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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'The Double Life of Veronique')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/kieslowski.htm
France 1991

 

  Krzysztof Kieslowski's international breakthrough remains one of his most beloved films, a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition. Irène Jacob is incandescent as both Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher. Though unknown to each other, the two women share an enigmatic, purely emotional bond, which Kieslowski details in gorgeous reflections, colors, and movements. Aided by Slawomir Idziak's shimmering cinematography and Zbigniew Preisner's haunting, operatic score, Kieslowski creates one of cinema's most purely metaphysical works. The Double Life of Veronique is an unforgettable symphony of feeling.

****

Krzysztof Kieslowski focuses on identity using naturalistic and sultry actress Irene Jacobs in the dual role of French music teacher Veronique and Polish soprano Weronika - both born on the same day. Metaphysically they are aware of each other's counterpart and it harkens back to the director's penchant for fate, chance and circumstance and we envision a possible meeting of the intertwined souls. Both mysterious and spiritual, Kieslowski touches us with the universally hopeful destiny of a parallel kindred spirit. Our unspoken desire for a mirrored being - who can non-verbally share our most intimate loves and joys - is the ultimate expression of personal support. The director's use of music and atmosphere again appears unmatched in the modern era of film. Overall, an ambiguous and enigmatic offering, this is a film that clings to you for years after viewing. A true masterpiece of cinema. out of

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 15th, 1991 - Cannes Film Festival

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Comparison:

Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC vs. MK2 (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Artificial Eye (2 Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Artificial Eye - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the AE DVD screen caps

1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC LEFT

2) MK2 (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Artificial Eye (2 Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 359

Region 1 - NTSC

MK2 - Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye Spine #010BD - Region FREE - Blu-ray Criterion Spine #359 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:37:30  1:32:45 (4% PAL speedup) 1:32:45 (4% PAL speedup) 1:37:48.028 1:38:06.922

Video

1.66:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.30 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.40 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.40 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 43,917,487,158 bytes

Feature Size: 32,652,013,698 bytes

Average Bitrate: 31.4 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Disc Size: 47,070,906,844 bytes

Feature Size: 22,438,490,112 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.48 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

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

Bitrate: Criterion

Bitrate: MK2

 

Bitrate: Artificial Eye

Bitrate: Artificial Eye Blu-ray

Bitrate: Criterion Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0) French (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 5.0)   2.0 Dolby Digital Polish / French, 5.1 Dolby Digital Polish / French DTS-HD Master Audio French 3879 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3879 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit) DTS-HD Master Audio English 2070 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2070 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps /
24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Polish 2079 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2079 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps /
24-bit)
Subtitles English, None English, French, None English, None English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

Disc 1

• Audio commentary by Annette Insdorf, author of Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski
• Three short documentary films by Kieslowski: Factory (1970), Hospital (1976), and Railway Station (1980)
• The Musicians (1958), a short film by Kieslowski's teacher Kazimierz Karabasz

Disc 2
• Kieslowski Dialogue (1991), a documentary featuring a candid interview with Kieslowski and rare behind-the-scenes footage from the set of The Double Life of Veronique
• 1966-1988: Kieslowski, Polish Filmmaker, a 2005 documentary tracing the filmmaker's work in Poland, from his days as a student through The Double Life of Veronique
• A 2005 interview with actress Irïene Jacob
• New video interviews with cinematographer Slawomir Idziak and composer Zbigniew Preisner
• Book featuring new essays by Jonathan Romney, Slavoj Zizek, and Peter Cowie, and a selection from Kieslowski on Kieslowski 

DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2006
Case - see images below
Chapters: 21

Release Information:
Studio: MK2 Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

Disc 1

• Film

Disc 2
•  Conversation with Kieslowski (52:39 mins)
•  Interview with Irène Jacob (12:42, 2005)
•  Kieslowski : Polish Filmmaker documentary (30:35)
•  3 short films : L’Usine(17 mins), L’Hôpital (20 mins), La Gare (30:35)

DVD Release Date: February 22nd, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66

Edition Details:
• Conversation with Kieslowski (52:40)
• Interview with Irène Jacob (16:42)
• Kieslowski : Polish Filmmaker documentary (30:35)
• 4 Short Films:
• The Musician (10:07)
• The Factory (17:30)
• Hospital (20:28)
• Railway Station (12:42)

DVD Release Date: April 24th, 2006
Double Amaray

Chapters 13

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

 

Disc Size: 43,917,487,158 bytes

Feature Size: 32,652,013,698 bytes

Average Bitrate: 31.4 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• Conversation with Kieslowski (52:40)
• Interview with Irène Jacob (16:42)
• Kieslowski : Polish Filmmaker documentary (30:35)
• 4 Short Films:
• The Musician (10:07)
• The Factory (17:30)
• Hospital (20:28)
• Railway Station (12:42)

Blu-ray Release Date: March 22nd, 2010
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

 

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

Disc Size: 47,070,906,844 bytes

Feature Size: 22,438,490,112 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.48 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Edition Details: 

• Audio commentary by Annette Insdorf, author of Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski
• Three short documentary films by Kieslowski: Factory (1970), Hospital (1976), and Railway Station (1980)
• The Musicians (1958), a short film by Kieslowski's teacher Kazimierz Karabasz
• Kieslowski Dialogue (1991), a documentary featuring a candid interview with Kieslowski and rare behind-the-scenes footage from the set of The Double Life of Veronique
• 1966-1988: Kieslowski, Polish Filmmaker, a 2005 documentary tracing the filmmaker's work in Poland, from his days as a student through The Double Life of Veronique
• A 2005 interview with actress Irïene Jacob
• New video interviews with cinematographer Slawomir Idziak and composer Zbigniew Preisner
56-page liner notes booklet featuring new essays by Jonathan Romney, Slavoj Zizek, and Peter Cowie, and a selection from Kieslowski on Kieslowski 

Blu-ray Release Date: January 31st, 2011
Transparent
Blu-ray Keep Case
Chapters: 20

 

Criterion DVD packaging

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' Blu-ray: January 2011: On the surface there isn't a lot of difference between the Criterion Blu-ray presentation and the Artificial Eye (UK). Sometimes one transfer appears brighter than the other and then, in other scenes, it's the converse. Criterion definitely shows more grain and some fans will appreciate the more textured look. There is still minor noise in a couple of the darker scenes on both editions. Technically the AE is the frontrunner with a higher file size for the feature and, hence, a higher bitrate. Sometimes the Criterion black levels seem richer to me - but I think you would have to have quite a discerning system to notice much in the way of disparity in a visual sense. Both Blu-rays are extremely impressive on that front.

While both audio tracks are lossless - Criterion remain faithful with the stereo 2.0 channel track (the AE offers a 5.1 Surround). While the AE is more immersive the Criterion may be more accurate in the theatrical reproduction. This can be a very important issue for Kieslowski fans as the film's music and subtle effects play such a large role in the presentation. While it might have been ideal for both editions to offer both tracks (2.0 + 5.1) - this isn't the case but at least those placing emphasis on the audio have a hi-def choice.

Extras, of course, go easily to the fruitful Criterion with its many important and fascinating supplements (discussed below - duplicated from their DVD set - but video features in HD) - now all supplied and accessible on one disc. I still enjoy the Insdorf commentary - even upon multiple re-visitation and the interviews, shorts and booklet round out an essential package. For those with both the AE Blu-ray and the Criterion DVD - we don't suggest an upgrade is necessary. For everyone else this is a must-own film and the Criterion Blu-ray supplies so much it is hard to deny its place in any digital library.

Gary W. Tooze

***

ADDITION: Artificial Eye Blu-ray: March 2010:  As predicted, the upgrade to an HD image shows some significant improvements over the Criterion, with a sharper image, less noise, and more vibrant colors. While some shots may be less impressive than others (particularly those shot at a distance), the level of detail is generally superb. The film's sound also receives a clear boost here, going from non-HD tracks to DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The musical scenes here really come alive with the upgrade. The Criterion DVD still slightly edges out the Blu-ray in the extras department as Artificial Eye's blu-ray has identical extras to the standard edition. Nevertheless, we have a new standard bearer for Kieslowski's masterpiece. Anyone looking to purchase this for the first time or to upgrade, would do well picking up this BD. Not only is is a substantial A/V improvement over all of the standard editions, but it's also region free!

***

ADDITION - Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - November 06 - The Criterion appears sharper, slightly brighter and has less of the greenish/golden hue. I see no prominent signs of cropping. Subtitles are the same - generally the NTSC edition is best, but it's not overwhelming (depending on your system), but it does look superior. I will assume Criterion have minutely boosted the black levels to bring up the sharpness.

Criterion, as their usual preference, passed on the boosted 5.0 or 5.1 track option and has kept the 2.0 which sounded fine to my ear.

Most of the supplements are duplicated from the previous releases - They are excellent - A Conversation with Kieslowski (54:22), Interview with Irène Jacob (16:42), Kieslowski : Polish Filmmaker documentary (30:52), 4 Short Films - The Musician (10:17), The Factory (17:56), Hospital (20:48) and Railway Station (13:05).

But the Criterion has an insightful Insdorf commentary that is well worth the spin. I feel like I could listen to her all day - she has the most beautiful clear voice and her knowledge is extensive - she discusses Kieslowski's uncommon manner of storytelling and some interpretation of the film itself. No doubt one of my favorite commentaries of this year. On top of this are some new video interviews with cinematographer Slawomir Idziak (about 25 minutes) and composer Zbigniew Preisner (about 22 minutes) . Included is an an extensive booklet (actually a 70-page 'book') with articles by Jonathan Romney, Slavo Zizek, Peter Cowie and an excerpt on the book 'Kieslowski on Kieslowski'. As one might expect with Criterion - it is also flawlessly done in a tasteful and professional manner.

Bottom line: The Criterion is the definitive version but many will question whether they should upgrade if they already own one of the PAL editions. Personally I think the Insdorf commentary is reason enough but the almost hour of extra interviews and the spectacular book may be the final push to purchase. This is just another film that I want to own the best DVD edition available.

Gary W. Tooze

ADDITION- Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - August 06 - A port of the MK2 edition, it appears to be identical.

 - Henrik Sylow

***

There are some subtitle package differences but I agree with Henrik regarding the image (duplicate) - extras are the same - and our investigation show the golden-hue was definitely intentional (by Slawomir Idziak / Krzysztof Zanussi).

Best to go for the cheapest of the two that you can find.

Gary W. Tooze

*****

One of the more highly anticipated DVD releases does not disappoint. Amongst knowledgeable DVD-ophiles MK2 is often considered the greatest production company in existence (Criterion included!). They consistently put out magnificent releases of desired narrative films in pristine condition - so much so that other companies often license there transfers. The MK2 edition comes with a 6 frame film strip negative from the film (this is limited to 20,000 - so it says - I have # 18181).

The anamorphic and progressive MK2 image is decidedly green-ish and I will have to consult some individuals to determine if this was intentional. I don't recall my old VHS looking this way BUT I do recall reading about discussions of this with Kielsowski's cameraman at the time. The aspect ratio has been maintained and it looks extremely film-like. The image is very clean and the English subtitles are exceptionally well-done. The 2nd disc of supplements are nothing short of fabulous. I will be reporting in my details after a second viewing but as it stands I am ecstatic about this release.

NOTE: "The film was photographed using a golden yellow filter, and the resulting sepia-cum-russet color scheme was apparently further augmented with the deliberate elimination of the color blue from the film's spectrum. True blue appears only a few times in the picture, in each instance reflecting a subjective feeling of love or otherness: Weronika's sighting of Veronique (where she appears almost haloed by the color); the blue dress of Weronika's beautiful aunt; Veronique's discovery of the puppeteer's reflection in a backstage mirror; Alexandre's van; and another subjective view of the puppeteer, as Veronique watches him covertly through a stained glass window."

 

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus  - Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC

 

 

Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC - Disc 2

 


 

DVD Menus (Same form both MK2 and Artificial Eye)

 

Disc 2 (Same for both MK2 and Artificial Eye)

 

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MK2 (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Artificial Eye (2 Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MK2 (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Artificial Eye (2 Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MK2 (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Artificial Eye (2 Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MK2 (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Artificial Eye (2 Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MK2 (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Artificial Eye (2 Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MK2 (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Artificial Eye (2 Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Grabs

 

1) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

1) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

1) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

1) Artificial Eye  Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 359

Region 1 - NTSC

MK2 - Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye Spine #010BD - Region FREE - Blu-ray Criterion Spine #359 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 




 

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