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 Post subject: 890 Meantime
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 4:46 pm 
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Meantime

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A slow-burning depiction of economic degradation in Thatcher's England, Mike Leigh's Meantime was the culmination of the writer-director's pioneering work in television and became his breakthrough theatrical release. Unemployment is rampant in London’s working-class East End, where a middle-aged couple and their two sons languish in a claustrophobic public housing flat. As the brothers (Phil Daniels and Tim Roth) grow increasingly disaffected, Leigh punctuates the grinding boredom of their daily existence with tense encounters, including with a priggish aunt (Marion Bailey) who has managed to become middle-class and a blithering skinhead on the verge of psychosis (a scene-stealing Gary Oldman, in his first major role). Informed by Leigh's now trademark improvisational process and propelled by the lurching rhythms of its Beckett-like dialogue, Meantime is an unrelenting, often blisteringly funny look at life on the dole.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

• New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Roger Pratt and director Mike Leigh, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New conversation between Leigh and musician Jarvis Cocker
• New conversation between actor Marion Bailey and critic Amy Raphael
• More!
• PLUS: An essay by film scholar Sean O'Sullivan


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 Post subject: Re: 890 Meantime
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 6:56 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:32 am
What's interesting about this is that it's been reframed from 4:3 master to 1.66 by both Leigh and Roger Pratt.
I was wrong about it not being released in yesterday's announcements!


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 Post subject: Re: 890 Meantime
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 9:36 am 
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Well, you can't argue with their authority! And I assume the reframing was done intelligently, with shot-by-shot tweaks where necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: 890 Meantime
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:32 am 
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If the film was genuinely framed for 1.33:1 and only that ratio, I'd be surprised to learn that any of the parties would want to present it cropped. Isn't it more likely that festival screenings were intended from the start and consequently it was shot safe?


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 Post subject: Re: 890 Meantime
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:07 am 
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It certainly had at least one festival screening - and this was the time when films notionally made for Channel 4 were getting cinema releases, so there's every possibility that 1.66:1 was the intended ratio based on that possibility. In fact, given Leigh and Pratt's endorsement, that seems extremely likely.

If I had a clue where it was, I'd dig out my old DVD and have a look at the headroom - my guess is that there'll be a fair bit throughout.


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 Post subject: Re: 890 Meantime
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:56 pm
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I do have a DVD copy to hand, and I've just watched parts of it (and fast-forwarded other parts of it) zoomed to 1.66:1. I suspect that, as suggested, it was shot framed or protected for that ratio. I don't think you could show it wider, though - in one close-up of the unemployment benefit clerk early on, her mouth is at the very bottom of the frame in 1.66:1 while she is speaking. Also, at least two of the end-credits slides would be cropped if shown wider.


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 Post subject: Re: 890 Meantime
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:30 pm 
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I saw the TCM broadcast a couple of weeks ago (no doubt from the same master Criterion will use) and it didn't seem egregiously wrong at 1.66:1. But as GaryC noted, it gets awfully cramped at times, and there was at least one point where it looked like they'd used some extreme tilting-and-scanning—it's a low-angle shot of a character doing something with the ceiling and it actually showed the rounded edges along the top corners of the frame. But that wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with cropping to 1.66:1. The only explanation I can think of is that there was something in the bottom portion of the frame that looked normal at 4:3 but somehow looked off if partially cropped, so they decided to remove it altogether even if it meant exposing the upper edges of the frame.


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 Post subject: Re: 890 Meantime
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:13 pm 
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"Interview from 2007 with actor Tim Roth" had been added to the special features.


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 Post subject: Re: 890 Meantime
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Beaver


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