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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • 6 Teaser trailer - Nine Queens, Rain, Samsara, Satin Rouge, Till Human Voices Wake Us, The Tracker
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Behind the scenes footage

Fast Food, Fast Women

Madman Entertainment/AV Channel . R4 . COLOR . 91 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

ďThere are eight million people in New York City, but only one like Bella.Ē

And there is only one movie like this. Itís sexy. Itís witty. Itís kooky. And itís just totally off the planet. This film was part of the 'Official Selection' in two film festivals, and has had some critical acclaim around the world. Its irrelevancy keeps your attention on screen, as it has nothing to do with anyone. Politics are out of sight and current events do not exist. Itís about these people and thatís it.

Comic books capture particular emotions and facial expressions in time in a single frame, and writer/director Amos Kollek does exactly the same with this film, albeit with 25 frames per second. The comedy isnít your usual simplistic nor toilet style, but rather a comic-like quick wit that shows an unusual quirkiness within the characters. The characters are not perfect prissy examples of society, but rather realistic portraits of the foibles that exist out there, but no one else dared to make a film about them. A look, a moment and a reaction are all of prime importance in this film, and Kollek collects these moments in celluloid with both an artistic and intriguing result. So whatís the filmís point? A good question, but that is the point. At times it lacks direction, and waffles between scenes, but in the end every loose end is wrapped up. Itís about people and relationships - not youíre usual boy meets girl and everything is rosy, but more of a realistic approach to how these things actually work. Emotions and feelings, things which are often skimmed over in many films, except those overused words ďI love youĒ.

New York, modern day. Boredom sets in, loneliness arrives. Bella is about to turn 35 and is single. Bruno is a single guy who has two kids and canít get a job. Paul is a long-time widower, uneasy about new love. Emily is out there, ready for love, looking, wanting, desiring. Belle gets set up with Bruno, who just happens to be her Mumís best friendís third cousin. However, she is very guarded about this relationship as she doesnít have the best of luck with these things. Now would this be a good time to mention her affair with a 60-something year old Broadway producer named George? And then there is Paul. He answered an ad in the newspaper for a fellow 60-something and met Emily. What do all these people have in common? Loneliness, and we follow these people down that familiar path. Now along the way we meet a variety of exciting and interesting characters including the lusting Seymour, the stuttering prostitute Vikta and the clever little Betsy. All of these mix together to form a wondrous wild ride through love and lust, and make something that is truly one of a kind.

  Video
Contract

The video is presented in an enhanced widescreen ratio of 1.78:1. Like we have come to expect, with the exception of the non-enhanced Till Human Voices Wake Us, Madman have produced another killer transfer. It isnít as perfect as it could be, but regardless it is simply a delight to watch.

Aliasing is not a problem at all, and it is a real privilege to be able to say that! MPEG artefacts are limited to very fine pickings, yet on some of the grainy scenes it can look a little disgusting, but you will need to keep your eyes peeled to see it. The weirdest artefact is present though, one that really warps your mind. It sometimes appears as if the actors have had gelatine inserted into their faces as they wobble around. There arenít any MPEG blocks or anything like that, just a total lack of definition on the between frames.

Colours are overly saturated and tend to give off an ďurghĒ effect. Reds are too red, skin tones appear slightly orange and greens and whites appear fluorescently incandescent. Blacks, however, are solid and deep, just as they should be. One interpretation of the colours is that they resemble the comic-like appearance of the actors on screen, reflecting the quirkiness of their lives. Another niggle with the transfer is the lack of clarity in many of the shots. It does make one tend to reminisce about those three letters V,H, and S, but not as disgusting by a long shot. The detail is incredibly high, but the lack in sharpness and clarity really donít do too much justice to the image.

This single-sided, dual-layered disc must have a layer change between titles as there is nothing noticeable during the film. Subtitles have not been included on this disc, and at times would have been appropriate.

  Audio
Contract

One Dolby Digital 5.1 track has been included for your listening pleasure, and this track is in English... well New York-ish at any rate. Occasionally a few phrases are a little hard to understand, but generally dialogue is clear and audible. The soundstage created is very front-heavy, with the surround speakers providing ambient effects and a slight support for the score. The subwoofer snoozes through most of the film, with the odd effect requiring that little bit of extra punch.

The score by David Carbonara is very fitting for the style of the film, and provides a jazzy bluesy feel to the film. The fidelity of the music is superb, with a rich realism and classy effect. It doesnít ring consistently through the movie, only on occasion to keep you glued to the dialogue Ė the important part of the film.

  Extras
Contract

Usually the praises are sung to Madman for a heap of quality extras, but something went wrong there. Viewers are treated to 16:9 enhanced menus which are silent and not animated. Aesthetically they are simplistically designed, but remember to KISS Ė Keep It Simple Stupid. (or Strictly Simple, depending on who youíre talking to).

The behind the scenes featurette runs for 18 minutes and features interviews with the cast and crew, voicing their opinions regarding the film, the characters and of course, the director.

The theatrical trailer runs for 1:40, and is presented in a full frame aspect, so it's obviously not 16:9 enhanced. This trailer, like the film, is utterly odd without telling the story, just introducing some characters and the sense of humour to expect.

Madman Propaganda has been included, as always (yahoo!), and allows viewers to view some upcoming features from Madman. Trailers have been included for Nine Queens (1:50), Rain (2:23), Samsara (2:16), Satin Rouge (1:38), The Tracker (2:06, and 16:9 enhanced) and Till Human Voices Wake Us (2:38). These are all stunning trailers, presented in a variety of widescreen aspects, and are awesome advertising for some top quality cinema heading to DVD shortly.

  Overall  
Contract

This film is one wild kooky trip into the depths of New York. Itís saucy, itís sexy, itís raw, and it is totally original Ė like a comic book come to life. The Madman transfer is quite reasonable and is totally enjoyable to watch. The extra features are generally quite average, but some awesome propaganda really raises the stakes. If youíre into alternative cinema, youíre gonna love this one...


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      And I quote...
    "Loneliness and love. Things I'm sure we all know something about..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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