71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (Directors Suite) (1994)

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Released 6-Jun-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Crew-Interview with director Michael Haneke (23:33)
Theatrical Trailer-Le Couperet (2005)
Theatrical Trailer-Exils (2004)
Theatrical Trailer-De Fem benspænd (2003)
Theatrical Trailer-Paris, Texas (1984)
Theatrical Trailer-L' Enfant (2005)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 95:04
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michael Haneke
Studio
Distributor
Wega Film
Madman Entertainment
Starring Gabriel Cosmin Urdes
Lukas Miko
Otto Grünmandl
Anne Bennent
Udo Samel
Branko Samarovski
Claudia Martini
Georg Friedrich
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
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

“On December 12 1993, Maximilian B., a 19 year old student, shot three people in a Viennese bank and killed himself with a shot in the head shortly afterwards.”

The opening title card of 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls (1994)

After the Virginia Tech massacre earlier this year questions were raised about school security, gun control and police response. Questions were also raised about the mental state of 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho and what could have motivated him to kill 32 people, wound 25 and commit suicide.

Two days later International media broadcast the collection of photos, recorded messages and 1,800 word manifesto Cho had sent NBC.

Is there a reasonable explanation for what Seung-Hui Cho did? Could it have been prevented? Were there warning signs? Who is to blame?

Michael Haneke’s 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance depicted these same and still relevant issues over a decade earlier, by exploring various individuals and couples in Austria between October 1993 and December 1993.

There is the childless couple looking to adopt, the young homeless Romanian boy who steals to survive, the college students who continuously compete against one another, the sick elderly man who is estranged from his daughter, the frustrated parents of a sick child and the soldier who steals handguns from a military armoury.

Through 71 brief fragments of these characters lives, Haneke depicts the different classes of society in Austria and the lead-up to the bank shooting. Haneke also uses video newscast reports of International news items such as the Bosnian War, Somali Civil War and South Lebanon conflict inter-cut between the fragments of the characters lives or as part of their lives through television.

The experimental film could be about nothing or everything - depending on the audience. The director does not psychologically profile any of the characters, instead we experience there pain, anguish and frustration and are left to fill in the gaps. Can the actions of the perpetrator be explained? Maybe so, maybe not – did Maximilian B. have an unstable upbringing? Is he a victim of bullying? Is he psychologically unstable? Has he been exposed to violent films or video games? These are answers we will never know but Haneke opens the debate by depicting the domestic and personal dilemmas of many individuals in society and subsequently allows the audience to reflect on their own.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Presented in 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced, considering the age of the film the transfer is overall pleasing, with only minor positive and negative film grain and mild telecine wobble.

Encoded over a dual layer DVD, the film has the average high bit-rate of 8.55 Mb/s which accounts for a clean transfer free of MPEG compression artefacts.

In the scenes which contain minimal lighting the shadow detail and black levels are average.

There is a slight softness to the image; however the natural and muted colour scheme is presented quite well.

The optional English subtitles appear as a clear yellow Arial font.

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

Audio

The German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono option remains clear.

There were no obvious examples of lip-synch problems and as the soundtrack is mostly atmospheric the available audio option is suitable.

The film does not feature a score; atmospheric sound is emitted through television, radio and crowd noise.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

The main menu is well themed to the feature film as the menu features a target screen. The options include play feature, access to extras, sixteen scene selections and set up options.

Interview with director Michael Haneke (23:33)

The inclusion of this 2005 interview with Haneke is a wonderful supplement to the film.

This interview is conducted by Serge Toubiana and Haneke is forthcoming in the interview explaining how the film evolved and how many of the scenes can be interpreted in various ways. The director also recalls how he wanted to depict an act of violence in film and how he does not like to be labelled as a genre filmmaker. The interview is conducted in French and automatic English subtitles appear when the feature is selected.

Madman Propaganda

The following trailers are preceded by a heavily compressed anti privacy warning: Le Couperet, Exils, De Fem benspænd, Paris, Texas and L'Enfant

R4 vs R1

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

The R2 France (Gaumont Columbia Tristar Home Video) includes the interview and film with only French subtitles.

The R2 Scandinavian (Future Film) DVD also includes the interview with the addition of Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.

The R1 (Kino) and the local release are the best release for audiences desiring English subtitles. However the R1 DVD has a PAL-NTSC transfer.

Note both R2 releases are only available as part of a "Michael Haneke" box set.

The French release box set includes Der Siebente Kontinent and Benny's Video with 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls.

While the Scandinavian box set includes Der Siebente Kontinent, Benny's Video and Funny Games with 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls.

Summary

71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls is an experimental film that could be about nothing or everything - depending on the audience.

This title is part of the Michael Haneke Directors Suite and it is another quality release from Madman Entertainment.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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