Status Anxiety (2004)

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Released 21-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 145:00 (Case: 148)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Now I want you to tell me honestly - the last time you went to that friend's house, you know, the one with that plasma screen with almost an acre of surface area, did you feel just a little pang of jealousy? Did you entertain, however briefly, thoughts of your own inadequacy, chiding yourself for the lack of financial success that would enable you to make such an alacritous purchase? If the answer is yes, guess what? It appears, from contemporary thinker Alain de Botton's latest consumer friendly philosophy treatise, the three part documentary Status Anxiety, aired on the ABC earlier this year, that you are not alone. De Botton informs us, in his undeniably erudite yet never condescending tone, that we as humans are in an unending search for two types of love. Firstly, romantic love, and secondly, but no less importantly, love from the world - feeling like our presence on this earth is worthwhile. This, according to de Botton has a far more shameful and secret history, and has become harder to bear in the increasingly meritocratic societies the crumbling of old world feudalism and autocracy allowed to develop.

    Philosophy can seem dry and crusty - something old, bearded men in togas did in sweaty bathhouses, but the great strength of this documentary is de Botton's ability to couch potentially confusing philosophical theories in easy to understand language. He takes us on an intriguing and eclectic journey through the United States and the United Kingdom, introducing us to rabid right wing propagandists, nudists, bohemians, social climbers...the list goes on. This varied and sometimes I thought too disparate collection of anecdotes, quotes from a who's who of the great thinkers of the past few centuries and some very funny and some very disturbing interviews manages somehow to coalesce into an unfocussed yet somehow engaging whole. There will be times when you wonder what the point of it all is, but that I think is part of the point. In a world obsessed with outcomes and the bottom line we seem to have forgotten that thinking for thinking's sake has gifted us some of the most defining attributes of our modern world. De Botton's work is well worth investigating, and a great place to start would be Status Anxiety.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    We have been presented with an excellent 16x9 enhanced transfer at an approximately 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Bearing in mind that this was a made for TV documentary this is a fantastic presentation.

    There are excellent levels of sharpness throughout. Blacks were clean and clear and shadow detail was excellent.

    Colours are realistic and life-like, and well rendered.

    MPEG artefacts weren't a significant problem at all. Occasionally there was some aliasing but this was not a major distraction.

    For a recent production one would expect minimal film artefacts and that's what we get. The print looks very clean indeed.

    All in all, this is a very commendable transfer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer is eminently suitable for the material.

    Dialogue is extremely important to this production, after all it is all about de Botton espousing his philosophical views, and the transfer presents it cleanly and clearly.

    Audio sync is beyond reproach.

    There are no major distortions, clicks, pops or blemishes to report.

    The surrounds and subwoofer are quiet throughout but one never misses them.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This title is not yet available in the U.S. so our local product is the one to go for. Region 4 all the way.

Summary

    A fascinating documentary that if not always absolutely convincing, is terrific food for thought.

    The video and audio are of excellent quality.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Scott Murray (Dont read my bio - it's terrible.)
Monday, September 06, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDYamaha DVR-S100, using Component output
DisplaySony 76cm Widescreen Trinitron TV. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DVR-S100 (built in)
SpeakersYamaha NX-S100S 5 speakers, Yamaha SW-S100 160W subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
A very philosophical review! - NickM REPLY POSTED