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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


directed by Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou
USA 2004


This DVD of "Take Out" is compared to Criterion's Blu-ray HERE


Co-directors Shih-Ching Tsou and Sean Baker (whose Prince of Broadway earned him best narrative feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this year) are in town this week for the theatrical release of their 2004 DV production, Take Out. It’s a powerful example of guerilla filmmaking with a commitment to the rhythms and social fluxes of urban life, as well as to the quiet human costs and virtues teeming at its core. Tsou and Baker effectively formed a two-person crew, and they camped out for a month at a busy Chinese take out restaurant in the Upper West Side (Manhattan Valley, an area known for its economic diversity, racial tensions, and general cultural smorgasbord) to film a fictional story about an undocumented bicycle deliveryman who has to earn enough tips in a single, rainy day to pay off a loan shark.

With cinematic models that include the Dardennes and Ken Loach, Baker knows his plot is a vehicle on which to hang an exploration of the everyday textures and personal interactions in his chosen socioeconomic setting. The plot maintains the countdown suspense of its premise, but the beauty of the film lies in the way that suspense shifts from its practical conflict to an existential and ethical one in the final act, bringing home the despair and decisions that define so many lives on and off the screen.

Excerpt from Doug Cummings at Film located HERE


Theatrical Release: January 18th, 2004 (Slamdance Film Festival)

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DVD Review: Kino - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:28:06

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.16 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.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (Mandarin, English, Spanish)
Subtitles English, Traditional Chinese, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Kino

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Directors Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou and Actor Charles Jang
• Cast and Crew Interviews (18:06)
• Two Deleted Scenes (3:50 + 1:48)
• Charles Jang's Audition (1:39)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:26)
• Stills Gallery

DVD Release Date: September 1st, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 12



This DVD of "Take Out" is compared to Criterion's Blu-ray HERE

An excellent cinéma vérité-style independent film just got a welcome DVD release from Kino. The thought-provoking feature shows the one day in the life of an illegal immigrant delivering Chinese food to make enough money to pay his debt. Shot on digital recorder, the image is showing limitations of the technology, but at least the transfer is anamorphic and progressive. The original Mandarin/English audio is provided, but English subtitles are only provided for Mandarin dialogue.

Cavu Pictures and Kino provides a nice set of extras featuring a full-length audio commentary by the creators (they are more than just directors) and its star ("I speak English! Surprise, surprise!"). Also, there's a nice set of interviews about the film that runs almost 20 minutes, 2 deleted scenes, a sample of film's audition by Charles Jang, trailer and a set of behind-the-scenes photos in a stills gallery. The film and this DVD release is highly recommended and I wish despite all the limitations and higher price tag for this DVD, it can reach bigger audience.

 - Gregory Meshman


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