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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Man Facing Southeast aka "Hombre mirando al sudeste" [Blu-ray]

 

(Eliseo Subiela, 1986)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Transeuropa S.A. Cinematografica

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:48:38.136

Disc Size: 49,047,306,260 bytes

Feature Size: 31,390,021,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 13th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 1590 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1590 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

• Interviews with: Director Eliseo Subiela (19:58), Lead actor Hugo Soto (21:44), Director of Photography Ricardo De Angelis (25:31)
• 16-page liner notes booklet with Director's Statement and essay by film historian Nancy J. Membrez

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Man Facing Southeast is Argentine director Eliseo Subiela's 1986 cult classic, a powerfully moving science-fiction parable of a saint-like stranger in an even stranger land our Earth. This critically-acclaimed gem has not been available on DVD or Blu-ray in the United States, until now.


A man named Rantes (Hugo Soto) suddenly appears in a Buenos Aires psychiatric hospital expertly playing theorgan. But who is he this man with no recorded identity? Doctor Denis (Lorenzo Quinteros) dismisses Rantes' claim of being an alien visitor as a case of paranoid delusion. Beatriz (Ines Vernengo), his only visitor, sees him as an intimate and knowing companion. And the other patients, intrigued by his mysterious intelligence, see him as their only source of hope. Inspiring, mystical, and unforgettable, Man Facing Southeast is one of the great science-fiction films of the 1980s.

 

 

The Film:

This Argentine film freshens up an old cinematic device: juxtaposing science fiction and religion. A Buenos Aires mental hospital is thrown into an uproar when a mysterious male patient appears out of nowhere. As the psychiatrists grill the stranger, he sticks to a story that suggests that his origins are far from earthly. In fact, if his seemingly supernatural powers are any proof, he may well be a space alien. Unable to comprehend the incomprehensible, the authorities decide to lock the visitor away from public view, maybe even put an end to his life--and the analogies to Christ and Christianity are lost on no one.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

 

At their most profound, the wit and wisdom of the screenplay sound like borrowings from a lesser J. B. Priestley play. The movie has the arty look of a book for the cocktail table. It's full of religious-type lighting, the sort that bathes silhouettes in golden halos. It also contains many fond, intense close-ups of the impassive face of Hugo Soto, the actor who plays Rantes, in which any truism can be read at will.

Lorenzo Quinteros appears as the exhausted Julio, a doctor who truly needs a rest, and Ines Vernengo as a young woman who may or may not be Rantes's sister or even another extra-terrestrial. ''Man Facing Southeast'' arrives in New York having received the International Critics Award at the Toronto Festival of Festivals last September.

Excerpt from The NY Times located HERE

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

The dual-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Man Facing Southeast looks very strong in 1080P. It has a max'ed out bitrate and the overall image is dark with texture. It can look a shade saturated at times but I have no reason to believe that this is not a totally accurate representation of the film's theatrical appearance. Skin tones have some warmth, detail - as notable in close-ups - is impressive and the HD transfer exports a very film-like expression. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable, and pleasurable, viewing in regards to the picture quality.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1590 kbps (24-bit) in the original Spanish language. There are some effects in the film - but nothing very demonstrative. There is some depth notable in the score by Pedro Aznar. It drifts around the narrative in a haunting, mysterious fashion. It sounds quite impacting in the lossless. The dialogue was mostly clear and there are optional English subtitles. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

The supplements include interviews with director Eliseo Subiela - running juts shy of 20-minutes, lead actor Hugo Soto for 21-minutes, and DoP Ricardo De Angelis for 25-minutes - all in Spanish with English subtitles. They discuss various facets of the production from its evolution, creativity etc. There is also a 16-page liner notes booklet with director's statement and essay by film historian Nancy J. Membrez.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I had never seen Man Facing Southeast but knew of its reputation as an exceptional film. It's very close to a masterpiece and I thoroughly enjoyed my viewing - even with high expectations. The film has introspective layers that are rare in today's cinema and the science-fiction (alien) angle is appealing both literally and allegorically. The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray is another of their strong late 2016 packages - a brilliant film with worthwhile supplements - dual-layered...  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 34% OFF at Amazon and we give this a very high recommendation! See this film!

Gary Tooze

December 12th, 2016

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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