Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The White Ribbon: Blu-ray disc review

I am not going to review The White Ribbon itself beyond saying that Maria-Victoria Dragus is brilliant as Klara, the pastor's daughter, the Avenging Angel of Death.

The Blu-ray disc is a good production, as it can be expected from Artificial Eye. The film itself has been impeccably transferred to disc, maintaining its original aspect ratio, the subtitles being clear (the usual options being present).

As usual with Haneke's DVD and Blu-ray releases, the special features section is pretty strong, containing an enlightening interview with Haneke, a documentary on the making of the film (a very interesting overview of the efforts taken to find a manor house in Germany which could fit within the story; and the near military operation carried out to select the child cast from over 7000 children all over Germany, and beyond), the usual commentaries and testimonies on Haneke's hands-on approach to filming and directing the actors, and further enlightening remarks from the man himself on his approach to cinema.

It also contains a documentary (nearly an hour long) about Haneke's life, with testimonies from his long standing wife, and an overview of his happy childhood (for a change, what a relief!).

Revealing was the fact that the script was originally written over ten years ago for what was going to be a very long film (three and a half hours long), and his acknowledgement  of commercial pressures to shorten the film.

He also reveals the thinking behind shooting The White Ribbon in black and white. However, I am not going to tell you what were they, you will have to buy the DVD or Blu-ray disc to find out.

Glamour was also present in the form of a short review of Cannes 2009 Film Festival: I particularly enjoyed the child actors' (growing up) 15 minutes of fame under the camera flashlights on the red carpet.

The film's trailer is also included in this section.

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