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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Dokfa nai meuman" )

 

directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Thailand 2000

The extraordinary films of Thai filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul (BLISSFULLY YOURS, TROPICAL MALADY, SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY, Cannes Palme d Or-winner UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES, CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR) have defined him as one of contemporary cinema s most unique voices.

Apichatpong's hallucinatory debut feature MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON is an experimental documentary mix that wends its way through the landscapes and mindscapes of rural Thailand. A film crew travels from the Thai countryside to Bangkok, asking the people they encounter along the way to expand upon a story involving a wheelchair-bound young boy and his teacher. The resulting stories are later re-enacted by non-professional actors in dramatic re-creations of the freely associated narrative strokes supplied. The daisy-chain structure of interlocking vignettes is inspired by the surrealist game Exquisite Corpses, and its formal strategies are aligned with both documentary realism and the avant-garde, but this boldly original debut looks and feels like nothing else.

***

This masterpiece from new Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul blends fiction and non-fiction into a new form of cinema previously forged by Hou Hsiao-hsien and Abbas Kiarostami.

For his low-budget, 85-minute, black-and-white film, Weerasethakul traveled all over Thailand, inviting people to continue the storyline he has begun about a teacher, her student, and a mysterious boy who has suddenly appeared and has magic powers.

Whenever eager storytellers are not crowded in the frame tossing out ideas faster than any Hollywood pitch meeting, Weerasethakul's camera simply follows the day-to-day events of the region -- from fishmongers selling their wares to children playing with a dog.

Excerpt of review from Jeffrey A. Anderson located HERE

Theatrical Release: 2 October 2000 (Vancouver International Film Festival)

Reviews                                                                             More Reviews                                                                            DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Plexifilm - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Arvid for the Plexifilm Screen Caps!

 

1) Plexifilm - Region 0 - NTSC  - LEFT

2) Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

   

 

   

 

 

Distribution

Plexifilm

Region 0 - NTSC

Second Run
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:24:06 1:29:18.333
Video

1.67:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 37,591,985,982 bytes

Feature Size: 27,967,027,200 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

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

Bitrate:

 

Plexifilm

 

Bitrate:

 

Second Run  Blu-ray

 

Audio Thai Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2359 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2359 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English (burnt-in) English (burned-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Plexifilm

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.67:1

Edition Details:
� Interview with Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (4:3; 8:16)

DVD Release Date: 21 January 2003
Amaray

Chapters 14
 

Release Information:
Studio: Second Run

Aspect Ratio:- 1.78:1

Disc Size: 37,591,985,982 bytes

Feature Size: 27,967,027,200 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
• Apichatpong Weerasethakul s short film Meteorites (Nimit, 2007 - 15:54)
New and exclusive filmed interview with director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (26:40)

• About the Restoration (7:09)
Booklet featuring a new essay on the film by film historian and author Tony Rayns

 

Blu-ray Release Date: April 25th, 2016
Transparent
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 12

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray April 16': Firstly, this is from a new 2K restoration by the Austrian Film Museum and Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation. The film opens to this screen:

The image is 1080P/ 24 fps, has a max'ed out bitrate and has burned-in English subtitles that extend beyond the bottom of the frame - so this is pictureboxed but, generally, being in the range of 1.77:1 aspect ratio. I think we should admit that this is the best Mysterious Object at Noon will ever look with current sources. The DVD always appeared a shade stretched to me and this has improved with the BD - and there is, of course, visible grain, vastly superior contrast which becomes a factor in detail (we see more.) There are still some vertical scratches but the presentation, while wholly imperfect, is a giant advancement over the SD. This is also apparent in the audio. We get the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround bump at 2359 kbps (16-bit) with a few street separations or a linear PCM 2.0 channel stereo and similarly robust but 24-bit - so my preference - and it is, obviously, comparatively, flat. As stated the English subtitles are burned-in and the Blu-ray disc is, thankfully, region FREE.

Second Run include Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 15-minute short film Meteorites (Nimit) from 2007 - commissioned by Ministry of Culture, Thailand - that I knew nothing about. I was fascinated by it. Fans will also greatly appreciate the wew and exclusive 27-minute filmed interview with director Apichatpong Weerasethakul with Mehelli Modi of Second Run. Great job - I enjoyed it! There is also a 7-minute piece detailing the restoration process and the package has a liner notes booklet featuring a new essay on the film by film historian and author Tony Rayns.

Well, initiated fans don't require my endorsement of Apichatpong Weerasethakul. This is a must-own (there is nothing I can compare it to) and I am so grateful to have this Blu-ray in my world cinema library. Our highest recommendation! 

***

ON THE DVD: This low budget movie was shoot on 16mm b/w, so the non-anamorphic image look far from fantastic and a lot different from his later narrative movies like Tropical Malady or Syndromes and a Century. The DVD is a single-layered DVD5 (uses 4.09GB), but that's not a big issue for a movie this short. I think the weak image is mostly due to the films source quality. There are at least two other dvd-versions of this movie released in the world, one Australian that uses the same transfer and extras as this one and a French dvd released by mk2 together with A.Ws Blissfully Yours (if anyone have the MK2 Mysterious.. I would be interested to see how it look). The English subtitles are non removable, but white and clear.

There is one 8-minute interview with Weerasethakul as extras, it's interesting and in English. There are also a fourpage booklet with an essay by Chuck Stephens.

To sum it up, it's really great to be able to see the debut film from one of today's most interesting and talented directors, the image is weak but I doubt we will see a much better DVD-release of the movie so I recommend this DVD-release to all interested.

 - Arvid

 


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Screen Captures

Subtitle (Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray) & intertitle samples

 

1) Plexifilm - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Plexifilm - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Plexifilm - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Plexifilm - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Plexifilm - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Plexifilm - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Plexifilm - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


 

Report Card:

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray


 
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Distribution

Plexifilm

Region 0 - NTSC

Second Run
Region FREE - Blu-ray
 




 

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