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Old 09-26-2009, 09:12 AM   #1
pro-bassoonist pro-bassoonist is online now
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Australia The Piano (Jane Campion)



Jane Campion's The Piano (1993) is set to be released in Australia on November 4th. Winner of three Oscar awards -- Best Actress in a Leading Role (Holly Hunter), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Anna Paquin), and (Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Jane Campion).

Roger Ebert:
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"The Piano" is as peculiar and haunting as any film I've seen.

It tells a story of love and fierce pride, and places it on a bleak New Zealand coast where people live rudely in the rain and mud, struggling to maintain the appearance of the European society they've left behind. It is a story of shyness, repression and loneliness; of a woman who will not speak and a man who cannot listen, and of a willful little girl who causes mischief and pretends she didn't mean to.

The film opens with the arrival of a 30ish woman named Ada (Holly Hunter) and her young daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin), on a stormy gray beach. They have been rowed ashore, along with Ada's piano, to meet a local bachelor named Stewart (Sam Neill), who has arranged to marry her. "I have not spoken since I was 6 years old," Ada's voice tells us on the soundtrack. "Nobody knows why, least of all myself. This is not the sound of my voice; it is the sound of my mind." Ada communicates with the world through her piano, and through sign language, which is interpreted by her daughter. Stewart and his laborers, local Maori tribesmen, take one look at the piano crate and decide it is too much trouble to carry inland to the house, and so it stays there, on the beach, in the wind and rain. It says something that Stewart cares so little for his new bride that he does not want her to have the piano she has brought all the way from Scotland - even though it is her means of communication. He does not mind quiet women, is one way he puts it.

Ada and Flora settle in. No intimacy grows between Ada and her new husband. One day she goes down to the beach to play the piano, and the music is heard by Baines (Harvey Keitel), a roughhewn neighbor who has affected Maori tattoos on his face. He is a former whaler who lives alone, and he likes the music of the piano - so much that he trades Stewart land for the piano.

"That is MY piano - MINE!!" Ada scribbles on a note she hands to Stewart. He explains that they all make sacrifices and she must learn to, as well. Baines invites her over to play, and thus begins his singleminded seduction, as he offers to trade her the piano for intimacy. There are 88 keys. He'll give her one for taking off her jacket. Five for raising her skirt.

Jane Campion, who wrote and directed "The Piano," does not handle this situation as a man might. She understands better the eroticism of slowness and restraint, and the power that Ada gains by pretending to care nothing for Baines. The outcome of her story is much more subtle and surprising than Baines' crude original offer might predict.

Campion has never made an uninteresting or unchallenging film (her credits include "Sweetie," about a family ruled by a self-destructive sister, and "An Angel at My Table" (the autobiography of writer Janet Frame, wrongly confined for schizophrenia). Her original screenplay for "The Piano" has elements of the Gothic in it, of that Victorian sensibility that masks eroticism with fear, mystery and exotic places. It also gives us a heroine who is a genuine piece of work; Ada is not a victim here, but a woman who reads a situation and responds to it.

The performances are as original as the characters. Hunter's Ada is pale, grim and hatchetfaced at first, although she is capable of warming.

Keitel's Baines is not what he first seems, but has unexpected reserves of tenderness and imagination. Neill's taciturn husband conceals a universe of fear and sadness behind his clouded eyes. And the performance by Paquin, as the daughter, is one of the most extraordinary examples of a child's acting in movie history. She probably has more lines than anyone else in the film, and is as complex, too - able to invent lies without stopping for a breath, and filled with enough anger of her own that she tattles just to see what will happen.

Stuart Dryburgh's cinematography is not simply suited to the story, but enhances it. Look at his cold grays and browns as he paints the desolate coast, and then the warm interiors that glow when they are finally needed. And if you are oddly affected by a key shot just before the end (I will not reveal it), reflect on his strategy of shooting and printing it, not in real time, but by filming at quarter-time and then printing each frame four times, so that the movement takes on a fated, dreamlike quality.

"The Piano" is a movie people have been talking about ever since it first played at Cannes, last May, and shared the grand prix.

It is one of those rare movies that is not just about a story, or some characters, but about a whole universe of feeling - of how people can be shut off from each other, lonely and afraid, about how help can come from unexpected sources, and about how you'll never know if you never ask.
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:50 PM   #2
Yautja Yautja is offline
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I'll have to buy this, another film I havent watched
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:36 PM   #3
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Great film! Hope they do the transfer proud!
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:18 AM   #4
CoalClear CoalClear is offline
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Default Jane Campion's The Piano

I see that the release date is Nov. 10 however Im having trouble finding it anywhere on this site or box cover pictures or anything. Does anyone have any news on this release?
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:58 AM   #5
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https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=115672

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Old 11-04-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
badlieut badlieut is offline
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Anyone pick this up who can give a review? 1080p?

Last edited by badlieut; 11-04-2009 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:27 AM   #7
Suntory_Times Suntory_Times is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badlieut View Post
Anyone pick this up who can give a review? 1080p?
Nope, saw it for $23AU so I may pick it up though. Though i'm sure someone here must have it.

Last edited by Suntory_Times; 11-05-2009 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by badlieut View Post
Anyone pick this up who can give a review? 1080p?
Haven't seen the transfer with my own eyes but the case indicates that it is a 1080i transfer.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:08 AM   #9
Harry Caul Harry Caul is offline
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Default Most overated Movie of the 90s?

I mean if wasn't for Harvey Keitel who is watchable in a trash, because he is Harvey Keitel. I found this to be the most annoying chick Movie of the 90s, didn't care about Holly (she's great too) and her Piano one bit. But simply from the point of the visuals it's shot with style and has great landscapes.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:33 AM   #10
Suntory_Times Suntory_Times is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Caul View Post
I mean if wasn't for Harvey Keitel who is watchable in a trash, because he is Harvey Keitel. I found this to be the most annoying chick Movie of the 90s, didn't care about Holly (she's great too) and her Piano one bit. But simply from the point of the visuals it's shot with style and has great landscapes.
I've actually yet to see the film, but know the score very well, and think this may be my first blind buy.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:08 AM   #11
deado deado is offline
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Watch out, this one is 1080i50.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by deado View Post
Watch out, this one is 1080i50.

Thanks...order cancelled.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:45 PM   #13
Bruce Morrison Bruce Morrison is offline
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That's two major classic films, 'The Piano' and 'Pulp Fiction', that have recently been released in Australia in 1080/50i transfers. What on earth is happening to the Australian Blu-ray market?
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Morrison View Post
That's two major classic films, 'The Piano' and 'Pulp Fiction', that have recently been released in Australia in 1080/50i transfers. What on earth is happening to the Australian Blu-ray market?
What about Scoop? I ordered it together with Pulp Fiction and The Piano. I have cancelled all. Anybody knows if Scoop is also 1080/50i? If it is proper 1080/24p I'll order it again.

The question what happens to the blu-ray market is a valid one and not only concerning Australia. The French release of Antichrist and the British release of the opera film La Bohème are also 1080/50i. I hope this is not becoming an epidemic like the porcine influenza.
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:12 PM   #15
Bruce Morrison Bruce Morrison is offline
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Default 'The Piano' (released by Icon) - any reviews/comments?

'The Piano' has been released in the US by Icon today (November 10th). As it's not coming from a major studio, I'd like to get some views before deciding whether to order it. Can anyone provide comments regarding PQ and AQ? Does it have a lossless audio track?

Any info will be much appreciated!
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:17 PM   #16
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I have this title (I live in Australia, where Icon release titles, it hasn't been released in the US, only by import via Amazon.com etc which are importing from Australia).

It is a 1080i50 disc, so WATCH OUT any US buyers, make sure you can play 1080i50 titles before you buy!

Audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1 16-bit.
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:36 PM   #17
Bruce Morrison Bruce Morrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deado View Post
I have this title (I live in Australia, where Icon release titles, it hasn't been released in the US, only by import via Amazon.com etc which are importing from Australia).

It is a 1080i50 disc, so WATCH OUT any US buyers, make sure you can play 1080i50 titles before you buy!

Audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1 16-bit.
Oh thanks - I was already aware that the Australian release was 50i, but I hadn't realised that it's the same release that Amazon.com are now listing. So that's another one I can cross off my buying list!
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:41 AM   #18
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According to this review it's full 1080P.

http://www.impulsegamer.com/bluraythepiano.html

So are Amelie and Motorcycle diaries also 1080i50. All the import sites state 1080P. Before I import I'm just going to wait for DVDBEAVER or Blu-Ray.com reviews.
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:27 AM   #19
CoalClear CoalClear is offline
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Can anyone enlighten me over this 50i issue? Do you mean they somehow transfered a 24p movie to 50i? how is that even possible? what is the point of doing that? Or does it mean something else? Sorry, I really want to pick this one up and am confused..
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoalClear View Post
Can anyone enlighten me over this 50i issue? Do you mean they somehow transfered a 24p movie to 50i? how is that even possible? what is the point of doing that? Or does it mean something else? Sorry, I really want to pick this one up and am confused..
It is done by speeding up the film by 4% so each frame is shown in a 1/25 of a second. Commonly this comes with an audio pitch increase also, but not always as it is sometimes FFT processed to be the correct pitch.

All this is done for broadcast in PAL territories. So if a BD of a 24fps film is 1080i50 then it is usually a quick and dirty transfer from a broadcast master.

Sometime however the original material was actually shot in p25 (Farscape, Wallace and Gromit etc) in which case the 1080i50 version is the best release.
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