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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "L'atelier" )


directed by Laurent Cantet
France 2017


Author Olivia Dejazet (Marina Fos, POLISSE) comes to the coastal town of La Ciotat to conduct a summer writing class for the area's youth. Some are enthusiastic, some are bored, and for others attendance is mandatory based on their participation (willing or otherwise) in other local government programs. In the initial writing exercises, Olivia endeavors to get their minds stimulated by the local environment which seems overfamiliar to them to the point that they are oblivious to its points of interest and historical background. Visiting the shipyards, they learn of how La Ciotat was once a thriving port during the war, the employment opportunities of which brought some of their grandparents to France from Algeria and other countries. As they set about plotting a theoretical novel - having chosen the thriller genre - racial tensions emerge among the group, spurned by white teen Antoine (Matthieu Lucci) whose violent writings disturb the others, and whose provocations alienate the others, particularly Bouba (footballer Mamadou Doumbia) and Malika (Warda Rammach), while Olivia and fellow white teenager Etienne (Florian Beaujean) are caught in the middle. Olivia has been secretly profiling Antoine as a character for her next novel and initially believes Antoine has been negatively affected by French racism and stories about the radicalization of Muslims; however, she starts to believe it is he who has been radicalized when she discovers in his social media profile links to French nationalist speeches and photographs and videos of him and his friends playing with guns. Is Antoine a domestic terrorist in training or a bored teenager playing at provocateur? The shapeless THE WORKSHOP is not really inclined to explore this angle despite the characters' project of plotting a thriller, focusing instead on a sense of urban ennui and alienation that exists in even the most scenic places that appear idyllic to strangers. Antoine is not developed enough to be an antagonist or the antihero of Olivia's novel, and the concluding "confessional" writing exercise seems meant to shame the others for thinking too badly of one who, like them, feels stifled by their environment and lashes out whose differences are only supposed to be skin deep. The film is ultimately more interesting in its broad strokes - or, perhaps, more appropriately, its brainstorm - than in the details.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 11 October 2017 (France)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:53:36

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.41 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 French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
� Theatrical Trailer (1:43)
� Trailers

DVD Release Date: 19 June 2018

Chapters 8



Strand Releasing gives a strong high-bitrate, dual-layer, progressive anamorphic DVD to this title that nicely represents the textures of faces, industrial landscapes, and the rocky seaside setting while the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is front-oriented with the surrounds used sparingly. Optional English subtitles are free of errors. The only extras are trailers.

  - Eric Cotenas


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DVD Box Cover

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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC



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