Who Loves the Sun (2006)

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Released 15-Dec-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Drama Theatrical Trailer-(2.13)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 94:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Matt Bissonnette
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Lukas Haas
Molly Parker
Adam Scott
R.H. Thomson
Wendy Crewson
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Mac McCaughan


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

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

Plot Synopsis

   When Will (Lukas Haas) turns up unannounced at the Canadian lakeside home of the parents of his former best friend Daniel Bloom (Adam Scott) they are a little unnerved. After all, he drifted away several years ago and hasn't been in touch. Also he looks a little strung out and isn't saying much about where he has been or what he has been up to. Mrs Bloom (Wendy Crewson) calls her son Daniel and he arrives to a frosty reception from his former compadre.

Once the parents are out of the way the gloves are off, in more ways that one. Will threatens to kill Daniel and the two fight in the only way that two non-fighting men can battle. The truth is revealed - last time they saw each other Daniel was having sex with Will's wife!

To solve the problem of disquiet between the two men Mrs Bloom comes up with another great idea, call Maggie (Molly Parker) for her to come down too. That isn't such a good idea. Maggie is flat out angry at Will. How dare she? After all, she was the one who slept with his friend. It turns out that there is a story behind everything and nobody is really innocent. This is just the first of many revelations that spring out as the trio, with help from the Blooms, try to work out what is going on.

Who Loves the Sun is a wistful comedy drama from Canadian filmmaker Chris Bissonnette, who has described the film as a "coming of age film for people who don't grow up".

Whilst the Blooms chip in from time to time, providing able support, this really is a three hander. The DVD case proclaims that the film "Captures the spirit of early Hal Hartley". That is not a bad description, although I would probably say that fans of Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) would get something from this film. For the dialogue is often obtuse and the tone wavers between direct, honest and raw and quirky, ironic wordplay. Haas, who many would only remember from his performance as the titular character in Witness, plays the unbalanced, often childlike Will like a man with his core missing (shades of Travis from Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas) and Scott shows just how weak a confident successful man can be. Scott is now a regular collaborator with Bissonnette and appears in his latest film, Passenger Side, which is yet to make a proper appearance on these shores. Deadwood star Molly Parker, last seen having the final words in The Road, is the uncomfortable glue between these two difficult men. She is a fine, intuitive actress and never fails to light up the screen when she comes on. Parker is the wife of the director which made it an interesting experience for her - in the Making of on the website she describes how it felt to live with a certain scene in her head for years and then knock it out in 20 minutes.

As said, the film has a quirky tone and will really only suit those who like their drama offbeat. The title comes from the Velvet Underground song off Loaded and the song pretty much encapsulates the themes of the movie; coping with disappointment, growing up and taking responsibility. The plot shifts and revelations come hard and fast, resembling Days of Our Lives on a good day, but that it part of the fun.

The film would be helped if the characters were just a tad more likeable but perhaps the director wanted to avoid the clichés of familiarity and having a protagonist - we want to punch each of the characters at least once during the film. Beautiful locations make this eminently watchable for those who like their drama a little different. Worth a watch.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   Who Loves the Sun was shot on 16mm film and blown up to 35mm for cinematic release.

The DVD transfer is at the cinematic 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

The decision to shoot in 16mm was intentional. The effect is as you can imagine. The picture is grainy and raw which gives an earthy indie quality to the proceedings.

Besides the grain the print is not too bad but I wouldn't show it off as a test disc. There are some imperfections which could have been inherent in the master but were too quick for me to pin down as damage or artefacts. The picture lacks sharpness and the colours are a little 1980's looking. In fact the film could have been made any time in the last 20 years.

In short, the film is a realistic, acceptable transfer of a low budget flick.

There are no subtitles.

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

Audio

Who Loves the Sun carries a Dolby Digital 2.0 English soundtrack running at 224 Kb/s.

This is perfectly adequate for the film. Dialogue can be heard clearly although Haas, in character, mumbles a fair bit.

The music is by Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan and the indie lo-fi sound is a pretty good accompaniment to the film. He uses several tracks from the Silver Jews to even better connection with the material.

The actors appear to be in audio sync. There are no technical problems with the soundtrack.

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

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

The only extra to the film is the Theatrical Trailer. This is no extra really as the trailer is letterboxed in a 4:3 aspect ratio and pretty hard to watch.

R4 vs R1

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

   The film otherwise appears to only be available on DVD in Canada. The extras on the DVD are :

The Making of appears on the website for the film and is worth a watch.

Summary

   Who Loves the Sun is a quirky indie film that has something of a limited market, the reason perhaps for the time that it has taken to find its way to DVD and these shores. Definitely worth a watch, if only to catch the feel of those old Hal Hartley movies.

The DVD is a pretty average affair, perhaps due to the source material, but it is possible to make 16mm look better.

No real extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer BDP-LX70A Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayPioneer PDP-5000EX. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR605
SpeakersJBL 5.1 Surround and Subwoofer

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