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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Housekeeping [Blu-ray]

 

(Bill Forsyth, 1987)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Indicator (Powerhouse)

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:56:10.380

Disc Size: 45,717,919,506 bytes

Feature Size: 34,290,159,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.02 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 22nd, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
BFI interview:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• New interview with director Bill Forsyth (2017, 41:48)
• New interview with editor Michael Ellis (2017, 10:54)
• New interview with author Marilynne Robinson (2017, 13:36)
• New interview with DoP Michael Coluter (2017, 12:54)
• BFI interview with director Bill Forsyth (1994, 12:54)
• Original theatrical trailer (2:10)
• Image gallery 
• Limited edition exclusive booklet
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Dual Format Edition of 5,000 copies

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Director Bill Forsyth (That Sinking Feeling, Gregory’s Girl, Local Hero, Comfort and Joy) made his American film debut with this moving and offbeat adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s acclaimed novel, about two young girls who are sent to live with their eccentric aunt (Christine Lahti).

***

Lucille (Andrea Burchill) and Ruth (Sara Walker) come to live with their off-the-wall Aunt Sylvie (Christine Lahti) after their mother kills herself. From sleeping on park benches to methodically stacking tin cans into pyramids, Sylvie's quirks are at first hard to get used to. While Ruth eventually grows fond of the woman's irrepressible spirit, Lucille starts to resent her aunt's behavior -- especially when it brands them as outcasts among their small town's perplexed residents.

 

 

The Film:

Adolescent sisters Ruthie (Walker) and Lucille (Burchill) live by a threatening black lake; their mother lies at its bottom, and Aunt Sylvie (Lahti) flaunts death by rowing on it late at night. Sylvie rocks the boat in other ways too. Arriving out of the blue to care for her nieces, she has habits that challenge the small town's conventions and eventually come between the girls: she collects tins, sleeps on park benches, hoards newspapers, condones the girls' truancy, almost sets the house on fire while cooking. Gentle humour stems from such idiosyncrasies, but Sylvie is irresponsible, dangerously so. When Lucille's schoolgirl desire to be 'normal' forces her out of the house, we sense an ominous flipside to the kookie, childish adventures Sylvie dreams up to entertain Ruthie. Weather, period (the '50s) and place (Idaho) are so emphatically detailed they're oppressive; while Sylvie and the girls come to life with greater depth and wholeness than Forsyth's characters have hitherto enjoyed. Here the director's characteristic other-worldly charm is overshadowed by a dark intensity; with its backdrop of death, isolation and portent, the movie is sombre, very strange, but wonderful.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

"Housekeeping'' is by far the most accomplished comedy yet made by Mr. Forsyth, the Scottish director who first came onto the international scene with ''Gregory’s Girl'' and ''Local Hero.'' Miss Robinson's novel has provided him with material in which the mysterious is an essential component of the mundane, and not simply a leavening agent. Though it's full of moments of real sadness, ''Housekeeping'' is also startlingly funny.

Beginning with Miss Lahti, every member of the cast is special. However, pay special attention to Miss Walker, as the tall, gawky Ruth, who walks always with her head down, in shyness, and becomes mesmerized by Sylvie, and Miss Burchill, as the younger sister who longs, with breaking heart, to be totally, boringly ordinary.

Mr. Forsyth somehow manages to make us care equally for the sister who chooses to disappear in a passing rowboat, and the one who clings to the roof top, hoping the flood waters will recede.

Excerpt fromthe NYTimes located HERE

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

Housekeeping looks extremely pleasing on Blu-ray from Indicator out of the UK. Cinematographer Michael Coulter's visuals showcase the expansive British Columbia outdoors adding to the film's themes. The image quality shows a subtle layer of grain, pastel colors support the era and the contrast is impeccably layered. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. It is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp but shows some depth and the visuals are impressive in-motion. It is transferred in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and this Blu-ray offers a highly appealing 1080P presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Indicator use a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 2304 kbps (24-bit) and it is flawless. There are minimal effects but the score by Michael Gibbs (Close My Eyes) sounds excellent - clean and adeptly supporting the film. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE, playable worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

Indicator include new, revealing interviews with director Bill Forsyth, editor Michael Ellis, author Marilynne Robinson, and DoP Michael Coluter - each relating their experiences working on Housekeeping. There is also a BFI interview with director Bill Forsyth from 1994, an original theatrical trailer and image gallery. The package has a limited edition exclusive booklet and is limited to 5,000 copies.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Housekeeping is a wonderfully warm, cute, quirky, funny, touching and human film. I really enjoyed it. Christine Lahti is excellent and I loved the director's ability to establish  small-town isolation, family values, sisterly bonds, and intimacy in such a light poetic fashion. Truly an exceptional movie. What a fabulous choice for Indicator to release on Blu-ray. The 1080P presentation is at their usual superlative level and the package with extensive booklet, and all the new interviews makes it a highly valued purchase. Very strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

May 17th, 2017


 

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 3500 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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