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(aka "Rolling Family" or "Familia Rodante" or "Voyage en famille" or "Villa" )

 

directed by Pablo Trapero
Argentina/Brazil/France/Germany/Spain/UK 2004

 

Trapero is that rarest kind of filmmaker, a minimalist with a huge heart. As this film's extended family travels clear across Argentina, from Buenos Aires to a remote town on the Brazilian border, in a motor home built atop a 1956 Chevy Viking pickup, conversation is sparse and images predominate. What you'll take away from "Rolling Family" are wordless scenes: a teen couple snogging in the cramped camper bathroom; a younger kid daydreaming with his head out the window as overhead wires twist past, a disgraced wife crying, an old woman sitting in silence, looking, literally and figuratively, toward the end of the road.

When there is talking, most of it is ordinary stuff. Arguments, complaints, flirtation, negotiation. Yet along this hot, slow journey, as one passenger leaves and two others (one a stray dog) get on board, this entire family is revealed to us, with all its love and pain, its unhealed wounds and ridiculous behavior. A new cylinder head for the Chevy's engine is acquired from a distant village (where someone had been using it as a planter). An emergency dental extraction is performed. A separated couple reunites and a married couple splits up. It's a profoundly rich and beautiful picture, in its unassuming way close to a masterpiece.

Excerpt of review from Andrew O'Hehir located HERE

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Theatrical Release: September 30th, 2004 (Argentina)

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:38:33
Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.5 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.

Bitrate

Audio Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Making of Documentary (20:46)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Director Biography

DVD Release Date: March 27th, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 11

 

Comments

Surveying the online reviews of Pablo Trapero's "Familia rodante", there seem to be two dominant views. Some herald it as a masterpiece of rich emotion and imagery. Others see it as a cloying and manipulative dramedy; an Argentinean "Little Miss Sunshine". As often is the case, my own opinion lies in the middle. While there was some humor and character development that I found grating, there was fortunately enough to keep me entertained in the film. For every moment of "Little Miss Sunshine"-esque disingenuousness or cornball humor, there was enough real emotion or gorgeous cinematography to make the viewing worthwhile.

The image here is one of strongest yet that I've come across from Artificial Eye. The non-anamorphic widescreen presentation of the film preserves its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1. The detail is very strong in the images, with all colors looking quite sharp. What's more, there's no indication anywhere here of damage or manipulation. Overall it's quite impressive despite not being 16x9 enhanced.

The sound is similarly good. Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, the audio here makes full use of the best that mono has to offer, with the dialogue and music always sounding crisp and clear. The subtitles are large and white, but never prove obtrusive toward the image.

Aside from the director's biography and a short theatrical trailer, the only extra here is a "making of..." documentary, that blends talking heads with footage from the set. Those who enjoyed the film will likely find this to be a worthwhile viewing experience as well.

My overall impression of this release is that it's an impressive package from one of the most important studios operating today, of a decent film. That sounds like a recommendation to me.

 - Brian Montgomery

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL


 




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