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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Dennis Potter
UK 1991

 

Unfairly neglected since its original low-key cinema run, Secret Friends is the only feature to be written and directed by Dennis Potter (Pennies from Heaven, The Singing Detective).

Made shortly after his hugely controversial mini-series Blackeyes, the film centres on a writer, played by Alan Bates (A Day in the Death of Joe Egg), who descends into a kind of madness during a train journey as memories, fantasies and psychotic visions collide.

***

An amnesiac is haunted by the recurring images of his murderous past and repressed childhood.

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 21st, 1991

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Review: Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:37:32.888        
Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,758,932,537 bytes

Feature: 28,316,268,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.62 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

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

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,758,932,537 bytes

Feature: 28,316,268,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.62 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Keeping Secrets (2020, 9:19): an analysis of Potter's film by Graham Fuller, editor of Potter on Potter
• Bon Vivant (2020): actor Ian McNeice recalls working with Dennis Potter (5:35)
• Theatrical trailer (3:00)
• Image gallery: publicity and promotional material
• Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Jeff Billington, Dennis Potter on the making of Secret Friends, an extract from Potter on Potter, an overview of critical responses, and film credits
• World premiere on Blu-ray
Limited edition of 3,000 copies


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 24th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (January 2020): Indicator have transferred Dennis Potter's Secret Friends to Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. The image looks good, a shade waxy in spots - but solid detail and some depth with true colors in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio. This 1080P provides a fine HD presentation in-motion.

On their Blu-ray, Indicator use a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original English language. It doesn't have excess aggression but a pleasing score by Nicholas Russell-Pavier (his only theatrical feature credit), sounding supportive and clean with audible dialogue and the Indicator Blu-ray offers optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region FREE disc.

The Indicator Blu-ray offers a new (2020) 5-minute interview with actor Ian McNeice entitled Bon Vivant where he recalls working with the film’s writer-director, Dennis Potter. Keeping Secrets is also new and spends 10-minutes with Graham Fuller, editor of Potter on Potter, analyzing of Secret Friends. There is an original theatrical trailer, an image gallery of publicity and promotional material. The package has a limited edition (3,000 copies) exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Jeff Billington, Dennis Potter on the making of Secret Friends, an extract from Potter on Potter, an overview of critical responses, and film credits.

Secret Friends is an odd Dennis Potter-ish effort. It isn't at the level of The Singing Detective but deserves a 'boo' (a look) for fans of his work. Lots of questions and the ending provides some satisfaction in clearing details up. Gina Bellman vamps it up with some tongue-in-cheek manipulation and there are dark, sexual-dysfunction themes floating less-delicately on the surface. It's a film I'm glad to have seen - especially on Blu-ray and may revisit one day to see if a repeat viewing garners more appreciation. 

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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