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Feature


When two young men arrive at a family-run guesthouse in rural France, their anticipation of a few days peace and quiet is undermined by a variety of sinister occurrences. A small bird is found murdered, its neck in a tiny noose, a strangely sexualized stain appears on a wall, and a slug crawls across the breakfast tray.

Are these all signs comprising a portent of truly cosmic significance, or merely bizarre coincidences? And is it any wonder that one of the visitors, Witold (piercing-eyed Jonathan Genet) has such difficulty writing his novel, or that his companion Fuchs (Johan Libéreau) prefers to find solace in earthier pleasures?

The final film by the late Andrzej Zulawski, director of the legendary Possession (the only Cannes-winning arthouse film to be officially classified as a video nasty), Cosmos adapts Witold Gombrowicz s legendarily challenging novel into a beguilingly witty combination of (deceptively) lighthearted French farce and a complex, knowing reflection on the absurdities both of humanity itself and the way that we define our notion of the universe according to our individual hang-ups. (Official Review)

Video


This is a lush modern presentation, full of sharp edges, wonderful detail and some true HD pop to every element. Natural and warm a lot of the time, the image when at its most arty is bathed with a nice golden HD glow, and when it wants to be, it's full of vibrant colour. Countering that, when the film wants to remain real world and pedestrian, it's natural colours and feel brings the guesthouse to life in a natural and realistic way, while still excelling in the video department. Throughout, edges are crisp and textures are always represented well and the film is full of fine elements that the 1080p presentation displays very well.

Audio


The audio track is an all round pleasant experience, again it's clearly a modern track with plenty going on despite the miniml dramatic requirements. Dialogue is consistently strong and clear but it's backed up with a strong French score and plenty of ambience to fill out the scenes, usually natural ambient sounds but street life and such also widen the track when it's required.

Extras


'Hanging Sparrows' (31.01 HD) is a featurette of interviews and Q&A footage that talks of the director's work and his intentions amongst thoughts on the film itself.

'A Brief History of Gombrowicz' (11.25 HD) speaks of the author the story is taken from.

'Bleurgh' (04.48 HD) is a fun reel that shows the film's many references to other things, whether film or the author's other books.

'Behind the Scenes' (07.42 HD) is a raw footage reel of the making of the film.

'Locarno Film Festival cover the festival's press conference, Q&A and awards ceremony for the film.

'Lisbon and Estoril Festival Production '07.36 HD' is another introduction to the film at a festival.

Last up is the 'International trailer and the 'UK trailer'.

Overall


Cosmos is a quirky and confident film that has something to say, even if it's not always coherent and may take multiple viewing and a lot of this disc's extras to really appreciate to its fullest. The presentation is solid, the extras many and interesting as well, so those who've heard good things about this one can't go too far wrong with this release.

* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

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