|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(aka 'Black Snow" or "Ben ming nian')
Theatrical Release: February 14th, 1990 (Berlin International Film Festival)
DVD Review: Second Run - Region 0 - PAL
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL|
Average Bitrate: 7.21 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||Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
with Xie Fei (31:49)
Second Run's progressive dual-layered DVD sports a pristine full-frame transfer with exceptional detail, sharpness, contrast and colors. Black levels are extremely prominent and their may be some moiring but I was very impressed with how it looked on my system. I can't recall a 1.33 image having this high quality although scattered frames do show some speckles. There are numerous instances of true depth of field - a rarity with the SD-DVD format.
The 2.0 channel audio has some sync issues but it was nothing I couldn't easily live with. Dialogue is clean and clear as is the music sequences. There are optional English subtitles available.
Extras include a highly interesting 30-minute interview with the director in mandarin with English subtitles. he talks about the changes society has gone through in the 90's - especially for film. Second Run have included a nice liner notes booklet with photos and an essay "The Exquisite Sadness in Life: Random Thought on Xie Fei's Films" by Shaoyi Sun. Short of a commentary these supplements fill in many gaps.
Described on the festival circuit as "... Xie Fei's gritty tone and subject blaze the trail for the Sixth Generation's 'underground' provocations." I still felt somewhat 'propogandized' with the essential tone showing the future a grim one post the Student Beijing uprising where community spirit and quality of life had purer ideals. Perhaps I am too politically jaded - interpretations seem less clear as the film runs to its conclusion. Jiang Wen's performance is a huge strong point to endorse a viewing. The image is outstanding and it's easy to get used to the audio sync issue. Both the interview and liner notes make for solid extras. I don't know that the film is an important one but it does both entertain and provoke discussion. Second Run comes through yet again... recommended!