F for Fake: DVD Review
Orson Welles' playful meditation on art, experts and fakery makes its DVD debut on this disc from Japan, released on the Imagica label. For those who can't wait for an eventual region 1 release, this is a solid option, missing only the unreleased trailer included on the Criterion laserdisc.
Picture quality is slightly better here than on the Criterion LD, presenting the viewer with a slightly sharper, more colorful image. On my television, overscan resulted in an aspect ratio of about 1.5:1, off the usually stated 1.66:1. Criterion's LD measures slightly less; on my computer, the lack of overscan reveals more of the screen on both sides, and is about 1.81:1. I can find no indication of anamorphic enhancement listed on the back. A comparison of the DVD to the Criterion disc reveals more image on the sides, and the same space, give or take a fraction, on the top and bottom, indicating that the Criterion release is somewhat cropped.
The attractively designed menu features choices for chapters, production notes, staff/cast and subtitling. The disc splits the film into 14 chapters, logically placed. Production notes are in Japanese only, and appear to be fairly in depth. The staff/cast section is similar to the production notes section in design and amount of information provided. My Japanese isn't good enough to tell you what's being said, though. Japanese subtitles are provided for the primary audience of the disc, but they can be switched off if so desired.
All in all, a quality disc, aside from the lack of extras, which are limited, more or less, to the trailer. Well worth picking up for fans of the film with multi-region players. Two last notes: the title on the front of the disc reads "Orson Welles' Fake." Also, the film includes an opening credit screen for Les Films d'Astrophore, set to what sounds like a musical sound bite from A Clockwork Orange. The Criterion LD skips this and goes straight to the title screen.
Comparison between DVD and LD in aspect ratio terms
DETAILS: Catalog number IMBC 0086, released by Imagica; ,4700 yen (appr. $40); NTSC; Region 2; Dolby Digital sound.
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