DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Anton Bitel's film review of Blood

The film itself comes in a new high-definition transfer approved by the director himself. Two excellent essays in the accompanying booklet (by Australian film academic Adrian Martin and French film critic Frédéric Bonnaud, respectively) are serious engagements with Costa's 'instant masterpiece', tracing its allusive texture and dynamic commemoration of other filmic motifs, while acknowledging the difficulties in penetrating its elliptical texture. "Pedro Costa's films are easy to love and hard to interpret," suggests Martin, adding: "Perhaps they are easy to love because they are so hard to interpret."

The only extras on the disc are a slideshow of beautiful stills from the film, and a 16-minute 'appreciation' of Blood by the late João Bénard da Costa, author and Director of the Portuguese Cinematheque, to whose memory the disc is dedicated. Read out from notes by da Costa over footage of the relevant scenes under discussion, this appraisal combines some very close analysis of decisions about framing with musings that are at times almost laughable in their wild abstraction.

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"What was mankind's greatest discovery?" he asks, citing a question posed twice in the film, before providing his own surreal list of suggested answers: "Reality, perhaps. Perhaps the full moon lost in the sky. Perhaps that climbing frame that disarms everything and arms us, within." 'Perhaps', indeed. Still, there are plenty of insights in what he has to say, and you rarely hear a critique that is so passionately engaged with its material.

Reviewed on: 08 Apr 2010
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Blood packshot
After their father dies, two brothers find themselves facing up to his troubled legacy.
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Product Code: Second Run DVD 043

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.33:1

Sound: Stereo 2.0

Extras: Filmed appreciation with João Bénard da Costa, photo gallery, booklet with essays

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