May 302017

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 2 has some very interesting movies though honestly, I didn’t find them very engaging, but I can appreciate them on a technical level. For hardcore film historians out there, this is well worth picking up as most of these are no doubt hard to come by.



Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project
— The Criterion Collection —

Genre(s): Drama
Criterion Collection | NR – 477 min. – $124.95 | May 30, 2017

Date Published: 05/30/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Lino Brocka
Writer(s): Mario O’Hara, Lamberto E. Antonio (screenplay)
Cast: Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Ruel Vernal

Directed by:
Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Directed by:
Ermek Shinarbaev
Writer(s): Anatoli Kim (screenplay)
Cast: Aleksandr Pan

Directed by:
Mário Peixoto
Writer(s): Mário Peixoto (screenplay)
Cast: Olga Breno, Taciana Rei

Directed by:
Lütfi Ö. Akad
Writer(s): Lütfi Ö. Akad (screenplay)
Cast: Yilmaz Güney, Pervin Par, Erol Tas, Tuncer Necnioglu

Directed by:
Edward Yang
Writer(s): Hou Hsiao-hsien, Chu Tien-wen, Edward Yang (screenplay)
Cast: Tsai Chin, Hou Hsiao-hsien

Introductions, Interviews, Booklet
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 9
Audio: Various (DTS-HD MA 1.0), Thai (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Full Frame 1.33 & 1.37; 1080p Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A



Established in 2007, The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project has maintained a passionate commitment to preserving masterpieces from around the globe, with more than two dozen restorations that have introduced international moviegoers to often-overlooked areas of cinema history. This collector’s set gathers six works, from the Philippines (Insiang), Thailand (Mysterious Object at Noon), Soviet Kazakhstan (Revenge), Brazil (Limite), Turkey (Law of the Border), and Taiwan (Taipei Story). Each title is an essential contribution to the art form and a window onto a distinct filmmaking tradition unfamiliar to many.

Insiang (1976)
This character study is set in the slums of Manila and is a portrait of an innocent daughter and her bitter mother as women scorned. Insiang leads a quiet life dominated by household duties, but after she is raped by her mother’s lover and abandoned by the young man who claims to care for her, she exacts vicious revenge.

Mysterious Object at Noon (2000)
In this documentary-like movie, the filmmaker enlists locals to contribute improvised narration to a simple tale, charting the collective construction of the fiction as each new encounter imbues it with unpredictable shades of fantasy and pathos. Shot over the course of two years in 16mm black and white, the film established the director’s fascination with the porous boundaries between the real and the imagined.

Revenge (1989)
A child is raised in Korea to avenge the death of his father’s first child in this decades-spanning tale of obsession and violence. A study of everyday evil infused with philosophy and poetry, this haunting allegory was the first Soviet film to look at the Korean diaspora in central Asia, and a founding work of the Kazakh New Wave.

Limite (1931)
Inspired by a haunting Andre Kertesz photograph on the cover of a French magazine, this avant-garde silent film centers on a man and two women lost at sea, their pasts unfolding through flashbacks.

Law of the Border (1966)
Set along the Turkish-Syrian frontier, this is the tale of smugglers contending with a changing social landscape brought together two giants of Turkish cinema. This neo-western about a quiet man who finds himself pitted against his fellow outlaws.

Taipei Story (1985)
This is a mournful anatomy of a city caught between the past and the present and chronicles the growing estrangement between a washed-up baseball player working in his family’s textile business and his girlfriend, who clings to the upward mobility of her career in property development.



This 9-disc release (6 DVDs, 3 BDs) are housed in three separate fold outs and are contained in a sturdy outer box. Inside is a nice 60-page essay booklet.

Each film has a short (usually 1-2 minutes) Introduction by WCP founder Martin Scorsese. Although they aren’t very long, I found these to be the more interesting feature in this set.

There are also Interviews with:

  • Film Historian Pierre Rissient (on Insiang)
  • Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (on Mysterious Object at Noon)
  • Director Ermek Shinarbaev (on Revenge)
  • Filmmaker Walter Salles (on Limite)
  • Film Producer Mevlut Akkaya (on Law of the Border)
  • Filmmakers Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edmond Wong (on Taipei Story)


VIDEO – 4.0/5, AUDIO – 3.25/5

Each of the 6 movies are presented in varying aspect ratios — Insiang and Law of the Border in 1.37; Revenge in 1.33; Mysterious Object at Noon in 1.60; and Taipei Story in 1.85. Looking at each, shown in 1080p high-definition culled from 2K, 3K or 4K digital restorations, have nice appearances where detail was sharp and I didn’t notice major instances of artifacting, aliasing or other flaws no matter the age of the movie.

As with the picture, each film, save for Limite which is silent, comes in a variety of options in their native languages, in DTS-HD MA: Insiang – Tagalog Mono; Mysterious Object at Noon – Thai 5.1; Revenge – Russian Mono; Law of the Border – Turkish Mono; and Taipei Story – Mandarin and Hokkien Mono. None are particularly noteworthy as these were low budget projects, but even so some showed a modest amount of depth and each did present clear enough dialogue levels.

OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 2 has some very interesting movies though honestly, I didn’t find them very engaging, but I can appreciate them on a technical level. For hardcore film historians out there, this is well worth picking up as most of these are no doubt hard to come by and received excellent restoration work.


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