Novo (2002)

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Released 25-Jul-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio
Reversible Cover
Featurette-Araki
Featurette-Shunga
Featurette-Nawa Shibari
Deleted Scenes-No End
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 93:10 (Case: 92)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:10) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jean-Pierre Limosin
Studio
Distributor
Lumen Films
Ovation
Starring Eduardo Noriega
Anna Mouglalis
Nathalie Richard
Eric Caravaca
Paz Vega
Lény Bueno
Julie Gayet
Agathe Dronne
Bernard Bloch
Vincent Dissez
Catherine Bidaut
Pascal Tokatlian
Dominic Gould
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Zend Avesta
Loïc Dury
Mathieu Dury


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.93:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    My first inclination after watching this 2002 French film was to write a plot summary which consisted of one simple question only...What the f**k was that all about? But to be fair, I thought I should write a little bit more than that. This is a very confusing and arty French film which is supposed to be a romantic comedy but isn't funny, unless you find weird funny. Any film which includes a scene of a young man inserting someone else's tooth (which he found in the woods) into the v***** of a young woman who he just met has to be considered just a little weird.

    The story is very hard to explain but I'll do my best. A young man, Graham or possibly Pablo (Eduardo Noriega), works as a photocopy clerk in some sort of marketing company. He cannot make new memories and seems to have forgotten his past. He only remembers things for a short space of time, usually only within the same day. His boss, Sabine (Nathalie Richard), uses him regularly as a sex toy, which of course he always forgets. One day, Irene (Anna Mouglalis) is hired by the company and falls for Graham's charms. She quickly works out that she needs to find ways to ensure that he remembers her. Meanwhile, Graham's wife, Isabelle (Paz Vega) and his son Antoine await him remembering his past. After that it all gets a little confusing.

    This film involves a lot of quite graphic sexual practices (although is not what I would consider to be porn) and significant amounts of full frontal male & female nudity. The Graham character is reminiscent of the main character in Momento but the film certainly isn't. It is certainly an interesting film visually (and I don't just mean the nudity) but that's the best thing I can say about it.

    I really can't recommend this film unless you are an avid fan of French cinema and feel like trying something very different or like a bit of arty sex and nudity.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good but lacks 16x9 enhancement.

    The feature is presented in a 1.93:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced. I have no information about the original aspect ratio but this presentation does not look completely wrong.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout although obviously affected by the lack of 16x9 enhancement, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was very good. There was some light grain throughout.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    The only noticeable artefacts were some occasional film artefacts such as a white spot at 33:52 and some mild edge enhancement.

    There are subtitles in English which were burned in. They were clear and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at 66:10 and caused a short pause.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains a French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s. Strangely, it was actually marked as an English soundtrack on the disc itself. This is one of the better 2.0 surround tracks I have heard.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music used was mostly modern dance and industrial, which is not to my taste, however it suited the film well and sounded good.

    The surround speakers were used significantly adding quite a lot of effects and creating a generally immersive surround sound field.

    The subwoofer was used to add bass to music and did its job well. Obviously, this is a function of my amp's bass management rather than the soundtrack itself.

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

Extras

    If the film was weird, the extras are possibly even stranger.

Menu

    The menu was simple and still allowing for access to scenes and extras.

Reversible Cover

    The basic difference between the two sides is that one has a photo which would offend your elderly aunt when she visits and the other does not.

Trailer (1:31)

    French only trailer.

Araki (6:30)

    A featurette about Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki which shows him being interviewed and conducting a photo shoot with a naked Japanese girl and a plastic alligator. He explains that the alligator is a representation of his genitalia in the photos. The link to the film is that one short scene in the film was influenced by one of Araki's photographs. Presented 4x3 with burnt in subtitles.

Shinga (12:09)

    A pudgy Japanese man shows us his extensive and valuable collection of antique porn. Fascinating but not overly relevant.

Nawa Shibari (6:17)

    A young Japanese girl gets an introductory lesson in bondage including how to prepare the ropes and what knots to use. The link to the film is that in one scene of the film Irene has a loosely tied rope around her naked form.

No End (2:57)

    Deleted scenes from the film which confused me even further.

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie has been released in Region 1 and also in Europe as a Region 0 release (PAL). The Region 1 release is similar to ours except that the subtitles are not burnt in and the video is 16x9 enhanced. On the downside the extras are not included. The Region 0 release has all the extras, plus a Dolby Digital 5.1 and a DTS soundtrack, 16x9 enhancement and some extra relevant trailers. The Region 0 Tartan release is the pick of the bunch.

Summary

    A weird French film about sex and loss of memory.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has a collection of very odd extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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