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directed by David Moreton
USA 1988

 

Although its "coming out" and "coming of age" plot developments may seem predictable and not particularly novel to newcomers who have seen many similar films made in near two decades since, EDGE OF SEVENTEEN was one of the landmark works to emerge when gay and lesbian cinema really took off as a genre in the nineties (when independent dramatic films started taking their share of a home video market dominated by low-budget genre fare and a glut of post-BASIC INSTINCT softcore "erotic thrillers"). On the cusp of adulthood, Ohioan teenager Eric Hunter (Chris Stafford) discovers that he is not a "total sexual reject" in the summer before senior year. When he and childhood friend Maggie (Tina Holmes, HALF NELSON) take summer food service jobs at the nearby fairgrounds under den mother-esque lesbian boss Angie (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK's Lea DeLaria), he meets out and proud college student Rod (Andersen Gabrych, GYPSY 83) and is unsettled by unfamiliar stirrings that Rod is only too willing to help him explore. When summer ends and school is back in session, Eric maintains a one-sided long-distance relationship with Rod away at Ohio State (which he is considering as a college choice to be with Rod over his original aspirations to study music at NYU) while sending mixed messages to Maggie as she assists him in reinventing his look in a very New Wave-y manner that reads as "gay" to his fellow Midwesterners. After meeting the local gay community at the "Fruits and Nuts" club run by Angie where he engages in a few emotionally empty hookups. Eric is shattered when Rod reveals that he got back together with his college boyfriend before he started seeing him and comes out to Maggie while admitting that he still loves her. When his mother (Stephanie McVay, ANOTHER GAY MOVIE) - who has started working so that she and her husband (John Eby, MY THERAPIST) can send him to college - starts to feel taken for granted and expresses concern about his dress, make-up, and whereabouts, Eric convinces Maggie to give a relationship with him a shot but only ends up hurting and alienating both women. Eric discovers that coming out does not make things any easier but he starts to realize that being himself is more important than just being "different." Set in 1984, EDGE OF SEVENTEEN showcases a catchy New Wave eighties soundtrack featuring the likes of Toni Basil ("Hey Mickey", of course), The Eurythmics, Haircut 100, Bronski Beat, A Flock of Seagulls, Keel, Animotion, Re-Flex, The Thompson Twins, Yazoo, and Missing Persons (as well as DeLaria's take on Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies").

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 14 June 1998 (New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival)

Reviews                                                      More Reviews                                              DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas and Gary Tooze for the Screen Caps!

(Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Strand Releasing (Blu-ray) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

Box Covers

 

   

 

 

   

 

Distribution

Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Strand Releasing
Region A -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:42:48 1:43:16.273
Video

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.96 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Disc Size: 24,530,135,760 bytes

Feature Size: 21,410,643,840 bytes

Total Bitrate: 24.06 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

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

Bitrate:

 

Strand Releasing

 

Bitrate:

 

Strand Releasing Blu-ray 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo DTS-HD Master Audio English 2081 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2081 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles none English, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 2:23)
•  Previews

DVD Release Date: 11 July 2000
Amaray

Chapters 11

Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

 

1.78:1 Disc Size: 24,530,135,760 bytes

Feature Size: 21,410,643,840 bytes

Total Bitrate: 24.06 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

 

Edition Details:
• Conversation Between Director David Moreton and Writer Todd Stephens (47:11 in 1080P)
• Deleted Scenes (26:03 in 1080i)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:25 in 1080P)
• Previews
 

Blu-ray Release Date: February 2nd, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray case

Chapters: 8

 

 

 

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

ADDITION: Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (January 2016): While the 1080P is a huge improvement over the very old letterboxed DVD - the image quality remains quite modest. Colors certainly shift from the orange-red overcast of the SD. So, skin tones improve but overall the image is quite soft - this may be more a function of the original production than the single-layered transfer which supports an acceptable bitrate. The visuals are significantly darker - which we perceive as more authentic. There is some texture. I have no idea why the last capture is zoomed-in. It certainly will never be used for demo-purposes but is probably the best it will get for the film and is even cited as "Director-Approved".

Strand Releasing use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 2081 kbps (16-bit). There is some less-discreet separation but the audio would be notable for the music. The only feature composure credited to Tom Bailey who has done a lot of TV soundtrack work, but - as Eric has mentioned - there are plenty of late-80s memorable Pop tune-snippets including Bronski Beat's Small Town Boy, The Thompson Twins' In the Name of Love, Toni Basil's Mickey, Yaz etc. and it sounds quite impressive in the lossless. There are optional subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Extras for the superior Blu-ray start off with a conversation director David Moreton and writer Todd Stephens, in which the writer reflects on the autobiographical aspects of the story (he has been with the same partner since he was seventeen but recalls that point in his coming of age as the most dramatic in terms of "writing what you know") and the point early in production when he realized that he could not direct the film and asked then-co-producer Moreton to take over. Moreton recalls his enthusiasm at directing his first feature and his trepidation since the project was so personal for Stephens (who cast the film and had the sets and locations dressed based on their real life counterparts) and as to whether the cast and crew would stick with him since it was the script that drew most of them to the project. The twenty-plus minutes of deleted scenes (from a worn VHS workprint) also features a number of extended and alternate scenes that were wisely left out but demonstrate how the filmmakers were able to take certain moments and shots from these scenes and rearrange them out of their intended context to work effectively in the finished feature (the shortening of Angie's introductory scene for instance is able to prune large portions of her monologue but include some great expressions and mannerisms without seeming choppy). While the end of the finished film leaves some conflicts open-ended, we see here that they could have met with more pat resolutions. The disc also includes the original Strand theatrical trailer and previews for other titles.

On the pioneering 'edge' for its genre and it remains quite impacting if pigeon-holed, essentially, to its sexual orientation bias. A better than-average effort that its audience will appreciate.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT)


 

 
 

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray
 
Box Covers

 

   

 

 

Distribution

Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Strand Releasing
Region A -
Blu-ray



 

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