Directed by Bouli Lanners
Belgium / France 2008

 

 
In Eldorado, his second feature film as a director, he plays the lead. In 1999, he wrote and directed Travellinckx, a short road movie in black and white super 8, which did a world tour of film festivals. Two years later, the short film Muno confirmed his unusual style and was selected for the Directors Fortnight at Cannes and many other festivals. In 2005, he made his first feature film, Ultranova, a tender and ironic portrait of a group of misfits and a quirky look at his native Wallonia, which was awarded a prize at the Berlinale. He is currently writing his next two feature films.

In “Eldorado,” a road movie that poignantly juggles absurdism and melancholy, the summertime landscape of the Wallonia region of Belgium is filmed to resemble a miniaturized American West. The soundtrack for this story of two mutually suspicious strangers who establish a tentative bond on a highway to nowhere echoes the twang of Ennio Morricone with a hint of parody.

The unsettled weather — billowing clouds give way to thunderstorms before the sun returns, only to disappear again — reflects the movie’s tempestuous emotional climate and lends “Eldorado” a cosmic dimension. The camera is continually pulling back to photograph characters moving in the distance in settings that are as beautiful as they are desolate.

Excerpt from Stephen Holden at the  NY Times located HERE

About the Director
Bouli Lanners was born in Belgium in 1965. A self-taught painter, he worked at every possible job on shoots for Belgian television before making himself popular on Canal+ Belgium, by acting in sketches on Snuls, a comedy show created in 1989. Since then, he has directed films and played many supporting roles in Belgian and French productions, including The Carriers are Waiting by Benoît Mariage, Aaltra by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern, Bunker Paradise, Enfermés dehors by Albert Dupontel, When the Sea Rises by Yolande Moreau, A Very Long Engagement by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Cow-Boy by Benoît Mariage, Asterix at the Olympic Games, in which he plays the King of the Greeks, and I Always Wanted to be a Gangster by Samuel Benchetrit. We will soon see him in Où est la main de l'homme sans tête by the Malandrin brothers, and in Louise Michel by Delépine and Kervern.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 18th, 2008 - Cannes Film festival

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DVD Review: Film Movement - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Film Movement - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:20:51 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

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

Bitrate:

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Film Movement

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Short: Icebergs (14:08)
• Short: The Race (1:01)
• Biographies
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: July 14th, 2009

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Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

There is a French Warner DVD of the film that offers optional English subtitles. It is available HERE. It is dual-layered with viable supplements and, sight unseen, we'd have to guess that it is far superior to this Film Movement disc which exhibits combing from an interlaced transfer on a, tiny bitrate, single-layered DVD. I suspect it is also from an unconverted PAL source as the time appears a bit faster. It may be more than that as the French edition is actually 5-minutes longer. Because of the pragmatic transfer there are visible artifacts. On the positive it is 16X9 enhanced. Subtitles are a large intrusive bright yellow but are removable.

The French disc also has DTS track where this is only 2.0 channel - not that there are many instances that would utilize the separation. Film Movement appear to be trying by adding 2 shorts (Icebergs running 14-minutes and The Race at 1-minute) as supplements - the shorter even sponsored by Stella Artois beer!?! While they fill some disc space and hint at artistic promise they aren't related to Eldorado in any way. There are text biographies and a theatrical trailer. 

It's an amusing tragi-comedy - channeling Aki Kaurismäki and Jarmusch - but Film Movement are asking a bit much at $22.50. The availability of a superior English-friendly version and the limitations of interlacing, single-layering artifacts, a probable unconverted PAL sourced image, and unexplainable shorter running time (is it censored?) give us enough reasons to say 'pass' - n'est-ce pas? 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Distribution Film Movement - Region 0 - NTSC




 

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