Upon further investigation, I am quite certain that this digital transfer IS the dvd copy that Facets did indeed release.
An extraordinary film from a truly underrated director.
Dogme 95 style filmmaking with a couple-in-the-woods psychodrama plotline that completely prefigures Von Trier's own Antichrist. I'm not sure if the ending, reminiscent of Claire Denis' Beau Travaile, entirely works, though, but it's a solid outing from Cote. Not his best film (Curling, Carcasses, and All That She Wants are superior), but definitely worth watching. The tension in the second half is unbearable.
Great film, but audio and video quality of this digital copy are downright abhorrent. Same with Queen of Diamonds, sadly. I am glad to say that two other Menkes films on MUBI, Phantom Love and Sadness of Zohara, have much better transfers, and are definitely worth watching. Now I'm just hoping that her latest film Dissolution will be avaible on MUBI eventually.
I actually feel cheated that, on top of my $7/month MUBI fees, I had to pay an extra $3 dollars to watch what amounts to a terrible quality Kino or Facets release. Don't get me wrong, it's an excellent film (Nina Menkes is a favourite director of mine) - but this digital transfer looks like it was ripped straight from VHS. The audio quality is astonishingly bad.
Anyone who thinks this film is "unsentimental" is confused. Don't mistake long takes, hand held camera, and a sparingly used score for being unsentimental. It's a sentimental, underwhelming, and manipulative effort by the Dardennes, and undeserving of sharing the Cannes Grand Prix with Ceylan's staggering Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (but wholly unsurprising, given that the Dardennes are obvious Cannes darlings).
Excellent short film - I wonder if this Pablo Lamar will ever make a feature length film - between this one, and his I Hear Your Scream, I think he's got the chops to pull it off. Did anyone else recognize the gentalia close-up as an homage to the nearly identical shot in Bruno Dumont's L'Humanite?
Why did I not hear about Ning Ying until Mubi started showing her works? I can tell from this film alone that she is a major talent. "I Love Beijing" didn't age well, though - it looks and sounds hopelessly 90's, but its heart and soul shines through. It is indeed gritty, and rings true with authenticity. Highly recommended.
For starters, I don't get the hype surrounding Emily Browning's performance - it was charmless, one-note, and downright cringeworthy at times. Are people confusing a naive readiness to get naked on screen with good acting? No one has commended the degraded fools of Salo for fine acting, when in fact, their performances were far braver than Browning's. The film itself is ambitious but hopelessly flawed. 6/10