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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Hors les murs" )


directed by David Lambert
Belgium/Canada/France 2012


Although pursuing a very domestic relationship with seamstress Anka (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin), pianist Paulo (Matila Malliarakis, THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADÈLE BLANC-SEC) falls in love at first sight with Albanian bartender/bass guitarist Ilir (Guillaume Gouix, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS). When Anka finally throws him out, Paulo quickly attaches himself to an initially reluctant Ilir. Love seems to bloom despite Ilir's reluctance to hold hands with Paulo in public (at least in his immigrant neighborhood) and his subtly cruel emotional and sexual games. When Ilir goes on tour and doesn't come back, Paulo feels directionless and literally helpless (having to rely on sex shop owner Gregoire [David Salles, HOLIDAYS BY THE SEA] for some very sensitive assistance in one of the film's few humorous turns). When Ilir does contact Paulo, it's to reveal that he has been sentenced to a year-to-eighteen months for a hash bust, resisting arrest, and assaulting an officer. Paulo is determined to "wait for him" but Ilir finds their weekly thirty-minute conversations painful and decides to "be cruel to be kind". Paulo finds solace in the arms of Gregoire only for Ilir to ask him to help smuggle drugs into the prison. Will Paulo risk the affection and security of his relationship with Gregoire for his first love?

That BEYOND THE WALLS isn't a portrait of idealized first love doesn't make it any easier to sympathize with the main characters. Ilir is rather ambiguously rendered, with only hints of possible criminal behavior (his ethnic background seems to have more to do with his reticence to acknowledge their relationship, and his hash bust seems to have just been for carrying rather than trafficking). Paolo, on the other hand, is a child. He may be of age, but much of his characterization speaks of his immaturity; his patchy facial hair, slim frame, and asthma just as suggestive as his clingy behavior. His "Take care of me" to Ilir takes on a meaning beyond the immediate sexual one, especially when Gregoire later says he wants to take care of Paolo in the former sense (with the underlying sexual alternate meaning). Thankfully, Paolo's girlfriend Anka - seen early on reading BAISE-MOI writer/director Virginie Despente's feminist work "King Kong Theory" - tosses him out and makes an early exit after a few minutes of "you promised you'd stop" and "can I meet him" and reading their text messages aloud in bed.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 5 December 2012 (France)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Strand Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:39:39

2.38:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 3.76 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/Albanian Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.38:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (2:16)
• Trailers for 'Yossi', 'North Sea Texas', 'Romeos', and '3'

DVD Release Date: September 3rd, 2013

Chapters 10



Strand Releasing's single-layer disc features a low bitrate encoding of a progressive, anamorphic transfer. Detail is fair and aliasing only shows up on a couple brick walls in long shot. Unlike man of Strand's earlier releases, this disc retains the film's original 5.1 mix, and the burnt-in subtitles are free of obvious errors.

The only extras are the film's trailer and trailers for other Strand releases. The French import has extras and is reportedly English-friendly (for the feature, at least), but reviews suggest the disc only as a 2.0 track.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Strand Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC



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