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When their father, an officer in the SS, and mother are arrested by Allied troops at the end of the Second World War, Lore and her siblings must travel through war-torn Germany to their grandmother's house in Hamburg. On their travels, the group encounter a number of fearful and suspicious people. When they are aided a friendly young Jewish man, Thomas, Lore begins to reassess the ethnic hatred so deeply ingrained in her mind by her parents.
For more about Lore and the Lore Blu-ray release, see Lore Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on April 28, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Director: Cate Shortland
Writer: Cate Shortland
Starring: Saskia Rosendahl, Ursina Lardi, Kai-Peter Malina, Sven Pippig, Philip Wiegratz, Hans-Jochen Wagner
» See full cast & crew
Lore Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, April 28, 2013
Selected to represent Australian in the Foreign Language Category of the 85th Academy Awards, Cate Shortland's "Lore" (2012) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye. The supplemental features on the disc include an original trailer for the film, video interview with director Cate Shortland, and a making of featurette. In German, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
The camera slowly moves around a large country house while beautiful music plays in the background. A dog starts barking. Soon after, the loud noise of screeching tires reveals that someone is approaching the house.
Inside the house a man (Hans-Jochen Wagner, Everyone Else) in uniform argues with a beautiful woman (Ursina Lardi, The White Ribbon). He has brought bad news and she is scared. Now the camera carefully studies their faces, but it is easy to see that the man is a high-ranking Nazi official. He looks tired.
When Lore enters the room, the man smiles and immediately hugs her. He can barely recognize her but is genuinely happy to see her. After he kisses the young girl on the cheek, the woman next to him urges her to start packing with her siblings because the family must leave as soon as possible. They can take with them only their most valuable possessions. The mood in the house quickly changes. The man and the woman now look deadly serious. Lore looks confused.
While everyone is packing, the man begins burning a large pile of books and documents. Amongst them are many folders with photographs of men and women.
Later on, a big truck transports the family to a small cabin high up in the mountains. This is the place where the family will hide from someone, or something. At first the woman looks calm, but later on she tells the man that is only a matter of time before they find them. A few days later, news reaches the cabin that the Fuhrer has died. After the man commits suicide and the woman leaves, Lore and her siblings head to Hamburg, more than 500 kilometers away, where their grandmother lives.
The first act of Australian director Cate Shortland's German-language film Lore is intentionally ambiguous and chaotic. The film pulls the viewer in all sorts of different directions, forcing him to speculate about the dilemmas its main protagonists face. There is a great deal of uncertainty here. Then slowly everything begins to make sense. These are the final moments of Nazi Germany as seen and experienced by a large German family.
The second act reminds of Andre Techine's Les egares. In Techine's film a young school teacher and her two children flee Nazi-occupied Paris and head to the countryside. Along the way, they meet a young boy who becomes their guide. Something similar happens in Shortland's film. Lore and her siblings head to Hamburg and soon after that encounter a young man (Kai-Peter Malina, The White Ribbon) who helps them move through the mountains.
The atmosphere in Shortland's film, however, is different. In Les egares there is plenty of sun and beautiful bright colors, shots are rarely fired after the schoolteacher and her children leave Paris. Lore is a dark and very intense film. The road to Hamburg is incredibly dangerous. Starving people and decaying corpses are everywhere. The country is also divided into large zones controlled by the Allies where people without proper documents are either detained or shot on the spot. All of this is seen through different sets of eyes – those of young children raised to believe that their parents were building a great country – which makes Lore different, but the human drama here is the same as that chronicled in other similarly themed films.
Rosendahl's acting debut is mighty impressive. There are numerous close-ups of her face throughout the film where she does not utter a single word but it is perfectly clear what is happening deep inside her character's soul.
Lore Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Cate Shortland's Lore arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye.
Shot on Super 16mm (16mm to DCP), Lore looks appropriately raw and lush. The camera constantly moves and there are numerous long close-ups, but detail and especially image depth are simply terrific (see screencaptures #11 and 17). There are some small contrast fluctuations, mostly during the nighttime footage, but they are indeed inherited. Color reproduction is excellent. The prominent colors in Lore are heavy blues, cold grays, and warm greens, all of which consistently look superb. There are no traces of problematic post-production tinkering. There are no compression anomalies to address in this review either. Finally, there are absolutely no stability issues. All in all, this is yet another fabulous presentation of a contemporary film from the folks at Artificial Eye. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Lore Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray release: German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and German LPCM 2.0. For the record, Artificial Eye have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
It may seem like there isn't a wide gap between the 5.1 track and 2.0 track, but the 5.1 track opens up the film in a variety of different ways. Sometimes there is only a short music theme that is carefully enhanced, other times there are random nature sounds and noises that are dramatically elevated. Surround movement is limited, but there is an excellent range of nuanced dynamics on the 5.1 track that occasionally create the impression that the film's sound design is indeed quite elaborate. The dialog is exceptionally crisp, clean, always stable, and very easy to follow. The English translation is excellent.
Lore Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Lore Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Australian director Cate Shortland's second feature film chronicles the final days of Nazi Germany, as seen and experienced by a group of German children that slowly begin to realize that they never knew their parents and country. It is a deeply moving and incredibly well acted film. It should appeal to those of you who appreciated the message, intensity and style of Oliver Hirschbiegel's Downfall and Max Färberböck's A Woman in Berlin. As usual, the technical presentation by Artificial Eye is enormously impressive. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Lore Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Lore - May 2, 2013
Blu-ray.com and British distributors Artificial Eye are offering six members a chance to a copy of director Cate Shortland's Lore and three copies of Racehl Seiffert's book The Dark Room on which the films is based.
• Lore Blu-ray - March 27, 2013
Independent British distributors Artificial Eye have officially announced and detailed their upcoming Blu-ray release of Cate Shortland's Lore (2012), starring Saskia Rosendahl, Kai-Peter Malina, and Nele Trebs. The release will be available for purchase online ...
• Upcoming Artificial Eye Releases - January 31, 2013
Independent British distributors Artificial Eye have informed us that they are planning to add four films to their impressive Blu-ray catalog: Hal Hartley's The Unbelievable Truth (1989), Simple Men (1992), and Amateur (1994), and Cate Shortland's Lore (2012), ...
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