Vital DVD Review

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Vital is hailed as “Hypnotic and severely beautiful” on the DVD cover - I agree with the second part. It’s not so much “hypnotic” as soporific however, such is the lack of interest that I had in the film. Director Shinya Tsukamoto has an eye for composition and firm ideas of what he wants to communicate, but here he has crafted them in such a wilfully ambiguous and fragmented way as to make Vital very hard going at times. As Tsukamoto-san says in one of the extra features: “Because there is no truth, we cannot find it”, which might fulfil his artistic intentions but makes for an ultimately unsatisfying film.

Tartan’s DVD is a fine package however, featuring a very good audio/video presentation (slight niggles with the 5.1 mixes aside) and some decent extra features that shine plenty of light on the motivation behind the film. There are a couple of dud features in there, but the commentary is excellent, as is the interview with Tsukamoto.
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