S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(aka 'Around A Small Mountain ')
From legendary director Jacques Rivette (Va Savoir, The Duchess of Langeais) comes a tale of lost love, chance encounters and the transformative power of art. On a winding mountain road, Vittorio gallantly helps Kate with her stalled car and drives off without a single word exchanged. Later, when their paths cross in a nearby town, Vittorio learns that Kate has returned to join her family's travelling circus after leaving under mysterious conditions many years ago. Intrigued by her story, Vittorio stays for the show, and the next one, and little by little, is ingratiated into the circus and the lives of its performers all the while trying to discover the secret that led to Kate's sudden departure.
"Around a Small Mountain" is a tale of lost love, chance encounters and the transformative power of art. On a winding... mountain road, Vittorio gallantly helps Kate, whose car has broken down, and speeds off never having spoken a word. Later in town, Vittorio learns that Kate has returned to join her family's travelling circus after leaving under mysterious conditions many years ago. Intrigued by her story, Vittorio stays for the show, and the next one, and little by little, is ingratiated into the circus and the lives of its performers -- all the while trying to discover the secret that led to Kate's sudden departure.
Theatrical Release: September 7th 2009 - Venice Film Festival
DVD Review: Cinema Guild - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Cinema Guild - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.67 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||French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Commentary with fllm scholar Chris Fujiwara
Not my favorite Rivette film but there is much to like in this, It is kind of, Chamber piece with a prevalent air of 'French-cool' -predictably, art-heavy but I wouldn't say it was pretentious. Fans of the director will probably indulge but I would think it best to approach without expectations.
Cinema Guild's image transfer is fine - dual-layered, progressive and anamorphic with no prevalent flaws. It has a modest bitrate but I suspect it replicates the theatrical intent quite well. Colors are bright in daylight and there are no digital enhancements or glaring artefacts.
Audio is likewise clean, clear and easily discernable - there are optional English subtitles on the region 1 - NTSC disc.
I appreciated Chris Fujiwara's audio commentary as informative and probing details of the director's style. There is also a 8.5 minutes interview with Jane Birkin and a trailer.
I enjoyed the travelling circus elements and how they meshed with the emotional storyline. It seems somehow restless and I never really settled into the milieu very well - but others may see beyond by short-sightedness.