146 mins. Regions: 2 (PAL). Languages: French (DD 5.1), English (DD 5.1). Subtitles: French. Widescreen (1.78:1), 16x9 enhanced. RSDL dual-layered (disc 1), singled-sided. Animated Menus. Library box packaging.
"Silence, On Tourne" making of featurette, Cannes 2001 press conference, exclusive interviews with Mary Sweeny and Angelo Badalamenti, "Sur Les Lieus Du Tournage" location gallery, Cast and Crew biographies and filmographies, Scene Selection (aka chapter stops).
The parade of Mulholland Drive DVD releases continues. This time we have a look at the French DVD release. Since Mulholland Drive was financed by Studio Canal (after the initial ABC money), it seems natural that this disc would have the most potential for supplements and attention to quality. For the most part, the disc delivers.
Once again this disc features the same transfer as the other discs (and yes, the digital blurring is there in the Harring nude scene). Unfortunately, the MPEG compression of the disc itself is somewhat problematic. There's no reason I can see why the compression should be any worse than on the other MD discs as the extras are all on the second disc. Nonetheless, whomever did the compression of the French DVD only did a so-so job. It's not awful, but compression artifacts are present every now and then, more than on the US disc. Otherwise, the image is reasonably sharp and clear. As with the other discs the picture is presented in about a 1.78:1 aspect ratio (The original Mulholland Drive pilot was shot with 16:9 HD in mind), so if you have a widescreen display it fills it up nicely. The color holds well and the picture image is sharp.
The disc features both the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and a French DD 5.1 soundtrack. The English track is exactly the same as the one featured on all the other discs as well as the theatrical mix. Like most of Lynch's films, use of the surrounds is subtile and there's a lot of dynamic range. The film features some excellent sound design, which thankfully is all preserved on the English track. Unfortunately, when you select the English soundtrack, it automatically turns on the French subtitles (due to contractual reasons) and won't let you turn them back off. However, after playing around with the disc in my computer dvd drive I was able to defeat this. Unfortunately, I have no idea exactly how I did it! I think it either had something to do with the DVDGenie software or going through the chapter selection section (more on that later). But it is possible, so if you play around with it you might be able to as well.
First up is a making of documentary entitled "Silence, On Tourne...," lasting almost 24 minutes. Much of the footage is taken from the same segments seen on the Korean DVD and US Video Presskit. But there is some other footage not seen on DVD before as well. Everything is edited together nicely with footage from the film to give a fairly complete look at the making of the film and the thoughts of the actors involved. Included are interviews with Lynch, Watts, Harring, Theroux and Badalamenti. There's more behind the scenes footage of filming the dinner scene at Adam's house and Winkies, this time with interview audio segments played over it. Since Canal wasn't involved with Mulholland Drive until the filming of the extra non-TV pilot scenes, all of the behind the scenes segments are from the latter part of the film. Once again, the French subtitles are locked on so you're stuck with them as you watch the documentary.
The packaging also includes Lynch's ten clues to help you figure out Mulholland Drive, all in French of course. They're printed on one of the inner fold out sleeves.
Summing it all up, this is a pretty nice disc. A bit more attention could have been paid to the encoding of the film itself, so even being PAL it's not quite as good as the US NTSC version. But it's certainly not horrible either. Encoding aside, Canal really put a lot of work into this disc. It's nice to see a studio treat one of Lynch's films with the respect it deserves. I still might go with the Korean disc over this one (especially with the subtitle over the english track problem), but if you're a die hard Lynch collector you'll want to pick up this disc for the extras.
Back to the Mulholland Drive page.