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The Other Side of Hope aka "Toivon tuolla puolen" [Blu-ray]
(Aki Kaurismäki, 2017)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Artificial Eye
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 34,616,572,830 bytes
Feature Size: 30,451,329,024 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 24th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Finnish / English 1772 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1772 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio Finnish / English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
•Music Video (3:09)
• Trailer (1:58)
Description: If you know the Finnish director Aki
Kaurismäki, you’ll know he makes the driest of dry black
comedies that rarely put a step further than a Helsinki bar
– with a quiffed rockabilly band and pack of cigarettes
never far away. His film are gems of poker-faced comic
absurdism, full of expressionless faces and gloomy rooms.
That’s still the case with ‘The Other Side of Hope’ – but
this time the veteran filmmaker’s mind is on the European
refugee crisis. In his own idiosyncratic way Kaurismäki
addresses this hot topic by asking: why would anyone want to
come to horrible old Finland anyway?
There’s an ambivalence to the title of Aki Kaurismäki’s latest film –
the second in an intended trilogy set in harbour towns and which, so
far, have highlighted the theme of migration and refugees. The flipside
of hope is generally considered “despair” but what if the other side is
not somewhere negative, but where you end up when your hope is realised?
These hints of positivity in otherwise dark places are the meat and
bread of Kaurismäki’s films, where individuals are shown to be
frequently more inclined to acts of kindness than society as a whole.
He’s a filmmaker who also takes pleasure in deconstructing stereotypes,
to see the person beyond the initial perception.
The Other Side of Hope, Aki Kaurismäki’s gorgeous and cuttingly poignant
comedy, begins with a young Syrian asylum seeker emerging from a coal
pile in Helsinki’s industrial port. He is Khaled (Sherwan Haji), and has
wound up here by accident, after escaping violent persecution by jumping
aboard a freighter in Eastern Europe.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Other Side of Hope gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye. It's in dual-layered territory with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1 hour 40-minute feature. The film is comprised of many medium shots and deadpan silence. There is some minor depth in the, original, 1.85:1 frame. It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film The Other Side of Hope. The film is not particularly dynamic, in a visual sense, but the HD transfer seems a strong replication.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
As usual, AE offer a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1772 kbps or a linear PCM stereo track - both 16-bit and in the original Finnish with some English, Arabic and Swedish used in the film. The live music sounds very lounge-like-natural and grassroots in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Only a 3-minute music video of the Kaipuuni Tango by Marko Haavisto and Poutahaukat plus a theatrical trailer.
July 20th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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