|Site locale: United States||
Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
A 19-year-old is coming out of prison and trying to build a new life but he can't deal with his guilt.
For more about Breathing and the Breathing Blu-ray release, see the Breathing Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on September 18, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Thomas Schubert, Karin Lischka, Georg Friedrich
Director: Karl Markovics
» See full cast & crew
Breathing Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, September 18, 2012
Winner of Label Europa Cinemas award for Best European Film, Austrian director Karl Markovics' "Atmen" a.k.a "Breathing" (2011) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Verve Pictures. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original theatrical trailer, video interview with director Karl Markovics, and a short film. In German, with imposed English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
19-year-old Roman (Thomas Schubert) rarely talks. He does what the guards in the detention center tell him to do and then goes back to his room where he spends long hours thinking about the past and what went wrong. He is angry, but not because of what he has done. He is angry because he was abandoned by his mother and denied the chance to be normal.
With only a few weeks left before his parole hearing, Roman applies for a temp job in a local mortuary. The guys working there are surprised that someone so young would want to be around corpses, but welcome him anyway. One of them predicts in front of Roman that in a couple of weeks he will be gone. Then they begin teaching him what to do.
Each morning Roman leaves the detention center and heads to Vienna. Spending time amongst normal people on the way to the mortuary makes him feel good - and angry because he isn't one of them. Spending time with dead people often makes him feel dizzy. Before starting his new job he never knew that corpses could smell this bad.
In a morgue on the outskirts of the city Roman sees the body of a young and beautiful woman. Even though he has never met his mother, somehow she reminds him of her. He decides to track her down through a social security office. Later that day, he phones her from the detention center and listens to her breathing.
Eventually, Roman gathers the courage to visit his mother (Karin Lischka). They meet in front of a tall apartment building with a large parking lot. She buys him a cup of coffee and asks him how his life without her was. Roman refuses to talk about it; all he wants to know is why his mother abandoned him. Her response confuses him - she's got plenty of reasons, most of them good ones, but does not have time to talk about the past. Before they part ways, Roman helps his mother carry the comfy mattress she buys from a local IKEA store.
Roman and his mother meet one more time, in the subway. This time she is willing to talk, but he is no longer willing to listen. Nevertheless, he lets her speak. What she has to say surprises him, but also reaffirms his conviction that he was a mistake that should have never happened.
Breathing is Austrian actor Karl Markovics' (the Oscar winner The Counterfeiters) directorial debut. Last year, the film was screened in the Director's Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Label Europa Cinemas award for Best European Film.
Breathing has some of the same sterile atmosphere that is often present in the films of another Austrian director, Ulrich Seidl (Dog Days). The visuals are sharp and clean, the lighting cold, and camera movement kept to a minimum. At times it almost feels like one is watching a documentary that was shot over a long period of time.
What separates Markovics and Seidl are their attitudes towards suffering. In Seidl's films often there is so much in-your-face pain and humiliation that they feel like strange psychological tests meant to measure one's ability to tolerate human misery. These are films that hit hard and leave memorable impressions. Markovics is a lot kinder to his protagonists. He seems like a man who still has some faith in people and their ability to communicate their problems and eventually resolve them. There is a ray of hope in his film that if given a chance people could be good, possibly even capable of being happy.
Roman's story is hardly original. It is the story of a young man trying to come to terms with his past and start a new chapter in his life. However, the manner in which his story is told will likely surprise quite a few viewers. Breathing is a tremendously well composed and virtually flawlessly acted. As a debut film, it is enormously impressive.
Breathing Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.34:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080/50i transfer, Karl Markovics' Breathing arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Verve Pictures.
Shot with the Red One Camera, Breathing looks very impressive on Blu-ray. The high-definition transfer is encoded in 1080/50i, but it actually contains progressive frames. Naturally, none of the distracting motion judder that is usually visible on interlaced transfers is present here. In other words, this is essentially a progressive transfer 'locked' inside a 1080/50i encode.
From start to finish detail is outstanding. When there is plenty of natural light, both close-ups and larger panoramic shots also convey tremendous depth (see screencapture #6). Color reproduction does not disappoint either - there is a wide variety of lush natural colors that remain solid throughout the entire film. There are no serious encoding anomalies (aliasing and banding). Edge-flicker is also nowhere to be seen. All in all, this is easily the very best looking release that I have seen from Verve Pictures since they began releasing on Blu-ray a few years ago. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Breathing Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and German LPCM 2.0. For the record, Verve Pictures have provided imposed English subtitles for the main feature (they cannot be turned off). The subtitles appear inside the image frame.
As silence is quite prominent in the film, the two lossless audio tracks are fairly similar. There are a few sequences where dynamic movement is slightly better on the German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, but surround activity is extremely limited. The front-heavy dialog is virtually identical on both tracks. As far as clarity and crispness are concerned, there are absolutely no discrepancies between the two. The English translation is excellent.
Breathing Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Breathing Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Karl Markovics's directorial debut, Breathing, is a very impressive film about a young man trying to come to terms with his past. It is easily one of the most moving films I have seen this year, and also the best looking release produced by British distributors Verve Pictures to date. If interested in contemporary European Cinema, I strongly urge you to consider adding Breathing to your collections. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Breathing Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Breathing Blu-ray - June 18, 2012
Independent British distributors Verve Pictures have revealed that they are planning to release on Blu-ray director Austrian actor Karl Markovics' (The Counterfeiters) directorial debut Atmen a.k.a Breathing (2011), starring Thomas Schubert, Karin Lischka and Georg ...
Breathing Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Breathing Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Breathing Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2013 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.