Blu-ray Review: November

Eastern Europe is an area of the world which is rife with folklore, legend, myth and fairy tale. These stories are more often than not as bleak and unforgiving as the stark living condition and bitterly inclement climate. It’s fair to say that 19th century Estonia was probably not a great time and place to live. If the plague didn’t get you then disease or a wild animal probably would. Superstition and poverty were rampant. This is the setting for Rainer Sarnet’s new film November.

Liina (Rea Lest) and Hans (Jörgen Liik) live in a village in the woods. The young lovers are preparing to marry when the German Baron (Dieter Laser) and his daughter (Jette Loona Hermanis) return. Hans falls for the beautiful Baroness but realising he stands no chance seeks out a love potion. Liina, desperate to win back his love, rustles up a little magic of her own. Meanwhile, death in the form of an animal, supernatural servants made out of random objects, the dead, werewolves and the plague wander in the shadows.

November is a strange and haunting fairy tale set amongst the squalor and disease of the rural Estonian mire. Shrouded in swirling mists, the black and white cinematography conjured up by Mart Taniel is mouth-wateringly beautiful. Sarnet casts a spell which brings the imagination of Jan Švankmajer’s surrealist animations to life. It’s a magical, marvellous and mysterious movie full of outlandish surprises. November mixes in a touch of the absurd, offbeat black humour and a sense of wonder to create a heady elixir.

Special features:

  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray, with a progressive encode on the DVD
  • Uncompressed LPCM 2.0 audio (on Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by film critic and writer Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

November is released on DVD and Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Montage Pictures range on 13 May.

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