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directed by Emily Young
UK 2003

 

While her husband John (Mullan) is away doing aid work in the war-torn Balkans, back in London Helen (Dapkunaite) is trying to keep things together with their two kids and her father-in-law (Warner). Then, before her son's eyes, she's knocked over by a car. Will she survive the accident? And how long will it take John to get home? It's a little hard to pinpoint precisely why this first feature disappoints. Clearly a heartfelt, ambitious attempt to treat the theme of loss and grief, it boasts sterling work from both the dependable Mullan and Dapkunaite. But the other performances are unilluminating and the evocation of South London lends the film an aura of the earnest person's version of Notting Hill or About a Boy. As it shifts solemnly back and forth between reality and dream, past and present, London and Europe, the film gradually gets bogged down in a slightly trite conceit that evidently had more promise than potential.

Excerpt of review from Time Out London located HERE

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Theatrical Release: January 2nd, 2004 (UK)

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye (Spine # 272) - Region 0 - PAL

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Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:23:06
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.57 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 English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Tower of Babel (13:34)
• Second Hand (16:35)
• Commentary by the Director, the D.O.P. & the Associate Producer
• Theatrical Trailer
• Cast & Crew filmographies

DVD Release Date: June 28th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 11

 

Comments

The reviews for Emily Young's debut feature, "Kiss of Life", were generally respectful but ultimately negative. Unfortunately, I find myself in the same camp. While there is much to admire about the work, the film ultimately collapses under the weight of its own excesses. I'll second the critics out there that said this would have made a very good short film. There is a good movie in there, and some more judicious editing could have uncovered it.

The visuals looks about par for the course for a disc made in 2004. It's not as sharp as top of the line releases from six years later, but it was good at the time of its release and is more than adequate today. Colors are generally true, there aren't any signs of damage or artifacts, and the grain looks just about right. Mastered in Dolby Digital 2.0, the audio gets the job done without any frills or extravagances. There's no unwanted background noises, but don't expect to be blown away by it. Unfortunately the disc does not have any subtitles.

 

The disc comes with a few key extras aside from the typical director's bio and theatrical trailer that you find AE releases from this era. First, there are a pair of shorts from Young that show off her talent as a director more than the main feature does. Additionally, there's a commentary track by the filmmakers that does a nice job alternating between the technical and the "making of..." material.

Overall, there's much to like in this release. The film didn't do much for me, but for those interested in the movie you'll be happy with the release. It's certainly recommended for those interested.

  - Brian Montgomery

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 0 - PAL

 




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