Featurette-Making Of-Every Fear Hides A Wish: The Edmond Diary
Interviews-Crew-Stuart Gordon (Director)
Audio Commentary-Stuart Gordon (Director), Lionel Mark Smith (Producer) et al
Audio Commentary-David Mamet (Writer)
Trailer-The King; When Will I Be Loved; 38 Quai Des Orfevres;
Trailer-The Escort; Immortal
|Year Of Production||2005|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (44:36)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Stuart Gordon|
William H. Macy
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) transfers David Mamet's popular play to the big screen with astonishing results. Filled with dense themes covering racism and male sexual apprehension, this is a film that is as visceral as it is amusing.
Edmond (William H. Macy) is a troubled office worker who longs for revolution in his sterile, robotic existence. While on his way home one day, he stops for a Tarot card reading and uses the result as cause to make drastic changes in his life, beginning with his stale marriage. He announces to his confused wife that he is leaving, never to return, and ventures off into the night to see what fate has in store for him. From here we follow Edmond on a journey, bar-hopping between seedy strip clubs, trying to find something to make himself feel 'alive'. Instead, Edmond is met with dishonesty and violence, as he is repeatedly cheated and beaten. With frustration building and the night drawing on, he decides to take the initiative with a young waitress, Glenna (Julia Styles), which begins honestly enough, but ends brutally. Edmond's sanity unravels in a fit of frustration, struggling to be understood in a world that won't stop and listen.
While Edmond's quest for redemption might sound like a familiar plot (Michael Douglas in Falling Down, for example), there are some intriguing attributes at play that make this film slightly divergent in comparison to your average thriller. Firstly, and most notably, the cast that has been assembled is first rate. Macy is brilliant in his role (he is present in every scene, in fact), and he is buoyed by cameo after cameo of recognisable actors. Both Denise Richards and Mena Suvari appear as prostitutes, while an almost unrecognisable Jeffrey Combs can be seen as a desk clerk. But they have excellent material to work with, which comes down to Mamet's amazing screenplay; bursting with fascinating, involving and often humorous monologues that give the film an air of intelligence and wit that can be hard to find.
Come to think of it, there are a great number of scenes that made me laugh out loud, which felt a little odd at first. I must admit during some scenes I guiltily thought to myself 'should I be laughing?'. The humour inherent in the dialogue is unusual for such a dark film. Anyway, with a runtime less than eighty minutes this is a not-too-challenging and relatively short feature that you should make an effort to check out.
The film has been transferred to DVD in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, complete with 16x9 enhancement.
There is a great deal of visible detail in the image, in fact I would certainly refer to it as 'film-like'. It's been a while since I've used that term to describe a transfer, but it absolutely applies here. I particularly noticed skin textures, wrinkles and the like are quite vivid on a big screen. I can't recall the last time I was so struck by detail in a standard definition transfer. There are several outdoor night scenes and these are transferred very well, with excellent shadow detail. Black levels are absolutely jet when need be.
I did note that bright areas in the image are quite bloomy at times, such as on Macy's right arm at 1:52. In this example, a light in the background is blooming over the top of Macy's character in the foreground. In the Director's audio commentary he discusses several techniques he applied during the production to give the film a dream-like quality. It's likely that this softening effect is one of them, in my opinion.
The film's colour palette is rich and bold, without any bleeding or oversaturation.
The video bitrate has been encoded at a healthy, constant 9.3Mb/s, so I didn't recognise any MPEG compression issues in the slightest. A few film artefacts creep in now and again, but never extend beyond inconsequential specks of dust and dirt. There is a mild wash of film grain in the image throughout the feature, which adds to the transfer's 'film-like' appearance.
There are no subtitle streams included.
This disc is dual layered, with the layer transition placed during the feature at 44:36. The pause may interrupt motion on screen for some, although it was completely transparent on my system. The cover slick incorrectly states that this disc is single layered (DVD5 formatted).
There are four soundtracks accompanying this film on DVD, two of which are audio commentaries (224Kb/s each). The default soundtrack is English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s). An English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (224Kb/s) alternative is also included.
The English dialogue is crystal clear at all times and easy to discern above other elements in the soundtrack. The ADR work is seamless and completely unrecognisable. Audio sync is perfect.
I was surprised at the degree of activity from the surround channels. These come to life during outdoor scenes with street noise and assorted ambience. Inside the peep show venues one can hear moans coming from the adjacent room in the rear left channel. The nightclub scene at 11:00 has loud music in the rear channels. During scenes with specific dialogue, voices are generally confined to the front centre channel and rarely stray.
I found the stereo option slightly louder in volume level, but otherwise unnecessary.
The film's score is credited to Bobby Johnston and has a superbly rich, jazzy feel. The beautiful tones and instrumentation are quite involving.
The subwoofer wasn't given anything special to do, only subtle augmentation of the score during some of the more bass-heavy passages. There isn't a lot of call for LFE activity in this film, really.
|Surround Channel Use|
This is a fantastic and insightful collection of bonus material, so rare for an independent production. None of the featurettes are 16x9 enhanced, unless noted otherwise.
Gordon briefly discusses his previous film, King of the Ants, and how the experience compares here. I was particularly interested to learn that Producer Lionel Mark Smith actually directed a stage version of Edmond in the 90s and fought for years to have the film made. Smith also appears in the film as a pimp and discusses past attempts to have the film made with Gary Oldman in the lead role. As far as commentaries go, this one is informative and interesting to follow.
David offers some interesting insights into the history of his play and his career so far, however there are a great many lengthy pauses in the commentary. He doesn't really discuss the actual film, aside from numerous pointless comments like "that's nice photography", rather touching on various productions of the play, specific scenes and the themes he intended to portray.
Edmond was a relatively short production, with only sixteen days of shooting after a month of rehearsals. This making of has been captured on amateur home video cameras and includes some interesting glimpses of the crew at work. The vibe on the set seemed to be very positive and the cast and crew share a laugh or two despite the intense nature of the story.
There are three extended scenes and it is easy to see why they were trimmed from the final cut. The first involves Edmond leaving work and stopping to glance at a newspaper headline. The second and third are mentioned in the Director's Commentary, being the full cut of the Tarot reading scene and a much more graphic cut of the scene in Glenna's apartment.
David Stratton talks with Stuart Gordon about his early experiences with the play and how he came to accept the Directing role. Some of the info here is replicated in the commentaries. Stratton's voice is very difficult to hear, so some of the conversation threads are a bit hard to follow. Produced for digital free-to-air TV, this piece is 16x9 enhanced.
This is a decent trailer that conveys the mood of the film without being overly sensational.
Additional trailers include The King, When Will I Be Loved, 36 Quai des Orfevres, The Escort and Immortal.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video transfer is great.
The audio transfer is excellent.
The extras are worthwhile.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using DVI output|
|Display||Sanyo 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-3806 (via Denon Link 3)|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|