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Painting [Blu-ray] [Import]

Price: CDN$ 37.56 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • Release Date: Aug. 27 2013

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful animated parable on caste systems that will really show off you HD television. Aug. 13 2013
By Steven I. Ramm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
This is another gem in the series of foreign animated films from GKIDS being distributed by Cinedigm. Starting with the fabulous "Chico & Rita" (a must for fans of Latin jazz) and moving on through "The Rabbi's Cat", the films (which I urge you to get on Bluray) are a joy to behold. Though "Chico and Rita" will probably remain my favorite "The Painting " by French animator Jean-Francois Laguionie may be the most artistically beautiful. I recently bought a new Hi-def TV and the Bluray discs I've been watching lately have been great but the brilliant colors in this 78-minutefilm blew everything else away! It's that captivating.

The "plot" of the film is how characters on a large canvas in an artist's studio actually are part of a caste system. There are the "Allduns" (fully finished), the "Halfies" (the characters that the artist has not yet finished) and the "Sketchies" (the ones which are only a pale outline). As a parable on modern society, we see the first group as the "wealthy", the second as the "middle class" and the third as the "downtrodden". Trust me, it will all make sense. You might find yourself - as I was - so enraptured by the artwork (which uses CGI graphics along with - in a few cases - real images) that you lose the story line and have to go back and watch the film again.

Unlike many of the other GKIDS, this film has an English audio track (as well as the original French one with subtitles), this works great.

There are a few bonus features including a 10-minute "Concept Art Slideshow" to a music score and a 30-minute-plus "Making of Featurette". I was really looking forward to the latter but haven't made it through that yet because it is in French with subtitles. This would be fine but the subtitles are in small print (even on my 40" screen TV - and in white lettering which is often hard to read because some of the scenes have a white background! (This has been an issue on a few of the GKIDS bonus featurettes.

But even with the problem of reading the "Making of" featurette, this Bluray gets five stars from me. It's truly an animated "work of art", which, of course, is appropriate, given its title.

The combo pack includes both the BD and a DVD copy.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful And Thought Provoking: A Beguiling And Sophisticated Animated Adventure From France Aug. 17 2013
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
I really didn't have any particular expectations going into the animated feature "The Painting" by Jean-Francois Laguionie. I must say, though, that I found it absolutely captivating. I'm not prone to unnecessary hyperbole, you won't catch me proclaiming every movie ever made as "the best." But this audacious picture succeeds both as a parable of tolerance and as a stunning exploration of the art world. What appears to be simple on the surface is startlingly complex underneath. Oftentimes an animated feature can be dismissed as a kid's film or as a more sophisticated entertainment for adults. "The Painting" is completely suitable for older kids, and might even be a great conversation starter. Beyond that, though, it is a film filled with striking ideas that will appeal to anyone who loves the art world. If that weren't enough, it is also quite beautiful in its fluid hand drawn animation. Its unique visual style totally compliments the artistic themes behind the plot. In many ways, the movie is a metaphysical contemplation of art as seen by the figures rendered inside a painting. It's really something special.

As "The Painting" begins, we are introduced to a land divided. Within one unfinished painting, the inhabitants have sectioned off into caste groupings. There are the high brow Alldunns (completely painted characters) lording over the land with privilege and entitlement, the Halfies (painted figures that haven't been completed) who yearn to move up the social ladder, and the Sketchies (hand drawn figures that haven't been painted) who are the lowest form in the pecking order. Divided by race or class (depending on how you look at it), the intolerance displayed here expertly mirrors real world discrimination. As the Alldunn leaders seek to rule the land with a Fascist glee, a small band of characters escape into uncharted worlds. As they get to the edge of the painting, they discover they can jump from one canvas to another in the artist's studio. Not only does this provide quite a bit of humor, it showcases many different aspects of the art world. Finding out that the world is more open than they first imagined, they plot to find the actual painter in the hopes that he will complete the land they live in and make everyone equal.

I won't spoil any of the movie's surprises. The ending, however, is incredibly effective. Laguionie has crafted a really special movie with "The Painting" and I can't recommend it with enough enthusiasm. Bonus Features include a Making-of Featurette and a concept art slideshow. One of my biggest complaints in recent years is when companies dub a foreign masterpiece with an American cast and present that English language version as the definitive DVD/Blu-ray release. While I understand that may broaden the appeal of the movie to a wider audience, it saddens me not to have access to the original vision in subtitles. Thankfully, GKIDS has taken this into consideration. So here, we get a dubbed version as well as the original version in French with an English subtitle option. That way you can choose. "The Painting" was one of the more pleasant surprises I've encountered lately, an easy and definite recommendation for anyone who truly loves the art of film. KGHarris, 8/13.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I Love It! May 28 2013
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Just brilliant. The visual style is unequalled: hand drawing and wet media meet computerized rendering in a uncommonly successful merger. The social message is about tolerance at many levels, to the point that skin color is the least of the issues. Characters have some depth (maybe not all that much, but some) and really make you want to like them.

But, at least one serious irony inflicts itself, and in multiple ways. The Alldunns, the self-proclaimed higher caste who identify themselves by their fine rendering, elevate themselves above the mostly-finished halfies, and everyone abhors the loosely-drawn Sketchies. Well, declaring yourself superior based on some trait over which no one has any control is human enough. In this case, though, the loose and painterly style even of the Allduns looks like kindergarten scribbles compared to the hyper-realists of the 1970s and 80s, or even to the oil masters of every century up until this. For them to declare degree of finish to be degree of value simply devalues themselves, when taken in the wider context of what painting can be.

And, in a second irony, I think of Rembrandt's etchings. Central characters appear in passionate detail. Just a few inches away, minor character fade out to circle faces, dot eyes, and lines for mouths - if that. Rembrandt used degree of finish as a way to direct the viewer's attention - "Here, this matters, there's a lot to look at." The more loosely drawn characters don't detract from the composition, they define it. They are equal members in Rembrandt's compositions, and I do not feel qualified to dispute Rembrandt's judgement in creating effective imagery. I do feel qualified to defend every level of detail in his renderings - loss of any would be a loss for all.

So, I love the imagery (except for some of the motion, but I quibble). I like the in-your-face message about equality, even if Dr. Seuss's Sneetches said it more directly. And I like the rich visual style. I find a few points not so much to my liking, but that's just life. My highes recommendation, for anyone who wants a bit more from their animations.

-- wiredweird
Not as good as it should be July 24 2014
By alan216 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love the concept - coming into a painting, climbing in and out of a frame, the collusion between what is seen and what is real. It just doesn't quite do it for me, however: maybe the production values are a little too pinched, or the story just needed longer in the pot. It's good when it could have been great: interesting when it could have been sublime
I love this beautiful movie July 11 2014
By Thomas Farrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I love this beautiful movie. The plot is novel and the art direction is astonishing. That said, it can be roughly described as being about some people who are being oppressed by others, and I'm somewhat discomforted that the message it seems to convey is that the way to deal with being oppressed is to become so much like your oppressors that they don't hate you any more, and that doesn't seem to be a good moral... although I don't think the movie is trying to push a message, just tell an interesting story.