Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Ed Harris, Marica Gay Harden, Val Kilmer, Tom Bower
Extras: Commentary Track, Documentary, Charlie Rose Interview, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical
Jackson Pollock was controversial painter, to the outside world as much as in private. Just as his art never gave away its true meaning at first sight, neither did he, and behind the calm appearance was a ferocious man, driven by depression, isolation and self-doubt. "Pollock" takes viewers on a journey to learn more about the man, who was the first real American modern painter. The film explores stages of his life and how he had to escape into his own world in order to conjure up the magic that made his paintings so unique. We observe him dance around the canvas on the floor in front of him, dripping color – seemingly at random – onto the material to create a piece of art that would eventually become bigger than he himself. Unlike some other abstract artists however, Pollock never looked at abstract painting as a mockery to see how far you could go to fool people into elevating it beyond what it actually is. To Pollock, painting was liberating himself of his own demons.
"Pollock" may not be a film for everyone, but it is an excellent study in human psychology, as well as a nice excursion into modern arts that always remains tangible. Harris managed to condense the material to a film that is very approachable and no matter whether you are familiar with Jackson Pollock or his work, or not, the film will offer you insight into a world that is firmly locked away to most of us. The world were creative energy quite literally explodes out of a human being.
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is presenting "Pollock" in an <$16x9,anamorphic> <$PS,widescreen> presentation on this DVD. The image is very clear and clean, without notable blemishes, making it very enjoyable to behold. With its atmospheric imagery, the film features a variety of brightly lit outdoor scenes, as well as succumbingly dark indoors shots, giving the video transfer the entire gamut of image content to work with. The DVD presentation excels by creating an image that perfectly reproduces all these settings and lighting conditions flawlessly. Colors are always strong and without oversaturation. They are very natural looking, giving the film additional authenticity, and making the best of Lisa Rinzler’s beautiful cinematography. Blacks are very deep creating a brooding atmosphere when needed, while highlights are nicely delineated without bleeding. Shadows always hold good detail and never break up. The compression is equally impressive and no signs of compression artifacting are evident in the presentation.
The DVD contains a <$commentary,commentary track> by director/actor Ed Harris in which he goes into more detail about the film’s production. Many things that he could not immediately express within the film itself are touched upon here and viewers will certainly have an even better understanding of Jackson Pollock as a human being after listening to this track. But also from a pure production standpoint, Harris is offering a lot of insightful information.
Also of quite some interested is the interview provided on this disc in which Ed Harris appeared on the Charlie Rose show, discussing the film. A 25-minute piece, it offers plenty of information and details, to a large degree showing how Ed Harris worked on the character to bring Jackson Pollock to life on the screen.
Four deleted scenes, taken form work prints and hence in fairly poor shape, are also on the disc, rounding out the release together with selected cast biographies and trailers.