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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by David Greene
UK 1970

 

As young Wynne (Jenny Agutter, Walkabout and An American Werewolf in London) comes of age, a psychotic killer of teen schoolgirls stalks her hometown, which is rapidly transforming from an antiquated village to a forward-looking "new town." Is the murderer Wynne's much older foster brother George (Bryan Marshall, The Spy Who Loved Me and The Long Good Friday)? The conflicted Wynne is deeply in love with George, but also fears that he is guilty of the horrific crimes. Director David Greene (Godspell, The Shuttered Room and TV's Roots) imbues Audrey Erskine Lindop's unsettling story with sensitivity, social commentary, and a haunting ambience.

An impressive roster of behind-the-scenes talent contributes to the look and feel of this cult favorite: writer Richard Harris (TV's The Avengers and Man in a Suitcase), cinematographer Alex Thomson (Excalibur, The Keep and Labyrinth), and production designer Brian Eatwell (Walkabout, The Man Who Fell to Earth and White Dog). The innovative music score is by pioneering electronic and experimental composer Basil Kirchin (The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Mutations).

This long sought-after thriller is a gem of late-'60s British filmmaking, now restored and ready to be rediscovered!

***

Jenny Agutter plays Wynne, an adopted 14-year-old girl who has a crush on her 32-year-old stepbrother, George, played by Bryan Marshall. While spying on George in the bathroom, Wynne notices George has several scratches on his back, and finds a bloody sweater she made for him that he threw in the trash, which leads her to suspect George of being the serial killer of several local teenage girls, who is still at large. Despite this belief, Wynne continues to have romantic sexual fantasies about George and dreams of marrying him when she comes of legal age.

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 1st, 1969

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Review: Fun City Editions - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Fun City Editions - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:45:04.172        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,106,977,649 bytes

Feature: 31,332,501,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.89 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

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2170 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2170 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Fun City Editions

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,106,977,649 bytes

Feature: 31,332,501,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.89 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio Commentary with film historian Samm Deighan
A Kickstart: Jenny Agutter Remembers I START COUNTING (video interview) (20:25)
Video introduction by Jenny Agutter (0:28)
Loss of Innocence: A Video Essay on I START COUNTING by Chris O'Neill (7:35)
Trailer (1:54)
Image gallery (0:55)
12-page booklet with:
I Start Directing: David Greene's Complicated Family Stories by Amanda Reyes
Remembrances of Basil Kirchin, David Green and I START COUNTING! by Matt Stephenson


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

Chapters 6

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Fun City Editions Blu-ray (November 2020): Fun City Editions have transferred David Greene's I Start Counting to Blu-ray. It is cited as being "Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive". More a function of the production, the beginning of the film looks inferior, with softness, to the rest of the 1080P presentation which has impressive moments. I should say that I was very keen on the inventive cinematography of Alex Thomson (who worked in many fantasy films) that has unique angles and vantage points that add to the film experience and its impact. As for the source, it has plenty of speckles/small marks but looks stable in-motion with it improving as the film runs. I saw no untoward digitization or damage or fatal flaws with the HD presentation. 

NOTE: We have added 68 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Fun City Editions use a DTS-HD Master dual-track (24-bit) in the original English language. It supports the film's effects, score by Basil Kirchin (Primitive London, The Abominable Dr. Phibes ) using some experimental sounds... and the rather dreadful I Start Counting theme song sung by Lindsey Moore. It sounds clean and clear without audio flaws. Fun City Editions offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Fun City Editions Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Samm Deighan. She indentifies the tension between sex and violence in the film with examples, how it is unusual to have a female as the protagonist in a serial-killer film (and how this is also a coming-of-age film), she observantly finds a comparisons with Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt and goes on to discuss Powell's Peeping Tom and Hitch's Psycho. She intelligently supports her own analysis with plenty of references. It is at her usual excellent level. What I also enjoyed was participation by the lovely Jenny Agutter who does a brief introduction as well as a 20-minute interview entitles A Kickstart: Jenny Agutter Remembers I Start Counting where she discusses her memories of the film and her early career. Delightful. Loss of Innocence is a 7.5 minute video essay on I Start Counting by Chris O'Neill making salient points as select scenes run simultaneously. There is a trailer and image gallery plus the package has a 12-page booklet with essays; I Start Directing: David Greene's Complicated Family Stories by Amanda Reyes and Remembrances of Basil Kirchin, David Green and I Start Counting by Matt Stephenson. 

David Greene's I Start Counting is a very interesting film. It deviates from a typical serial-killer effort although the tension is always present. We have juvenile infatuation, fantasy and sexual maturity with the subtext of an ever-present crime mystery. With the 'relative' being a major suspect very aptly identified by Samm Deighan by comparing it to Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. I had never seen I Start Counting before and found it immensely satisfying - there is plenty of depth to this film. This also marks the first Fun City Editions Blu-ray I've reviewed and I'm extremely pleased with their work on this package - a exceptional film choice, a great commentary, and visual essay plus the participation of Jenny Agutter (a favorite actress.) This get a high recommendation. Don't miss it!

Gary Tooze

 


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