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Cosmos – Arrow Academy (DVD) 
Written by: on February 27th, 2017

Theatrical Release Date: France / Portugal, 2015
Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Writer: Andrzej Zulawski
Cast: Sabine Azéma, Jean-François Balmer, Jonathan Genet, Johan Libéreau, Victória Guerra, Clémentine Pons, Andy Gillet, Ricardo Pereira, António Simão

DVD Release Date: October 17th, 2016
Approximate Running Time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 French
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Arrow Academy
Region Encoding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £17.99 (UK)

Synopsis: Looking for a relaxing get away from their everyday lives, two young men visit a family-run bed and breakfast and while they are there a series of bizarre events unfold.

Cosmos was written and directed by Andrzej Zulawski, a filmmaker with a unique vision who is most known for directing Possession. Key collaborators on Cosmos include, cinematographer André Szankowski (Mysteries of Lisbon, The Gilded Cage) and a frequent collaborator of Andrzej Zulawski composer Andrzej Korzynski (Man of Marble, Man of Iron). The screenplay for Cosmos was adapted from author Witold Gombrowicz’s novel of the same name.

Content wise, this film has all the ingredients which have become synonymous with his cinema. The unconventional narrative features mundane situations turned into surreal moments. The film’s narrative follows a protagonist named Witold and his friend as they discover weird occurrences and odd behaviors from the family that runs that bed and breakfast. The film is filled with subtext and symbolism which can be found in its visuals and its dialog which often breaks the traditional rules of cinema. And when it comes to the performances the entire cast are all exceptional in their respective roles. Not to be overlooked is the role that humor plays in this film. Ultimately Cosmos is a fitting swansong for a filmmaker whose films have always challenged his audience.

The DVD:

Arrow Academy presents Cosmos in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The transfer for this release was supervised by Andrzej Zulawski. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, details look crisp, black levels remain strong throughout and there are no issues with compression or edge enhancement.

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in French and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The audio is in excellent shape, dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. The more ambient aspects of this audio mix are well represented and range wise this audio mix sounds robust when they need too.

Extras for this release include, a UK trailer for the film (1 minute 34 seconds, in French with English subtitles), the International release trailer for the film (1 minute 35 seconds, in French with English subtitles), Lisbon & Estoril festival introduction (7 minutes 36 seconds, in French with English subtitles), an interview with Daniel Bird titled Bleurgh (4 minutes 48 seconds), behind the scenes footage (7 minutes 42 seconds, in French and English with English subtitles), Locarno film festival awards ceremony producer Paulo Branco (2 minutes 40 seconds, in French with English subtitles), Locarno film festival press conference with cast & director (30 minutes 50 seconds, in French with English subtitles), Locarno film festival Q & A with cast & director (44 minutes 12 seconds, in French with English subtitles), a retrospective making of interview featurette titled Hanging Sparrows (31 minutes, in French and English with English subtitles) and an interview with Rita Gombrowicz titled A Brief History of Gombrowicz (11 minutes 26 seconds, in French with English subtitles).

The extra’s titled Locarno film festival press conference and Locarno film festival Q & A have comments from producer Paulo Branco, actors Jean-François Balmer, Jonathan Genet, actresses Victória Guerra, Sabine Azéma and director Andrzej Zulawski.

The extra titled Hanging Sparrows includes comments from Jonathan Genet, Victoria Guerra, Jean-Francois Balmer, Clementine Pons, cinematographer Andre Szankowski and archive footage of director Andrzej Zulawski.

Topics discussed in the interview with Daniel Bird include, the films of Andrzej Zulawski and adapting Cosmos into English.

Topics discussed in the interview with Rita Gombrowicz include, the life and work of Witold Gombrowicz.

Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and a thirty-eight-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Patterns, Rhythms, Wounds, Sores: The Absurd Mysteries of Cosmos written by Samm Deighan, Locarno Interview: Andrzej Zulawski by Nick Pinkerton and an essay titled Everything is Chaos: The films of Andrzej Zulawski written by Samm Deighan. Overall Cosmos gets an exceptional release from Arrow Academy that comes with a wealth of insightful extra content, highly recommended.

Note: This film was released by Arrow Academy on BluRay.

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