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The transfer used by Kino is a LOW resolution, letterboxed, non-anamorphic, non-16:9 enhanced, heavily compressed dupe with poor color quality and heavy video artifacts throughout. It is without any added features whatsoever or the ability to turn off the subtitles. Kino is obviously representing some fine films, but if future releases by Kino follow the pattern of Code Unknown it will poison the well of any enthusiasm on the part of the discerning audience Kino depends on to buy copies of these sorts of films. The Kino release of Code Unknown is has the quality of a cheap knock-off DVD, really no better than buying a VHS tape.
Stylistically, however, these two films have little in common. Whereas "Crash" plays like a pilot for a tv series, weaving its characters and their stories together in support of its themes (as it holds our hands throughout and takes us where it wants us to go), "Code Unknown" is a puzzle in fragments that we must assemble ourselves from the layered information we are given. Whereas "Crash" connects too many improbable conversations and events with possible ones in order to hit us over the heads and wrench our hearts with its message, "Code Unknown" entrusts us with cinematic clues and metaphors that we must use to construct our own understanding. In "Crash" everyone tells us everything they feel and think thereby limiting the possibilities of what we are allowed to imagine. To the contrary, "Code Unknown" invites us to rely our own abilities (as perceivers) to discover what truths there are."Crash" has a few brilliant scenes, but once we have seen it there is nothing left to experience, wonder about, or really discuss. The show is over, and now we know everything about it (just as with every hollywood film) . "Code Unknown" (like all works of art) is made up of one brilliant scene after another, but more importantly it entreats us to reflect, as well as interpret. It also invites us into conversation about it, even asks us to return and discover again.... cinewest
What's particularly interesting is that it plays on the audiences own prejudices and presuppositions - at one point we naturally assume that a young black character is seated away from the window booth he requested in a restaurant because of his color, but no: it's because he turned up 45 minutes late and the place is busy. Similarly, it doesn't presume that people in what are supposed to be empathetic or compassionate professions are inherently good - when Juliette Binoche's actress asks her war photographer boyfriend advice about the sounds of child abuse from a neighboring flat, he doesn't want to know and her anger is more because he won't give her an out but forces the situation back on her. Her solution: ignore it. Even the innocent victim of the opening incident has to admit with shame that she herself had done the same thing to people she looked down on.Read more ›
Haneke's film is a modest masterpiece, devastating in its honesty and sincerity. Taking "snapshots" of various peoples lives communicated in about 50 sequences he poses universal questions about conscience, consequence, communication and reality.
In her finest performance ever Juliette Binoche is stunning as the actress on the verge of success. Just watch her act straight to the camera in a terrifying scene that turns out not to be real at all, and then be harrassed on a train in a horrible episode that turns out to be too real.
Code Unknown is at times frustratingly opaque - like life. It is a film that has never been fully recognised for it's brilliance or originality. Unsurprising considering how difficult it is. Stick with it however and discover a richly satisfying film, worthy of repeat viewings and much argument.
As for the DVD. The quality is not great in it's full frame letterboxed transfer. The print is scratchy and the sound hollow. A huge pity. This film deserved a lot better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You won't break the code, but you'll enjoy the ride! And you'll want more. A perfect film. Unfortunately, it never gets any better than this. Read morePublished 2 months ago by asdfasdfasdf
In the Paris Metro, riding in a crowded car as she's done hundreds of times before, Anne - an actress - has an encounter with a taunting, terrifying man. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Colten
Strange movie but Juliette Binoche helps and carries it, I remember a movie by Lelouch with the same message and it was not at all in pieces. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Marie
After ENDURING this movie, I went back to thee reviews to see why so many good ratings. Can say that i'm still at a loss to see why people were moved by it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Gerry C.