could get the choice of being on the bottom of the screen or the top. Supplements include a thorough hour-long documentary entitled "A Vision of Blindness" where many of the cast crew and novelist, José Saramago, give input on the fairly extensive process made towards realism in the film. Performers attended a 'sightless camp' and were forced to travel extensive distances blindfolded in groups to give further motivation into character movement and positioning. It was interesting and highly relevant to the production. There are also 5 deleted scenes which added to the overall film development but were left out to accelerate the film pace.

I was very impressed with the film's development, cinematography and evolution via the director's narrative subtleties - first class. I had no issues with the DVD transfer and the extras are insightful and extensive. The film experience, with society breaking down, may be too harrowing for some to sit through but I strongly encourage those brave enough to indulge to check this out. I found Blindness fascinating and the conclusion a rewarding experience.     

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus - Blu-ray extras


 


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

 

Subtitle Sample - can't yet obtain Blu-ray subtitle samples

 

MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

NOTE: We are unsure if the Fox Pathe Europa (France) is also Region FREE!

Distribution MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC Asmik - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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