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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka'The River or 'He liu')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/tsai.htm
Taiwan 1997

 

"I have always wanted to probe deeper into the roots of humanity. While shooting The River, I kept reminding myself to probe into the deeper, the darker half of ourselves. We don’t always live happily ever after. Materialism boosts human greed to an unglorious height. We have everything we ever wanted, yet there is something lurking in the dark to keep us from being really happy.”
-- Tsai Ming-Liang

 

Following similar themes in his previous films 'Vive L'Amour' and 'Rebels of the Neon God' with isolated relationships, East Malaysian born Ming-liang Tsai's The River 's character interaction is distant, impersonal and segregated. The prevailing family unit almost behaves unilaterally with the limited communication skills. Three individuals going their separate ways, performing most of life's routine daily rituals entirely by themselves which is almost an exact parallel to Vive L'Amour.  Heavy moods with physical ailment masking as emotional ones and sexual deviance (as seen in his future offering 'What Time is it There?') is shown as a symptomatic vent for invisible communication. A worthwhile effort and evenly-paced, but even at this point we can already see the start of the directors creative process and themes forming repetitious circles.

Reviews                                          More Reviews 

 

Comparison:

WellSpring Media -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. REMASTERED (part of Tsai Ming Liang Collection) Sony Music (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Wellspring - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Sony Music - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

REMASTERED and sold as part of the Tsai Ming Liang Collection: Rebels Of The Neon God / The River / Vive L'amour

North Americans:

Rest of World:

Distribution Wellspring Media Region 1 - NTSC  REMASTERED (part of Tsai Ming Liang Collection) Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:53:00 1:55:54.500
Video 1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen / non- anamorphic
Average Bitrate: 4.16 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 23,551,249,004 bytes

Feature Size: 19,804,219,392 bytes

Average Bitrate: 19.97 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 AVC 24fps / 1080P

Bitrate: Alliance Atlantis

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio Mandarin Chinese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) LPCM Audio Chinese 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, None English, Traditional Chinese none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Wellspring Media, Inc.

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.83:1
 

Edition Details:
• Non-anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 trailers : Flowers of Shanghai (1:30) English narration
• Non-anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 trailers : The River (1:19) English narration
• Non-anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 trailers : What Time is it There (2:17) English narration
• Pan and Scan trailer Yi Yi (1:46) English narration

 

DVD Release Date:  February 4th, 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Music Entertainment (TW)

Disc Size: 23,551,249,004 bytes

Feature Size: 19,804,219,392 bytes

Average Bitrate: 19.97 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 AVC 24fps / 1080P

Edition Details:

 Behind the Scenes (7:36 in Chinese - optional English subtitles)
 Book

Blu-ray Release Date: May 27th, 2015
Custom Blu-ray Case (see photos)
Chapters: 6

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: REMASTERED (part of Tsai Ming Liang Collection) Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - (March 2016) - Repeating what I said about Rebels Of The Neon God: It is in the 1.85:1 and linear PCM uncompressed audio - like all the Tsai Ming Liang Collection Blu-rays (Rebels Of The Neon God / The River / Vive L'amour.) It's totally English-friendly - menus, subtitles on both feature and supplement (a 6 minute conversation with Tsai - and some clips) and the impressive book has minimal text - but also English when listing the films and some cool (what appears to be mock films cells - see photo below). Not my favorite film from the director (would REALLY have liked The Hole) but this package is recommended since we have suffered so long with ineffectual SDs. Like watching the film for the first time...

***

ON THE DVD: The transfer is a little disappointing. Weaker than the previous WellSpring DVD Tsai film, "What Time is it There". This print shows a lot of hazy, dull colors, is NOT anamorphic but is miles ahead of the extremely dark VHS copy that I have. This DVD has a fairly clean, if not sharp picture. There is no commentary, but some good web links, 4 Trailers (see above) and filmographies. Good job by Wellspring to bring this to DVD, but as I am such a fan of the director I was hoping for more, but I suppose it is too eclectic to spend money on, from a 'profit' standpoint.

 

Tsai Ming Liang Collection: Rebels Of The Neon God / The River / Vive L'amour (Blu-ray) (Remastered Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray Package with Book

 





Menus

1) Wellspring - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Sony Music - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT


 

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample Sony Music - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Wellspring - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Music - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



 

1) Wellspring - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Music - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Wellspring - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Music - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Wellspring - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Music - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Wellspring - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Music - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

Box Covers

 

REMASTERED and sold as part of the Tsai Ming Liang Collection: Rebels Of The Neon God / The River / Vive L'amour

North Americans:

Rest of World:

Distribution Wellspring Media Region 1 - NTSC  REMASTERED (part of Tsai Ming Liang Collection) Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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