Home Page  
 
 

SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Korean DTS-HD 2.0 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • New interview with Lee
  • On the Set of "Secret Sunshine," a video piece featuring interviews with actors Jeon Do-yeon and Song Kang-ho, as well as behind-the-scenes footage
  • U.S. theatrical trailer

Secret Sunshine

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Lee Chang-dong
2007 | 142 Minutes | Licensor: IFC Films

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #576
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: August 23, 2011
Review Date: August 22, 2011

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

A master of intensely emotional human dramas, director Lee Chang-dong is a leading light of contemporary Korean cinema, and his place on the international stage was cemented by this stirring and unpredictable work examining grief and deliverance. An effortless mix of light and uncompromising darkness, Secret Sunshine (Miryang) stars Cannes best actress winner Jeon Do-yeon as a widowed piano teacher who moves with her young son from Seoul to her late husband's provincial hometown for a fresh start. Quietly expressive, supple filmmaking and sublime, subtle performances distinguish this remarkable portrayal of the search for grace amid tragedy.

Forum members rate this film 7.8/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

Lee Chang-dongís Secret Sunshine receives a rather sharp looking high-def digital transfer on Blu-ray, displayed in the filmís original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this dual-layer disc. The transfer is presented in 1080p/24hz.

The 142-minute film gets room to breathe on this disc; there are only 35-minutes or so worth of supplements on here so the film receives most of the space on the disc and in this regard it really does pay off. The image we get is a sharp and clean one, presenting natural looking grain and no hint of noise or artifacts. Fine details, like hairs and threads in clothing, are easily seen in both close-ups and even longer shots in some cases. The film has a bright, almost blown out look to it as if contrast has been boosted (as intended), but there are no signs of ringing or edge-enhancement noticeable here. Colours are bright and vibrant, quite natural looking overall, and blacks are also strong.

The film is newer so unsurprisingly I didnít detect any sort of print damage or any other problems in the source. In the end itís a clean, absolutely stunning looking presentation.

10/10

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

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

AUDIO

Criterion includes a lossless Korean 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround track, with optional English subtitles naturally. The film isnít showy but the sound presentation has some impressive traits to it. It remains front heavy with dialogue sticking to the fronts, which sounds clean and articulate. Surrounds handle some ambient and music but has a couple of sequences where they become more active, like a nightclub sequence which gets really loud and cranks the bass. When the presentation is more subtle, though, sounds move naturally between the speakers. Certainly not a track that will show off your system but itís more than effective for this film.

8/10

SUPPLEMENTS

So after a strong audio/video presentation Criterion skimps on the supplements. They at least went to Seoul, Korea and recorded a new interview with director Lee Chang-dong. At only 24-minutes it manages to be a strong supplement on its own, featuring the director talking about the motivations behind the film and its style (like capturing mundane moments.) He talks about the themes of the film, stating itís not really a religious film despite the heavy dose of religion in it, but more how the main character uses it to deal with her grief. He talks about working with his lead actors, Jeon Do-yeon and Song Kang-ho, and their performances, and talks a little about his work overall. Itís an engaging interview and covers quite a bit of material, even if itís all maybe a little too brief.

The next supplement is a bit useless, almost 7-minutes worth of onset footage shot in standard-definition. Thereís some brief behind-the-scenes material where we can see the director at work thrown in with quick interview clips with the actors who talk a little about the film and their characters. It was interesting to see that the mood on set for this rather heavy and at times devastating film was pretty loose, even comical, but thatís about it; I wouldnít have missed it if it was included and really feels like filler.

The disc then closes with a 1-plus-minute IFC theatrical trailer that almost presents it as more of a thriller, and the included booklet presents a nice essay on Leeís films and Korean cinema in general, adding the scholarly, analytical piece I was hoping for.

But despite the booklet and the interview this is a disappointing edition, one of Criterionís weaker efforts in recent memory.

3/10

CLOSING

The lack of supplements is a letdown, but the audio/video presentation is stellar, making the edition worth picking up on sale.


View packaging for this Blu-ray

Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca  




Join our Facebook Group (requires Facebook account)

This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection