H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Anti-Clock (2-disc) [Blu-ray]


(Jane Arden + Jack Bond, 1980)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Kendon Films Ltd.

Video: BFI Video



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:35:51.041

Disc Size: 24,418,977,779 bytes

Feature Size: 19,855,948,224 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 27th, 2009



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit


English, none



DVD of Anti-Clock: Jack Bonds re-edit (2005, 87 minutes)

Vibration (1975, 36:29 in HD!): Arden and Bonds experimental Super-8 video/ film
Original trailer (3:03 in HD!)
Fully illustrated booklet with contributions by Jack Bond, Chris Darke, and Penny Slinger: reviews, biographies and credits







Sebastianne Saville stars as a young fellow who reacts to the modern, atom-dominated society by withdrawing from it. He 'makes peace' with the threat of nuclear holocaust by wandering aimlessly about, refusing to be bound by minutes, hours or days. Originally conceived as a short film by producer Jack Bond and director Jane Arden, ANTI-CLOCK was given the feature length treatment to contain its ambitious subject matter.



The Film:

'Anti-Clock... is great!' Andy Warhol
'A futuristic masterpiece' Claude Chabrol

'A complex and fascinating experimental exploration of time and identity. 'Anti-Clock' is a film of authentic, startling originality. Brilliantly mixing cinema and video techniques, Arden and Bond have created a movie that captures the anxiety and sense of danger that has infiltrated the consciousness of so many people in western society. Filled with high tension and high intelligence, Anti-Clock is mysterious, disturbing, fascinating and exciting'. (Jack Kroll, Newsweek).


"Anti-Clock,'' the joint directorial effort of Jane Arden and Jack Bond, would be funny if it were seven minutes long. At full length, its sincerity is suffocating. Miss Arden and Mr. Bond clearly are troubled by the quality of life in this fragmented age and never let a truism, a platitude or a patch of purple prose go unrepeated two or three times. Most of the film is composed of video images, at least half of them close-ups of Joseph Sapha, played by Sebastian Seville, who also plays someone called Professor Zanov, who is trying to straighten out poor Joseph Sapha.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE



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

Aside from this film probing the absolute depths of extreme artistic weirdness - the Blu-ray admittedly looks appropriately very rough and real. The single-layered transfer exports an intensely grainy appearance. This was never meant to look pristine - and so, the accurate BFI transfer, doesn't. The video bitrate is about 24 Mbps and I don't think dual-layering or a vast increase in file size would benefit the image quality. This looks as it looks - and now you are aware. Certainly not for the faint of heart when it comes to tight narratives or brilliantly glossy visuals. This is as raw as it gets.














Audio :

I'm sure no one was expecting a grandiose artificial 5.1 bump here. The linear PCM 2.0 track at 2304 kbps seems less 'organic' than the image. It is the only audio option.  The track tries to export the most accurate-to-original quality and it sounds quite clean with intentional faux-sounds - as far as I am aware. There are optional subtitles in English only and, like the other Blu-ray Arden offerings, my Momitsu has identified this as being region FREE!



Extras :

As typical with BFI and Criterion - video supplements are in HD and we get Arden and Bond's, similarly rough visual offering, an experimental Super-8 video (and it really looks it!) from 1975 entitled Vibration. It runs a shade more fluidly than the main feature and lasts a bare-able 37-minutes. There is also the original trailer and a fully illustrated booklet with contributions by Jack Bond, Chris Darke, and Penny Slinger and also reviews, biographies and credits. Ooopppsss... almost forgot - we also get a second dics DVD of Jack Bonds 2005 re-edit of Anti-Clock lasting 87 minutes.


While I warmed to my first exposure to Arden/Bond with Separation I was left out to dry with Anti-Clock. I doubt that a commentary would have benefited my appreciation here and I wouldn't have been up to the task of watching it a second time anyway. You can't fault BFI here for the 'purity' of this image. I have no doubt that the Blu-ray appears to be reporting things as they are. So be it. Only those with daring Avante garde leanings should consider Anti-Clock. I'll try again in another couple of years. 

Gary Tooze

July 20th, 2009





About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze








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