Intimacy (2000)

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Released 15-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Trailer-Italian For Beginners; Va Savior
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Notes-Director's Notes
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Awards
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 114:44 (Case: 119)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (69:01) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Patrice Chereau
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Kerry Fox
Mark Rylance
Timothy Spall
Philippe Calvario
Alastair Galbraith
Marianne Faithfull
Case ?
RPI ? Music Eric Neveux


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, chain smoking
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I'm clearly ignorant, or stupid. This film won Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival. It won Best French Film for 2001. And I don't understand what it is trying to say.

    One thing is quite clear to me, though. This film got considerable publicity for the explicit sex it contains, including a second or so of on-camera fellatio. The publicity is accurate - there is some footage in this film which is a lot more explicit than you'd expect to see in something available through normal channels (no brown-paper parcels from the ACT involved here). I'm not convinced that it's necessary, though. Sure, it has shock value, and I'm sure it has sold more copies of the film, but is it necessary to tell the story? Or is it concealing the lack of a story? Again, I'm unsure what story they're trying to tell.

    Perhaps they are trying to talk about the superficiality of a purely sexual relationship, and how it is inevitable that a person will look for more than just sex. That's a fairly shallow message, and almost a prudish one, making it somewhat ironic that it is conveyed by such explicit material.

    Perhaps this is a story of broken people. The man whose wife walked out with their children, the woman who died one day (her shell is still walking around), the self-destructive cable TV salesman, the girl who talks so incessantly she won't even stop for sex... There's real no resolution here - we're just presented with these broken people, with fragments of their lives, and then nothing.

    This film was written from two pieces, both written by Hanif Kureishi, the author of My Beautiful Laundrette. Maybe that's the problem; if the writer/director had settled on using the story Intimacy, rather than mixing it with another story, maybe I could understand what's going on.

    So what's the plot? Well, I could outline what I thought was the plot, but it is probably better that I don't. Better you approach this film with no expectations, than have me mislead you. One thing I can say - this is not an uplifting film.

    Would I recommend this film? Definitely not to anyone that I knew had hang-ups about sex (unless I really didn't like them...). Possibly to someone with an open mind - maybe they could explain it to me afterwards, or maybe we could agree.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of roughly 2.35:1 (maybe 2.40:1), but it is not 16x9 enhanced. That's awful! A film this wide desperately needs 16x9 enhancement. I tried it both zoomed up, and at native resolution - the zooming exacerbated the film grain and lack of resolution.

    The picture is variable, but often fairly sharp, with decent shadow detail and no low-level noise. In darker shots the shadow detail is reduced and film grain is more noticeable. There's sporadic film grain on all but the most brightly lit shots - I wonder if they were using a smaller film stock for the hand-held work?

    Colour is good, but there are lots of dull colours on display, with few bright spots. There's no oversaturation or colour bleed.

    There are next to no spots, flecks, or other film damage - that's good, but you'd hope to see that on a film this recent. There is a fair bit of aliasing, but not a lot of moire. There's some hand-held camera work, and that means camera shake - a few people I know get motion sickness watching shaking cameras; they'd better not watch this film.

    There are no subtitles. That's a shame - I had trouble making out some of the dialogue, and subtitles would have helped.

    The disc is single-sided, and RSDL-formatted. The layer change is very well placed at 69:01, in a fade to black between scenes. It's pretty much invisible, except that the black lasts longer than you might expect.

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

Audio

    The English soundtrack is available in both Dolby Digital 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1 variants. The default is the Dolby Digital 2.0 track, so if you want 5.1 you must select it from the audio menu. I listened to the 5.1.

    The dialogue is mostly clear, but more than one line is garbled into inaudibility, or obscured by music. I saw no audio sync problems.

    The score is credited to Eric Neveax, but the soundtrack includes quite a few songs from recognised artists. I suspect the credits (although they are in English) were set by a French person, because songs are "interpreted" rather than "performed".

    There are a few nice touches of directional ambient sound (one of them was a door-bell that had me checking my own front door). It's not an overly immersive soundtrack, but better than many. The subwoofer gets nothing much to do - there are no gun shots or car chases.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menus are nicely animated with sound - even the scene selections and extras menus are animated.

Trailers

    These are trailers which play when the disc is put into a DVD player - they are not selectable from a menu.

Director's Notes

    Although these are shown as scrolling in the extras menu, these are five pages of static text, mostly about the director's discovery of the book on which this film is based.

Awards

    A single page listing some of the awards this film has won or been nominated for.

Filmographies

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as I can ascertain, this film is not yet available in Region 1. It is released in Region 2, and the PR announcements say the R2 version is 16x9 enhanced, but without extras - I couldn't confirm the 16x9 enhancement, because I couldn't find a review of the R2 disc.

Summary

    Intimacy was a perplexing film. I could not rate the plot.

    The video quality is good, but it would have been better with 16x9 enhancement.

    The audio quality is fair.

    The extras are fairly basic.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
region4dvd.net - Darren R (read my bio (fun for the whole family))
DVD Net - Vincent C

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