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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Weekend [Blu-ray]

 

(Andrew Haigh, 2011)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: The Bureau

Video: Criterion Collection Spine #622

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:37:15.871

Disc Size: 47,937,875,858 bytes

Feature Size: 28,430,893,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 17

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 21st, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2016 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2016 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• New program featuring interviews with Haigh, Pontikos, producer Tristan Goligher, and actors Tom Cullen and Chris New (30:29)
New interview with Haigh on the film’s sex scenes (6:21)
On-set video footage shot by New and others (8:35)
Two scenes from Cullen and New’s audition (10:06)
Video essay on the film’s set photographers, Oisín Share and Colin Quinn (7:12)
Cahuenga Blvd. (2003 - 6:07) and Five Miles Out (2009 - 18:13), two short films by Haigh
Trailer (2:22)
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Dennis Lim

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: This sensual, remarkably observed, beautifully acted wonder is the breakout feature from British writer-director-editor Andrew Haigh. Rarely has a film been as honest about sexuality—in both depiction and discussion—as this tale of a one-night stand that develops into a weekend-long idyll for two very different young men (exciting screen newcomers Tom Cullen and Chris New) in the English Midlands. It’s an emotionally naked film that’s at once an invaluable snapshot of the complexities of contemporary gay living and a universally resonant portrait of a love affair.

 

 

The Film:

More involving than the sexual candor is the way these two men end up exposing themselves to each other emotionally. Even in the brief period of time they have together, we can see them opening up to each other and learning from the experience, which is as rare on screen as it is in life.

Because it is intent on being honest, "Weekend" refuses to tip its hand as to how this relationship will end. But what is clear is that no matter what happens, the influence these men have on each other will last considerably longer than a weekend.

Excerpt from Kenneth Turan at the LA Times located HERE

Two men wonder if they've found love or just had a drunken hookup in this drama from British director Andrew Haigh. Russell (Tom Cullen) is gay, but most of his friends are straight, and after a long night of boozing with his pals, he stops by a gay club on his way home and picks up Glen (Chris New). The next morning, Glen explains that he's an artist, and begins interviewing Russell about their night together for an installation project he has in the works. Alcohol has made Russell's memory of the previous evening a bit fuzzy, but just as importantly, he's not as comfortable as Glen when it comes to opening up about his sexuality or his personal thoughts. Glen, on the other hand, is willing to share, but there isn't always a lot of depth in his exchange of ideas. Over the course of the next two days, Russell and Glen spend a lot of time talking, exploring the city and exploring one another, but neither is sure if they're at the start of a new relationship or just avoiding the end of a one night stand, especially after Glen mentions he's planning to move to the United States soon. Weekend won the Audience Award in the Emerging Visions program at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Weekend looks fine on Blu-ray from Criterion. The style leans to a simple verité appearance and the 1080P supports these less-polished visuals that allow the viewer imperceptible bonding with the characters.  This is dual-layered with a high bitrate and we can guess that it is a solid representation of the film. Skin tones and colors are true - there is no noise and it is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Contrast and detail are impressive with depth occasionally present. This Blu-ray has no discernable flaws and supplies a precise 1080P presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Not much in the way of aggression and the DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 2016 kbps - in original English - it handles the film's subtleties and dialogue with casual ease. There isn't a lot of separation but what is there is impressively discreet. This adds a nice touch. There are optional English subtitles if the accents are too heavy for some and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.

 

Extras :

Criterion offer quite a lot of supplements including a new 1/2 hour piece featuring interviews with Andrew Haigh, Pontikos, producer Tristan Goligher, and actors Tom Cullen and Chris New. There is a brief interview with Haigh on the film’s sex scenes and some On-set video footage shot by New and others. We get two scenes from Cullen and New’s audition running just over 10-minutes. and an interesting video essay on the film’s set photographers, Oisín Share and Colin Quinn lasting 7-minutes. There are two short films by Haigh; Cahuenga Blvd. (2003 - 6:07) and Five Miles Out (2009 - 18:13) plus a trailer (also in HD like the rest of the supplements. The package contains a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Dennis Lim.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
After extolling films like Brokeback Mountain or the brilliant A Single Man - I got quite a few 'pestering' emails - a couple from people I thought I knew. Listen, Weekend is a near masterpiece and if you have a homophobic hurdle to clear - you should watch it even more. Films layered so deep in human emotion - make for some of the best cinema. This is top shelf. The Criterion Blu-ray package offers a great a/v presentation with wonderful extras and this disc is strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

August 10th, 2012


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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