780 Code Unknown

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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swo17
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780 Code Unknown

#1 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:17 pm

Code Unknown

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One of the world's most influential and provocative filmmakers, the Academy Award–winning Austrian director Michael Haneke diagnoses the social maladies of contemporary Europe with devastating precision and staggering artistry. His 2000 drama Code Unknown, the first of his many films made in France, may be his most inspired work. Composed almost entirely of brilliantly shot, single-take vignettes focusing on characters connected to one seemingly minor incident on a Paris street, Haneke's film—with an outstanding international cast headlined by Juliette Binoche—is a revelatory take on racial inequality and the failure of communication in today's increasingly diverse European landscape.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

• New, restored 2K digital transfer, approved by director Michael Haneke, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New interview with Haneke
• Introduction by Haneke from 2001
Filming Haneke, a 2000 making-of documentary featuring interviews with Haneke, actor Juliette Binoche, and producer Marin Karmitz, as well as on-set footage of cast and crew
• Interview from 2001 in which Haneke discusses the filming of the boulevard sequences
• New interview with film scholar Roy Grundmann
• Trailers
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by critic Nick James

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Zorn
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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#2 Post by Zorn » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:19 pm

Next to the release of the Apu Trilogy, this is my most anticipated title from Criterion this year. Haneke finally being part of the Collection is some of the best news I've heard in quite some time. I'm glad the newsletter clue was for this and not another film. I can't wait to see future Haneke titles appearing. The Kino DVD release of this film in the US was abysmal.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#3 Post by criterion10 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:43 pm

It's great to see Haneke enter the collection, and I can only assume that we'll slowly see the rest of the Kino titles trickle out over the next few years. I can picture a box set for the Glaciation Trilogy, but I'd also love to see a double-spine of both versions of Funny Games (and let's hope they didn't pick up The Castle :shock: )

My only complaint about this release is that the extras seem slim, especially the new ones (that Haneke intro and scholarly interview better be pretty substantial).

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colinr0380
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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#4 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:19 pm

Fantastic. This is perhaps my favourite Haneke film, full of disconnected shots each telling a little story about a fragmented multi-cultural society, bookened by two of the greatest tracking shots of the decade. So many great scenes: the journalist dictating over photographs, the supermarket argument, the scene shifting between two groups in the cafe, the sounds of discord in another apartment distracting Binoche from her ironing, the dubbing of the film within a film. Though perhaps the harrowing scene on the Metro is the standout.

It encompasses so many important topics. The class and race ones are most prominent (with a bit of gender in there too), but the film also deals with rural agriculture versus the city and the uneasy relationship between the two with the sometimes forced, sometimes chosen immigration from one mode of living to the other. As much as barriers between races, there are generational barriers too, from the older Arab man facing down the angrier youths in that train scene to the father trying to force his reluctant son into the family farming business, to the fractured family (and culture) left behind in a different country in order to earn.

It is also about playacting against 'reality' in the Funny Games-esque psychological torture film and loss of a child in an accident being set against something more minor but just as devastating like the train scene. Also this emphasises public versus private spaces too, with the question of whether being humiliated in public and being turned into a pawn in someone else's personal grievance is better or worse than a betrayal in a relationship that is only visibly significant to you (or what about someone like the immigrant beggar who exists in public spaces but is passed by like a non-person, at least until they try and beg in front of someone's shop, raising the ire of the owner!), and the way that perhaps showing emotions is somehow only acceptable in fiction now. You are only allowed to burst into tears, or be angry about societal injustices (justified or bullyingly so), or beg, or dream when it is safely tucked away on the publicly visible-but-private dreamspace of a cinema screen and not in your real life, otherwise you are an over emotional monster who makes everyone else feel uncomfortable by simply having to be faced by your distress. Or laughter! Or mere presence.

I think we as the audience are most meant to observe the complex power dynamics going on too even in something as innocuous as a conversation, in the fluid way that individuals in their different environments and with different levels of knowledge of each other move from 'victims' to 'saviours' to 'aggressors' both in the way they are perceived (and misinterpreted) by the outside world and in their own fluctuating behaviours towards the different people that they meet. Everyone's flawed in their own different ways, imposing their own judgements whether in getting incensed by the casual, thoughtless bullying of a beggar, or in providing a commentary over your warzone photographs. The tragedy of this film is that everyone is desperate to communicate with each other (or at least help someone out) but aren't getting through to each other in a comforting way, rather one that only makes the divisions between them appear that much starker, like a black screen separating each scene in the film.

With this and Mulholland Drive (and La ciénaga earlier in the year), Criterion are gathering together some of the very best films of the 2000s now.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:21 pm, edited 15 times in total.

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RSTooley
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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#5 Post by RSTooley » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:05 am

I am overwhelmingly happy to see Michael Haneke join the collection. As it was said before, Code Unknown had an terrifyingly bad DVD release in the United States and was inconsistently available to stream. I'm crossing my fingers for The Piano Teacher later on down the line seeing that it was also discontinued by Kino Lorber.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#6 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:13 am

Ok so that was the trenchoat (?) clue...

Great movie, but I much more into M.Haneke's earlier movie such as Benny's video.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#7 Post by inri222 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:13 am

criterion10 wrote:I can picture a box set for the Glaciation Trilogy
That would be a must buy for me.
RSTooley wrote:I'm crossing my fingers for The Piano Teacher later on down the line seeing that it was also discontinued by Kino Lorber.
So am I, the Kino dvd is atrocious.

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780 Code Unknown

#8 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:29 pm


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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#9 Post by criterion10 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:39 pm

Also great to see that the newly recorded Criterion interviews seem pretty substantial.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#10 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:42 am

I can't wait to see this new edition! Just loking at the DVD Beaver review inspired me on another reverie about the film! These are rather unpolished musings and I'm still raking through the issues the film raises even a decade on from first seeing the film, but they might be interesting:

I think there are tons to be written about each individual scene in this film. I feel I could go on for thousands of words analysing that Metro scene in particular, especially the various reactions from the other observing characters on the train. That scene feels like a true piece of ensemble acting (which itself is interesting to compare to the one-on-one conversations, or the teacher-pupil and parent-child scenes, or the pure voiceover passages) in which everyone is individually reacting to the central bullying but damningly (almost) nobody is intervening (not even the woman who leaves the train at one point, despite giving dirty looks to the two lads. But really should they be intervening? Would that not just divert the abuse onto them instead? As a regular train commuter, this hits pretty hard too!), and that moment when the lads give a final scream at the carriage making everyone jump in fright in unison is both harrowing but a brilliant way of puncturing the way that everyone in that carriage are aware and conscious of their surroundings but also impotent, just trying to exist in a bubble away from the assault. That childish jump scare is the final brutal way the lads have of saying “We all live in the same world. Don’t ignore me”.

It also feels as if it has a smart, complex and refreshingly untidy take on ‘societal injustices’, especially the implied equivalencies seemingly being drawn between racists or anti-immigrant angry shop owners, and social activists taking a stand on behalf of others, or running an upbeat 'inclusive' drum class for local youths. Both superficially focus on the individual but seem to care more about using the person they have focused on who needs saving/attacking as a ‘symbol’ to prove themselves against to others, and all are kind of looking for situations to latch onto in order to further their grievances and ‘prove’ their theories of how they know society works. Both ends of the spectrum are kind of bullies (even the family unit is a bullying one, although coming from a desperately frustrated place. Though isn’t all proactive 'activism' arising from frustration?), it is just one is legitimised by the society as it currently defines its boundaries. Unless you are black of course, when your noble act on the street immediately gets misinterpreted, with the beggar you were trying to help suddenly getting noticed and deported themselves because of your helpful actions, while you immediately forget them as you are suddenly forced to start defending your own actions, even against an incensed Juliette Binoche!

And I really feel this is emphasised by the fascinating way that the more middle class ‘striver’ characters come across as being a little smug and privileged, and also pretty unhappy. Who are all busy hurrying back and forth having to get to the next meeting, or with carrying out lots of chores to fill time. Or performing, going on war zone trips, or running drumming classes for deaf kids (quite a metaphor in itself!). Otherwise if they have moments alone they end up kind of lost Jeanne Dielman-like, having to stop for a moment and deal with themselves rather than taking up the causes of others.

The ‘lower class’ characters such as the lads on the train or the farmer, the illegal immigrant or taxi driver all feel as if they have actual reasons to be legitimately angry and upset at their treatment. Yet at least the first couple of those characters perform some of the worst acts, or rather the most blunt actions, seemingly because that kind of lashing out is the only form of power they have left to wield in a society that doesn’t value those characters, or notice them except when they become a nuisance and have to be dealt with. A bullying that doesn’t change anything in the long term, but lets them briefly, self-comfortingly assert themselves, especially over children or to their watching friends.

I think as a viewer we have that strange push and pull from the film because of that. Feeling perhaps an affinity above all to Binoche’s character because, well, she’s Juliette Binoche(!), yet despite a couple of key moment she is playing perhaps the coldest character in the film, often bluntly blocking out irritants. (And I have to add understandably so! You can’t ‘force’ interaction on others who may not want it). Or, say, the audience may start feeling detached from the character of the father until we see the effect that his son’s rebellion has on the running of his farm and how tenuous that existence is in the face of teenage rebellion (but is it right to decide a young person's fate for them and not expect them to want to rebel against that imposition? Or fully comprehend the consequences of that rebellion? Especially in a society that prizes individualism over community and the continuity of a family business). People commit horrible acts, and often hurt others casually or without thinking beyond their own needs, but their acts are strangely understandable ones at the same time. For all the talk of Haneke being coldly detached and brutally callous towards his characters and their dreams, I always find his films empathetic, complex and legitimately societally disturbing in a more profound way than just a kneejerk ‘demanding equality’ kind of film on the same kinds of issues of race, class, gender and social issues would be.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#11 Post by swo17 » Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:06 pm

I just started watching this and there are several moments where it seems to skip frames. See for instance these time codes:

8:38
9:09
10:07

Is anyone else seeing this? Could it be inherent in the source?

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#12 Post by criterion10 » Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:23 pm

Sounds like an error. I certainly don't remember the opening boulevard scene ever skipping frames (I watched this for the first time only a few months ago).

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#13 Post by warren oates » Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:35 pm

swo17 wrote:I just started watching this and there are several moments where it seems to skip frames. See for instance these time codes:

8:38
9:09
10:07

Is anyone else seeing this? Could it be inherent in the source?
I see these too. It does look like dropped frames. Guess it's time to write to Criterion.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#14 Post by bakofalltrades » Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:04 pm

And another instance around the 20:51 mark.

Haven't seen the film in years, so I'm no help on verifying it's an outright error. But I certainly saw what you're referring to.

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780 Code Unknown

#15 Post by Werewolf by Night » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:41 am

Since Children of Paradise and The Earrings of Madame de... I have been passing or waiting on so many Criterion releases because of transfer/QC issues. Having seen the early reviews, I thought I was safe with this one, but they got me again!

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#16 Post by DeprongMori » Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:31 pm

Has anyone contacted Mulvaney on this? Or had a chance to compare the DVDs?

I sent him an inquiry last week as to whether "Earrings.." was ever going to be corrected but no response so far.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#17 Post by ZHansen » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:31 pm

To confirm that this was not originally present: I just watched the scene on the Blu-Ray and noticed the jumps and then watched the same scene streaming on Amazon (Kino version), which was jump-free.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#18 Post by cdnchris » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:40 pm

Totally did not notice that. It's a really subtle and quick blip but now looking for it I see it. Almost like someone hit fast forward for a split second. I looked at the Amazon version as well but I always have issues with their streaming so the whole thing was jumpy and couldn't compare.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#19 Post by FrauBlucher » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:15 pm

I as well didn't notice initially. Although, I didn't see the second one -9:09. Then, I saw the skip on the Grundmann supplement where they showed the scene where Jean tosses wrapper on beggar.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#20 Post by criterion10 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:25 pm

As this seems to be a more subtle issue (I myself haven't seen it yet), it seems like it will take a substantial amount of emails/forum posts/badgering before Criterion realizes and corrects this mistake.
Last edited by criterion10 on Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#21 Post by jackson82 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:53 pm

Perhaps someone could check the 2013 French Haneke blu-ray box set to confirm that this isn't an issue with the HD master provided by MK2 and not the fault of Criterion.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#22 Post by criterion10 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:42 pm

jackson82 wrote:Perhaps someone could check the 2013 French Haneke blu-ray box set to confirm that this isn't an issue with the HD master provided by MK2 and not the fault of Criterion.
Pretty sure this is not an issue on the 2013 French Blu-Ray. (Did MK2 provide Criterion with the transfer? I assumed they were doing one on their own...)

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#23 Post by Zorn » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:10 am

I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice this. I was worried it had to do with my player and I kept repeating one of the instances at one point. It's not a deal breaker for me as it seems to be just one frame missing, but it is disappointing to see that this slipped through. The very moment I saw it happen early on, my heart sank a little as I was very excited for this release. Then to see it happen again at various points just made it worse. Oh well, it's still miles ahead of Kino's DVD.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#24 Post by TMDaines » Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:59 am

For fuck's sake. I'm really getting tired of buying Criterions and then finding them riddled with errors. At their cheapest (through B&N sales), they are relatively expensive compared to their global competition, but their comparable level of quality control is appalling nowadays.

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Re: 780 Code Unknown

#25 Post by swo17 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:05 pm

Jon Mulvaney wrote:Criterion has been made aware of a possible problem with the release of CODE UNKNOWN and we are currently looking into it. As soon as we know more we will let you know.

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