PictureTo start with the film is overtly grainy and the colours very dull indeed, but this was almost certainly due a stylistic choice rather than a poor source print. The rest of the film has a sharp picture throughout and good contrast. Colours are vivid with a little bleed here and there, but it copes with dark scenes and neon lighting very well. A certain amount of grain remains constant but it's no bad thing.
SoundAh, the sound... where to begin? Well, before the film starts a message informs you that the sound was recorded using a binaural system, so that it is heard from the perspective of the lead character. This meant that sometimes the sound was 'flipped' from the direction of the action onscreen. A pair of miniaturised radio microphones and transmitters was built into the wig worn by Nicholas Hope to record the sound in this type of stereo. It certainly gives you an unusual listening experience to say the least, and is definitely worth sticking on a pair of quality headphones to experience it fully. In some scenes when the camera pans showing Bubby's POV the sound panning is very immersive indeed. The whole 5.1 Dolby Surround mix is lively with plenty of separation, although it is mainly front and centre oriented and there's not much bass evident. The dialogue is always clear, even with excessive competition from music and ambient effects. Very often a plethora of things is going on audio wise but even with the dialogue, a crowd cheering, a 'live' band playing and the score all cross-fading at once everything is distinct with no peaking. It's a great mix.
ExtrasA 24 minute interview with director Rolf De Heer kicks off proceedings very nicely, and it is a genuinely engaging piece with De Heer coming across as a friendly, intelligent bloke who talks well about the film's long gestation period (10 years) and it's unusual production. There's also a very good interview with Nicholas Hope and it covers his career and his personal thoughts about Bubby in a cohesive manner. It also reveals fascinating details about the film. I was very surprised to find out that Bad Boy Bubby was his debut film. Crikey! What a difficult and disturbing role to kick your career off with.There's also a gem of a short film included called 'Confessor Caressor' which led to Hope being cast as Bubby. It's a strange, grubby 20 minute documentary style piece in which Hope may or may not be a serial killer. It's very good, and has another fantastic performance by Hope. There's also a photo gallery with literally dozens of Production stills. The trailer for 'Bubby' rounds everything off. All in all, excellent - the interviews and short film are worth a score of the usual 'Making of' featurettes
VerdictBe warned, this film will not be to everyone's taste, but it's a remarkable piece. Blue Underground has delivered the goods on this release with a great disc that befits a great film.
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