Hidden (Caché) (2005)

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Released 11-Oct-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Audio
Featurette-Making Of-Hidden Face (31:51)
Interviews-Crew-Director Michael Haneke (25:29)
Featurette-24 Realities Per Second-A Film About Michael Haneke (56:28)
Trailer-Time Of The Wolf; Tickets; Show Me Love
Trailer-The Five Obstructions; Conversation Piece; Ghost Dog
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 113:21 (Case: 112)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (61:24)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michael Haneke
Studio
Distributor
Madman
Madman Entertainment
Starring Daniel Auteuil
Juliette Binoche
Maurice Bénichou
Annie Girardot
Bernard Le Coq
Walid Afkir
Lester Makedonsky
Daniel Duval
Nathalie Richard
Denis Podalydès
Aïssa Maïga
Caroline Baehr
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    Hidden (Cache), by Michael Haneke, is a manipulative, thought-provoking thriller that causes the viewer to question what they see and draw their own conclusions. Arguably, the film has no real resolution, and this will likely be a source of great frustration to viewers who expect a neat ending with all loose ends tied up.

    Georges (Daniel Auteuil) and Anne (Juliette Binoche) are a working couple with a young son, Pierrot. Georges is a writer and television personality who hosts his own literary discussion program. Anne works as an editor for an established publishing house. Their busy lives are coasting along contentedly until a strange package arrives on their doorstep. Wrapped in a plastic shopping bag is a videotape and a disturbing, child-like drawing. The videotape appears to be some kind of surveillance recording; a camera pointed directly at their home, recording the comings-and-goings of each family member. The frequency of the packages increases, as does their private nature, much to the family's distress. The police are alerted, but respond with ambivalence. As frustration and guilt within the family builds over the sheer ambiguity of the threats, lies and mistrust surface and the walls of their comfort zone begin to collapse.

    Hanneke's style of filmmaking has been compared to that of David Lynch, and it is easy to see why. I don't personally find his style as abstract as Lynch, however Hidden does have some loose threads and an overall mood that resembles Lynch's later work. The performances here are outstanding in every respect, and it is here that the film gains its believability. Interestingly, the film is not scored at all. The lack of music in the soundtrack emphasizes the film's emotive elements and felt completely natural to me.

    I'm hesitant to go into too much detail here for fear of spoiling the experience or creating false expectations. Suffice to say that Hidden is an intriguing piece of work, at times contemplative and at others confronting. It is an experience that can be demanding of the viewer. For me, it is refreshing to see a movie that I don't want to forget straight away. This is certainly one film that will stand up to multiple viewings.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film has been transferred to DVD at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, complete with 16x9 enhancement. The film appears to have been captured on digital video, which would make the original ratio 1.78:1. Some sources recognise this as the original theatrical aspect ratio. Screen captures of other Regions seem to include window-boxing on all sides of the image that is not present in our transfer.

    There is a distinctly bleak, washed out appearance to this presentation, which I suspect is the director's intention. The image is generally sharp and clear, although there are a few scenes that contain a wash of grain. Black levels appear solid when they need to be and shadow detail is realistic.

    As I stated above, most colours are slightly undersaturated. Having said that, there are no colour rendering issues to speak of.

    MPEG compression artefacting is visible, I'm afraid. At 8:18 I noted severe macro blocking on the water in the swimming pool, and there are many other cases of grain and compression issues throughout the film. Given the digital source, there are no film artefacts.

    An English subtitle stream is activated by default and is comprised of a yellow font with a black outline. The text is easy to read and I didn't notice any distracting spelling errors or grammar mistakes.

    Disc one is dual layered (DVD9 formatted), with the transition placed during the film at 61:24. The pause is well placed and of minimal distraction. Disc two contains the extras and is DVD5 formatted (single layered).

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

Audio

     There are two soundtracks accompanying this film on DVD, both of which are presented in the film's original French language. The default soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1, encoded at 448 Kb/s. A Dolby Digital 2.0 option is also provided (224Kb/s). Both soundtracks were mistakenly labeled as English in the disc authoring process.

    The soundtrack appears to be comprised mainly of location audio, with little or no ADR performed in post production. The dialogue has been well recorded and is clear at all times. I didn't notice any audio sync issues.

    The film's use of the surround field is minimal, in keeping with the overall tone of the production. A highly active, sub-heavy soundtrack would be distracting and completely out of place here. Indoor scenes that consist mainly of dialogue occupy the front center channel only. Outdoor or 'non-domestic' scenes, such as in the street, utilise the entire front soundstage of Left, Center and Right for ambient noise and passing cars. The rear channels are not used at all.

     The stereo option is perfectly serviceable and aside from a slight increase in overall volume doesn't seem that far removed from the surround alternative.

    Like the surround channels, the subwoofer was not utilised at all. I don't believe there has been any missed potential in that regard.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu page is static and accompanied by ambient noise from the film's soundtrack. The extra features are not 16x9 enhanced and contain removable English subtitles unless otherwise noted.

Featurette- Making Of- Hidden Face (31:51)

    This is an interesting, fly-on-the-wall style of documentary, using cast and crew interviews to give it flow and explain some of the happenings shown on set. Haneke is an exacting director, with a precise vision of the film he wants to make and he will not settle for anything less than perfect. This makes for some funny moments as Haneke loses his temper several times over details that you or I would consider secondary. Some scenes that appear simple, actually require quite a bit of orchestration and it is fascinating to see the communication involved on set.

Interview- Director Michael Haneke (25:29)

    Haneke discusses the film in-depth, with specific attention given to the reasoning behind the character's actions and particularly the ambiguous finale. Some clips from the film are provided for reference. This is an interesting piece to watch, because several avenues are explored that I had not considered on my first viewing.

Documentary- 24 Realities Per Second (56:28)

    Filmed around the time of his previous feature, The Time Of The Wolf, here we see more of the Haneke's exacting nature, even going so far as complaining about the projection quality at the premiere! There were some logistical headaches to overcome in the production of this film, as we are shown while the producers are location scouting. We also follow Haneke on interviews, photo shoots and hear him field questions regarding the recurring themes in his films. This documentary contains English subtitles that cannot be removed.

Madman Trailers (3)

    Trailers are included for other titles in the Director's Suite series; Haneke's previous film Time of the Wolf; Tickets; Show Me Love; Lars Von Trier's The Five Obstructions; Conversation Piece and Ghost Dog.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 & Region 2 UK releases miss out on the documentary 24 Realities Per Second. Ours appears to be the best choice out there for English speakers.

Summary

    Hidden is an intriguing film that I'm certain will reward multiple viewings.

    The video transfer shows signs of over-compression, but will likely be less problematic on smaller displays.

    The audio transfer succeeds in drawing minimal attention to itself.

    The extras are relegated to a second disc and are worthwhile viewing if you're keen to learn a bit more about the director.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Friday, December 29, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3806 (via Denon Link 3)
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
I may have missed the point entirely but.... -
To Gavin *spoilers* -