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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Slack Bay aka "Ma Loute" [Blu-ray]


(Bruno Dumont, 2016)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: 3B Productions

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 2:02:44.607

Disc Size: 43,282,820,293 bytes

Feature Size: 37,946,093,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 12th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio French 2494 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2494 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS Audio French 1509 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English, None



• Interview with Juliette Binoche (8:09)

• Interview with Bruno Dumont (courtesy of UniFrance) (3:36)
Trailer (1:53)




Description: The bourgeois and extremely eccentric Van Peteghem family among them Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini, and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi have settled in for another summer at their cliff- top villa overlooking the picturesque Slack Bay. Their leisurely rhythm of sunbathing and seaside constitutionals is soon interrupted by the arrival of two bumbling inspectors investigating a string of tourists gone missing (and serving full-on Keystone Kops). As the macabre mysteries mount and love blossoms between the family's genderqueer teen and the son of a local fisherman, Binoche and company ratchet the slapstick up to eleven. It's no wonder director Bruno Dumont (Li'l Quinquin, Camille Claudel 1915) cites Peter Sellers, Monty Python, and Laurel and Hardy as cinematic influences for his delightful foray into winking, absurdist farce.



The Film:

Juliette Binoche, better and more daring than ever, is Aude, André Van Peteghem's sister. Her child Billie (Raph), a bit reminiscent of Katharine Hepburn in George Cukor's Sylvia Scarlett, switches effortlessly - and daily - between gender identifications. Local boy Ma Loute (played by Thierry Lavieville's son, Brandon Lavieville) is fascinated.

And what about the incest and the cannibalism, you may wonder? Well, tourists start to disappear around the area and two clueless inspectors resembling Laurel and Hardy paunchy Machin (Didier Després) and his flustered side-kick Malfoy (Cyril Rigaux), lead the stumbling investigation. Silent films come to mind in a vague sense. Just as Joseph Cedar's Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer was inspired by the early 20th century Cohen shorts, Dumont explores non-verbal communication skills that have been abandoned by much of contemporary cinema.

Napoléon Bonaparte said that the sublime is only one step away from the ridiculous. Dumont proves with Slack Bay that the opposite direction is just as true. The absurd exaggerations and the wild parishes of humor are completely original, never cruel, and attached to a physicality that is pure cinema. The stumbling, bumbling characters are who we are. Gloriously funny and outrageously deep, Bruno Dumont's Slack Bay speaks of the human condition in a peculiar, yet completely sound way.

Excerpt from EyeForFilm located HERE

There was a time, not long ago, when the words 'a Bruno Dumont comedy' were about as alluring to film fans as 'a Holocaust drama by Nancy Meyers'. If you wanted severe formalist meditations on faith and physiognomy, this French filmmaker was your man. But his films were markedly low on the LOL factor. That changed two years ago with his darkly daft, hilarious serial-killer farce 'P'tit Quinquin'. Dumont is still in a mordantly merry mood, as this alternately buoyant, bleak and thoroughly bananas seaside ramble makes delightfully clear.

Excerpt from TimeOut 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 Slack Bay looks gorgeous in 1080P. It has a max'ed out bitrate and the visuals are stunning. Colors are rich and beautiful. The visuals have some gloss - shot with the Arri Alexa XT. Detail is so crisp that it looks extremely impressive - even in-motion - exporting constant depth. The source is pristinely clean and the majority of the film is shot with natural lighting. Wow. This Blu-ray image surprised me with the HD quality. One of the best looking discs I've seen this year.





















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track at 2494 kbps in the original French language or the option of a stereo lossless - both are 24-bit. There isn't much separation. There are effects in the film - but to adhere to the period they are minimal - and early automobile, the wind and ocean sounds on the beach. No score credited but there is some orchestral music at the end of the film that I don't recognize but sounds brilliant. It turns out to be Barberine: Prelude Au 2eme Acte de Guillaume Lekeu - Ochestra Philharmonique de Liege (in Public Domain). The dialogue was clear and there are optional English subtitles offered. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

We get an 8-minute interview with Juliette Binoche where she praises the writer/director of the script's imagination, the colors (emotions) and unique characters. Discussed are the humor layers - slapstick on top - dark comedy underneath. It's good and she hints at some other political details that are interesting. There is also a very short interview with Bruno Dumont (courtesy of UniFrance) that is more generic. Last are a trailer for the film and two other trailers.



Slack Bay is very funny and has homage and screwball comedy qualities. I loved the Laurel/Hardy/Keystone Cops characters and Binoche is over-the-top wonderful. Wild, sometimes daring, but highly impressive effort from Dumont. The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray offers a brilliant a/v package of a totally enjoyable (and surprising) film. Absolutely Recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 34% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

August 29th, 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 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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