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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Horse Money [Blu-ray]


(Pedro Costa, 2014)


Also available on Blu-ray from Cinema Guild on May 30th, 2016:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Sociedade Óptica Técnica

Video: Second Run



Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:44:40.200 

Disc Size: 42,801,555,084 bytes

Feature Size: 32,131,897,344 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.78 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 28th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Resolution: 1080i / 25 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Portuguese and Kabuverdianu 1793 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1793 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio Portuguese and Kabuverdianu 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit



English, none



Pedro Costa's short film O nosso homem (2010), presented from a new, director approved 1080 HD master (25:15)
Filmmaker Thom Andersen introduces Horse Money (5:09)
Pedro Costa in conversation with Laura Mulvey at the ICA Cinema, London (40:53)
Horse Money Trailers and Teasers
Booklet featuring essays on the film by Jonathan Romney and Chris Fujiwara





Description: HORSE MONEY is the stunning new film from award-winning director Pedro Costa.

The film follows Ventura - the enigmatic lead of Costa s earlier groundbreaking film Colossal Youth (2006) - as he traverses a seemingly endless night populated by the ghosts of his, and his country's, past. From the restless spirits that haunt this decaying urban landscape, Costa conjures a spellbinding and unclassifiable cinematic experience.

Winner of the Best Director prize at the 2014 Locarno Film Festival, and featured in many worldwide critics' Top 10 Films of 2014 lists, HORSE MONEY is a hauntingly beautiful contemplation of Portugal s tumultuous past and uncertain future from one of the true poets of contemporary European cinema.

Second Run are delighted that Pedro Costa's HORSE MONEY will be their first Blu-ray release.



The Film:

A visionary masterwork from the renowned director of Colossal Youth, Pedro Costa's HORSE MONEY is a mesmerizing odyssey into the real, imagined and nightmarish memories of the elderly Ventura, a Cape Verdean immigrant living in Lisbon. The time is now, a numbing and timeless present of hospital stays, bureaucratic questioning, and wandering through remembered spaces... and suddenly it is also then, the mid '70s and the time of Portugal's Carnation Revolution, when Ventura got into a knife fight with his friend Joaquim. HORSE MONEY is a self-reckoning, a moving memorialization of lives in danger of being forgotten, as well as a piercingly beautiful work of modern cinema.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

It will surprise few that, like the majority of Pedro Costa's work, Horse Money is immune to straightforward narrative description. It's tempting to paint Costa as heir apparent to the neorealists, but the simple demands of a dramatic screenplay—much less a work of propaganda, leftist or otherwise—aren't even feigned in his latest, which picks up more or less where Colossal Youth left off. That film followed the state's dismantling of the Lisbon slum known as Fountainhas, and its central figure—a lanky, grizzled Cape Verdean immigrant in his 70s, known only as Ventura—returns as the doubled-down focus of Horse Money. (It's worth disclaiming that Costa's work is so politically fine-grained, words like “star” and “focus” can sound like ignorant bromides, jutting against the almost religious quietude of the filmmaking.)

Excerpt from Slant Magazine located HERE

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

Horse Money gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Second Run - their first BD release! It solidly in dual-layered territory with a max'ed out bitrate. Horse Money is an absolute visual treat and the 1080i (25 fps) supports these with solid contrast exhibiting a luscious, rich image in the 1.33:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there is no noise in the film's many dark and shadowy sequences. This Blu-ray probably looks very similar to the theatrical version of the film Horse Money. The HD visuals are immensely impressive.


NOTE: Michael Brooke tells us in FB: "It's 1080i50 in terms of technical specs, but that's purely because the Blu-ray spec can't handle 1080p25. But in practice you're watching the latter, as "1080i50" is a carrier for a fully progressive image.

(The same is true of the BFI's Alan Clarke, Ken Russell and Peter Watkins discs, which were also shot at 25fps originally.)
" - Thanks Michael!














Audio :

The audio is less important in the film but it's gratifying to see Second Run do it right with a DTS-HD Master 5.1 (with only modest separations) at 1793 kbps (16-bit) or the option of an even more robust linear PCM 2.0 channel (24-bit!) also in original Portuguese and Kabuverdianu There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE!


Extras :

Second Run stack their first Blu-ray with plenty of valuable extras. We get Pedro Costa's 2010 short film O nosso homem, presented from a new, director approved 1080 HD master. It runs just over 25-minutes. Filmmaker Thom Andersen introduces Horse Money over 5-minutes and we can see a 41-minute conversation between Pedro Costa and Laura Mulvey at the ICA Cinema in London. There are Horse Money trailers and teasers and the package has a booklet featuring essays on the film by Jonathan Romney and Chris Fujiwara.



Horse Money is another masterpiece in the realm of 'pure cinema' - an extension of Colossal Youth. We get so little cinema at this level today. It is a pure visual experience that you should allow to wash over you as your engage. The Second Run Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with very appreciated supplements. I'm so thrilled that they have gone to such lengths to respect Horse Money with this exceptional package. We would like to congratulate them on this release - they are often the unsung heroes of foreign-film digital releases. I hope this vaults them to their deserved level. It has our highest recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

April 16th, 2015


Also available on Blu-ray from Cinema Guild on May 30th, 2016:



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