The Duke Of Burgundy trav­eled the fes­ti­val cir­cuit on both sides of the Atlantic but like most niche-inter­est indie fare today, it had to set­tle for a lim­it­ed release in the U.S. before tak­ing its chances with audi­ence dis­cov­ery via home video. It was recent­ly released in hi-def form by Shout! Factory in this coun­try and the results thank­ful­ly do it jus­tice, offer­ing a qual­i­ty trans­fer and a solid set of extras car­ried over from its for­eign home video release.

DukeBur-bluThe trans­fer looks excel­lent, cap­tur­ing the earthy col­or palet­te and ornate inte­ri­ors of the house as skill­ful­ly as it does the lush nature sequences. Both 7.1 and 2.0 audio mix­es are offered: the 7.1 was used for this review’s pur­pos­es and it’s a sub­tle but envelop­ing affair. The rich tex­tures of the Cat’s Eyes score sound gor­geous in this set­ting.

This disc also car­ries over a num­ber of extras used in its English blu-ray release. First up is a com­men­tary track by direc­tor Peter Strickland with some gen­tle mod­er­a­tion from Daniel Bird. The film­mak­er doesn’t need too much prompt­ing as he freely dis­cuss­es the moti­va­tions behind his artis­tic choic­es and offers a pret­ty sophis­ti­cat­ed analy­sis of how each scene devel­ops the push/pull com­plex­i­ties of the rela­tion­ship between its two main char­ac­ters.

DukeBur-03Strickland also sits down for an inter­view that runs just under 12 min­utes. He reveals how the idea for the film came from a remake sug­ges­tion from his pro­duc­ers before get­ting into a detailed dis­cus­sion of his col­lab­o­ra­tors and the skills they brought to the film. There are also 45 min­utes’ worth of delet­ed sce­nes, with each pre­ced­ed by a detailed text intro­duc­tion from Strickland. It offers moments that were dropped to enhance the film’s dra­mat­ic focus and thin out sub­plots: there’s a lit­tle more sex, some unused visu­al FX and addi­tion­al music-dri­ven moments.

And that’s not all the extras have to offer. “Conduct Phase” is a short that runs under 8 min­utes, an impres­sion­is­tic visu­al col­lage of stray dogs run­ning around in Athens. It’s full of super­im­posed imagery and is set to some avant-garde music. Along sim­i­lar lines is a Cat’s Eyes music video for one of the score cues from the film: with its mix of muse­um and med­ical imagery, it feels more like an art short than a music video.

DukeBur-04Closing things out are the the­atri­cal trail­er and an image gallery. The trail­er is a strik­ing, skill­ful­ly edit­ed piece of work that com­mu­ni­cates the mood of the film. The gallery has just over 100 images and offers a lit­tle bit of every­thing: stills, behind the sce­nes shots, pro­duc­tion design pix and ad art.

In short, this is a worth­while way for adven­tur­ous film lovers to get acquaint­ed with the sur­re­al, anti­quar­i­an eroti­cism of The Duke Of Burgundy and is well worth the time for cult movie fans.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of The Duke Of Burgundy, click here.