Three Films by Marc Isaacs
2001, 2002, 2003


A collection of shorts by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Marc Isaacs. LIFT is a quietly fascinating meditation on the mundanities of London life. Installing himself inside the lift of a high-rise block of council flats, Isaacs and his camera patiently observe the residents as they go about their daily business. As each of his subjects enters the lift, it's interesting to note their reactions to him being there; some are suspicious, others curious, and then there are those who seem more comfortable in his presence. Also included are the films TRAVELLERS and CALAIS - THE LAST BORDER, each revealing a poignant and truly original perspective on modern British life.


Marc Isaacs worked as an assistant to acclaimed filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski, who encouraged Isaacs to make his own film. The result was Lift, and from that debut onwards Isaacs has revealed a great capacity to empathise with the protagonists of his films. Never judging by appearances, Isaacs’ skill at getting to know the characters becomes part of the narrative of the film, and their (and our) prejudices and preconceptions are challenged by the reality he finds.

Strong human characters are at the heart of all of Isaacs’ films and “he has quietly built a body of work that puts him amongst the most empathetic documentary observers we have of lives often overlooked” (Time Out). In these three films Isaacs creates a succession of deeply moving portraits, piecing together a unique vision of modern Britain.

Excerpt from the Second Run website located HERE

DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Second Run - Region 0 - PAL

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Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL
Runtime  24:37 + 47:42 + 58:42
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.8 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles  None

Release Information:
Studio: Second Run

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• New filmed interview with director Marc Isaacs (18:33)
• 12-page liner notes booklet with essays by Nick Fraser and Graeme Hobbs

DVD Release Date: June 29th, 2009

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 1, 6 + 6



Another solid package from Second Run. The dual-layered, progressive transfer supports the independent production values very well. All three short films look quite strong and the image quality is consistent throughout. 

Audio is unremarkable and may be more significant evidence of the meager production roots than the competent image. There is a realistic intent of the dialogue and everything sounds audible through the 2.0 channel track. There are no subtitles but the, mostly, Brit accents certainly aren't indecipherable.

Supplements consist of an interesting 20-minute interview with Isaacs backed with some scenes from his 3 films. He seem like an intelligent laid back chap. There is also a 12-page liner notes booklet with essays by Nick Fraser and Graeme Hobbs.

I liked 'Lift' the most I think - but all are fairly simple films that give food for thought. We've been given another interesting package, with rare content, from our friends at Second Run. Recommended! 

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


Screen Captures - Lift







Screen Captures - Travellers







Screen Captures - Calais: The Last Border









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Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 2 - PAL


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