Liv Ullmann's Faithless OAR?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Gabe Oppenheim, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. Gabe Oppenheim

    Gabe Oppenheim Stunt Coordinator

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    I've searched for information here regarding the DVD of this film, but cannot find any information about whether or not it is in its proper aspect ratio (nor, for that matter, can I find any information ANYWHERE regarding said OAR, though it certainly looked like 1.85:1 when I saw it at Chicago's Music Box two years ago).

    Can anyone confirm whether the DVD is widescreen, or whether it should be?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    A helluva good question, and I don't think my conjecture is gonna make anyone happy. FWIW, this is a fantastic film, particularly for Bergman fans, but First Look Home Entertainment should be ashamed of this disc.
    According to IMDb -- which is known to get this wrong on occasion -- the DVD is "pan and scan". I can confirm that it's 1.33:1, but I can't say for sure that it's been panned and scanned.
    It's shot very much like Bergman's chamber dramas (think "Scenes from a Marriage", "Persona") with alot of two-shots and closeups. Most of the time, the framing looks fine. Sometimes, it appears that it should be a bit wider, perhaps 1.66:1 rather than 1.85:1. There's a shot showing David and Marianne side-by-side in bed, and both bodies hang a bit off-screen. That could be suggestive of panning-and-scanning, but the shot also emphasizes the negative space between them, so framing them in that way might have been intentional. There's another shot with a candle framed nicely in the bottom right of the frame, and then Marianne says something like "guess it's time to blow out the candles". "Candles" plural? Well, the shot pans over to show a second candle as she blows it out, as well. This struck me as a very likely "panned and scanned" moment, as it seems quite unusual to me that the cinematographer would employ a pan at that moment. The preferred shot throughout the film is definitely a static one, so why employ a pan of only about 8 inches to show the second candle? I suspect it's panned and scanned. [​IMG]
    Which might not even be the biggest travesty of this disc. When you hit "PLAY" it takes you to a series of trailers, the first of which being a trailer for "Faithless". Unfortunately, it's a typical American trailer that gives away most of the plot details while simplifying the psychological/emotional significance to slightly-above-retard level (say, about the depth of your usual Miramax Oscar-bait). So, not only does the trailer give away most of the plot, it cheapens the drama... right before you start the movie proper. [​IMG]
    "So, one can't skip the trailers?" you might ask. Hmph. This is where you're gonna get really pissed. The trailers have been incorporated into Chapter One of the movie. If you forward to Chapter Two, you'll find yourself a good 20 minutes into the film. So, the only option is to hit the FWD button until it fast-forwards all the way through the trailers to the start of the film... which begins occurs around the 7-minute mark of Chapter One. [​IMG]
     
  3. Gabe Oppenheim

    Gabe Oppenheim Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the response!

    I saw this thread and said, "Wow, I too have wondered about this very thing!" and it turned out that I indeed had.

    Too bad about the DVD, though; I would have been interested in seeing the film again in a more comfortable environment, and it looks like I won't be able to do so.
     
  4. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Gabe, I still think it's worth seeing on DVD, mostly because I think the home setting is even better than the theater for films like these. The picture quality is not bad, if not as good as it should be, and the audio is fine. And, like I said, I suspect it's pan-and-scan, but only rarely does this seem obvious and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the OAR is the fairly narrow 1.66:1.

    Understand... I'm recommending a rental on this, as First Look shouldn't be rewarded anymore than necessary for their poor work on this DVD. I'm telling you, that forced trailers thing bugged me even more. I knew a little about the film going in, and so when the trailer started I thought it might be part of the film itself. After all, it begins with a filmmaker establishing a character that turns out to be a woman from his past and also perhaps his muse... you know, sort of a pomo/deconstructionist thing like in "Persona" (or "Nashville"). But no. It quickly became clear that I was watching exactly what I didn't want to watch right before viewing this flick... that is, a spoiler-ridden outline of the entire drama. And this is incorporated (along with other trailers, at least one) into Chapter One of the film itself!

    (I'm a little upset about that!) :b
     

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