Home Page  
 
 

Deep End
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 2 Discs
FEATURES
  • Starting Out: The Making of Jerzy Skolimowski's Deep End (2011, 74 minutes): a comprehensive new feature-length documentary
  • Deep End: The Deleted Scenes (2011, 12 minutes): short documentary exploring the scenes that never made the grade
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Careless Love (Francine Winham, 1976, 10 minutes): rare and disturbing tale in which a woman (Jane Asher) takes drastic action to keep the affections of the man she loves

Deep End

Dual Format Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Jerzy Skolimovski
Starring: Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown, Diana Dors
1970 | 91 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: £19.99 | Series: BFI Flipside | Edition: #19
BFI Video

Release Date: July 18, 2011
Review Date: July 27, 2011

Purchase From:
amazon.co.uk

Share:

SYNOPSIS

Newly employed at a run-down London swimming baths, Mike (John Moulder-Brown) obsesses over his sassy and self-assured co-worker (Jane Asher) whilst collecting tips for the 'special services' he is expected to perform for clients (including the superb Diana Dors). Darkly comic and utterly compelling, this portrait of Britain in a era of uncertainty makes its long overdue return to the screen in a new digital restoration with extensive bonus features.

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

After legal troubles that kept it from being released BFI brings us Jerzy Skolimowskiís Deep End on an all-region Blu-ray in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc in a fairly striking 1080p/24hz high-definition transfer.

BFI again delivers a fairly stunning transfer, going all out on a little seen film (itís somewhat known but because of rights issues itís been rarely seen since its theatrical run in 1970.) The image is sharp and crisp and remains that way through its entire running time. Colours, an important element to the film, pop but remain natural. Blacks are deep but I found there to be some crushing in a few sequences and there are moments where details are wiped out.

The digital transfer has some minor problems, specifically in handling the filmís grain structure. Those who have done the transfer have thankfully left film grain intact and for most of the time it looks natural and clean, yet there are times where it gets very heavy and it seems to pixelate and look more like noise. This isnít a huge issue and only happens a couple of times, but itís noticeable and a bit distracting when it does occur.

Despite that Iím very pleased with the video presentation and am stunned with what they were able to deliver to us.

(As noted this disc is an all-region disc and should play on all players. I played it without issue on my North American PS3 system.)

7/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

AUDIO

BFI includes a lossless PCM mono track that is more than adequate. Dialogue is clear and articulate, and its great soundtrack delivers excellent range and volume. I couldnít detect any noise or distortion. In all a rather above average mono presentation.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

For their Flipside series Iíve noticed BFI usually includes other short films dealing with the same subject matter or directed by or starring those involved in the main feature. This time around we actually get some more analytical offerings for the film in question. (This review refers to the 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD edition of the film. BFI has also released a limited run 3-disc special edition with an extra DVD that contains more interviews with the filmís stars.)

The big feature would have to be the 78-minute making-of titled Starting Out: The Making of Jerzy Skolimovskiís Deep End, the phrase Starting Out being the original title to the film. Itís a pretty standard, by-the-numbers documentary featuring interviews with director Jerzy Skolimowski, editor Barrie Vince, DP Charly Steinberger, production designer, and actors Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown and Christopher Sandford (who apparently decided to go fishing for his interview.) It covers the inspiration, the writing process, the casting, and then filming in Munich. Midway through we get into some heavy technical details with Steinberger and others about the filming, specifically the more complicated handheld shots, before moving on to the filmís music, ending, and eventual release. Nothing is really surprising about the doc unfortunately but itís still rather engaging and admirers of the film will still more than likely find it interesting.

Deep End: The Deleted Scenes is a 13-minute featurette about scenes excised from the film and we unfortunately donít get to actually see them because theyíre in awful condition. Instead those interviewed in the previous documentary talk about the scenes, giving detailed descriptions on how they played out. A couple sound pretty good, though they were cut simply because they didnít add much and instead distracted (one scene apparently got such big laughs that people missed an important sequence afterwards which led to it being cut.) An alternate ending is also mentioned briefly. There are photos of sections from the script pertaining to these scenes and thereís also production photos from one of the scenes. Itís disappointing that we donít get to see the sequences themselves but the featurette still manages to give an idea as to what was cut.

Following this is a 4-and-a-half minute theatrical trailer and then a short film starring Jane Asher called Careless Love. The 10-minute short is very dark, about a woman who goes to extremes once she fears she could lose her lover because of her children, which he refers to as a ďready-made familyĒ, from a previous marriage. I wonít give anything away but it will probably be obvious to many where the film is heading. Itís also presented in 1080p/24hz but is in really rough condition.

BFI then includes another one of their fantastic booklets, which starts with an excellent essay about the film by David Thompson, who focuses more on the filmís release and years in obscurity. Yvonne Tasker adds a piece about the film and its time periodís view on gender roles. William Fowler then offers a short one page piece on the filmís soundtrack which is followed by a biography on Skolimowski. The booklet then concludes with a piece about Careless Love. As usual with BFIís booklets itís a great read.

A decent collection of material, adequately covering the making of the film if nothing else.

7/10

CLOSING

This really is a great film and easily the best one I feel Iíve come across in the Flipside series. Iím happy to be able to finally see it. Despite it being familiar territory, about a young boyís first sexual attraction, it goes down a path I didnít expect. It can be a little painful, and even creepy, but it still manages to deliver laughs and feels honest in its portrayal.

BFIís Blu-ray delivers a rather stellar image (with a few minor problems) and supplies some strong supplemental materials. Along with Herostratus this is one of my favourite releases in the line and comes highly recommended.




Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.co.uk




Join our Facebook Group (requires Facebook account)

This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection