|Year Of Production||2006|
|Running Time||77:53 (Case: 80)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Anders Morgenthaler|
Stine Fischer Christensen
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
Danish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Danish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Not to be in any way confused with Japanese Anime Princess Mononoke, Dutch director Anders Morgenthaler’s bitter, blistering and often brutal condemnation of the pornography industry and the lives it ruins is one film that, whatever you think of it, you’re not going to forget in a while, and is most definitely not one for the kids.
The title of the film is derived from the “porn name” of Christina (Stine Fischer Christensen), the sister of the film’s protagonist, August (voiced by Thure Lindhardt). Christina falls into a life of pornography after the death of their parents at the urging of her then boyfriend, Charlie ( Christian Tafdrup ), who believes he can profit from her sexual exploitation.
When Christina dies as a result of a drug overdose, August is reunited with Christina’s daughter, Mia (voiced by Mira Hilli Møller Hallund). At this time a failed missionary priest, August does his best to offer a life to his niece, but cannot leave the ghost of his sister behind – with images of her posted across Denmark, and always in Mia’s face. After learning of the indecencies inflicted on Mia during her time in the industry with her mother, August sets out to deliver the wrath of God on those who he believes are responsible, especially Charlie.
A curious blend of live action and animation, the story also blends hyper-realism with a bizarre “cartoonish” surreality, particularly in the form of Mia’s toy Multe, which often becomes animated and acts out of a will of its own, as if we were witness to Mia’s imagination in play. Oddly, I felt that the surreal “cartoonish” elements of the movie worked much better than most of the live action sequences, except for the poignant epilogue, which is one of the most heartbreaking and frustrating conclusions I’ve seen for a while.
However, the finest scenes were definitely in the realm of the animation, with one truly memorable scene involving merely a discharging gun and quick successive cuts to morgues, X-rays of gunshot wounds, graves and urns with no sound other than the beating of a drum. Cinematic brilliance from a medium that is often dismissed as only for children.
I was fortunate enough to see Princess on the big screen at the MIFF in 2006 and the stunned silence that fell over the crowd after the movie was over was truly palpable. This is neither a good date movie, nor a fun Friday night out with your friends. Undeniably disturbing, but worse, an incredibly haunting film that questions notions of human weakness and the capacities of those who exploit it – one viewing of Princess is definitely not enough.
Video is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
This is a very clear and crisp transfer insofar as the animation sequences go. Animation usually suffers from some form of aliasing along curved edges, but, due to the way the animation attempts to replicate film, the curved edges wind up smooth. There are also some hand held video shots that are very intentionally grainy and suffering from about every video artefact you can imagine, but I think that this was intentional.
Colour is also extremely well saturated, though the film originally had a soft pastel colour palette which is well reproduced here.
Contrast is good, with deep image definition.
Subtitles are available in English, and are yellow with a grey border. They are clear and easy to read.
The cover says this is a dual-layer disc but I saw no layer change, so either it is not a dual-layer disc or the layer change is well hidden.
Audio is available in Danish in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. I listened to the 5.1 track and sampled the stereo track.
Dialogue is clean and clear and suffers from no noticeable sync faults.
The music is relatively sparse, the film left to tell its own story. This works quite well, without overdramatising the content, which is dramatic enough on its own.
Surround use is good, with some good directional cues, but I would be curious to hear how it stacks up against the DTS track that will apparently be on the R2 UK release.
The subwoofer has some good use, particularly during the more violent sequences. It is also used to good effect as ambient low-level noise, almost like a character whose presence is never announced.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has scenes from the show with sound in 2.0 Dolby Stereo. The other menus are static and silent.
Presented in 2.35:1 inset in a Full Frame, this is a pretty good trailer.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There is currently no R1 release of this movie. There is an R2 UK release set for 28 February 2008 which will reportedly have DTS audio and be the full 90 minute cut. This would appear to be the better of the two versions.
Princess is a strange blend of animation and live action, with an oddly haunting after effect. It won’t give you the blood lust of Death Wish or the cinematic stylised violence of Luc Besson’s Leon, but it will definitely stick with you after you’re done. Worth a viewing for those of you who don’t flinch at confronting material.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW60 SXRD Projector with 100" Longhorn Pro-Series White Matt 16:9 screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Jensen QX70 Centre Front, Jensen QX45 Left Front & Right Front, Jensen QX20 Left Rear & Right Rear, Jensen QX-90 Dual 10" 250 Watt Subwoofer|