‘Suture (2-Disc Special Edition)’ [Blu-ray + DVD]
(Dennis Haysbert, David Graf, Dina Merrill, Mel Harris, Sab Shimono, et al / Blu-ray+DVD / NR / (1993) 2016 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: Brothers Vincent (rich) and Clay (poor) meet up for the first time after their father's funeral and remark on how similar they look. But unknown to Clay, who thinks his life is taking a turn for the better, Vince is actually plotting to kill him with a car bomb and pass the corpse off as his own, planning to start a new life elsewhere with his father's inheritance!
Blu-ray Verdict: "How is it that we know who we are?" Doctor Shinoda poses the question in darkness as ‘Suture’ begins. The dark is as important as the light that will constitute the other half of the film, shot in black and white of searing contrasts.
Ergo, and to my mind, ‘Suture’ is a true masterpiece of b/w Cinemascope, a brilliant use of the format. Every frame is beautifully composed with meticulous production design and art direction. It is so stylized that perhaps only ardent cinephiles can really appreciate it.
The story is about a rich murderer who discovers that he has a long lost brother who looks so much like him that, if he is killed by a car bomb (in the murderer's car, in his clothes, carrying his identification), nobody will guess it isn't the murderer. The innocent brother is so poor and naive that he allows himself to be set up, but, instead of dying, he survives with a smashed face and no memory.
The justification for this implausible setup is the opportunity to explore the idea of identity by positing an amnesia patient who is fitted with a very different person's face and past. If this story had been told in a conventional way with color, a narrower screen size, realistic rather than stylized acting, and the casting of two actors who looked very similar, it would have made a reasonably interesting thriller.
The brilliance lies in the artifice, especially in casting the wonderful Dennis Haysbert in a role written for his directly opposite physical type. The filmmakers seem to expect the audience to be able to watch the movie on more than one level. The story allows the audience to consider the obvious questions about the nature of identity, but the stylization allows the audience to consider the different questions about the nature of the film experience. This is a new High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative
High Definition (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD Presentations
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Audio Commentary with writer-directors David Siegel and Scott McGehee
All-New Interviews with Siegel, McGehee, executive producer Steven Soderbergh, actor Dennis Haysbert, cinematographer Greg Gardiner, editor Lauren Zuckerman and production designer Kelly McGehee
Birds Past, Siegel & McGehee’s first short film, about two young San Franciscans who journey to Bodega Bay along the path set by Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s classic, The Birds
US Theatrical Trailer
European Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm