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The Low Down [DVD] [2001]

Aidan Gillen , Kate Ashfield , Jamie Thraves    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 5.95
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The Low Down [DVD] [2001] + Treacle Jr. [DVD] + Identity [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Aidan Gillen, Kate Ashfield, Dean Lennox Kelly, Tobias Menzies, Rupert Procter
  • Directors: Jamie Thraves
  • Writers: Jamie Thraves
  • Producers: John Stewart, Sally Llewellyn
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Jun 2002
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AFM6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,233 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The territory explored by Jamie Thraves in his feature film debut The Low Down is hardly new: late-20-something faces crisis over settling down/growing up/moving on. But it's the laid-back, improvisational way he deals with the subject that makes it compelling. Frank (Aidan Gillen, in altogether more introspective mode than Queer as Folk) is beginning to realise he's outgrown the bohemian fantasy of his art-student days, tiring of the squalor of his surroundings, the drug dealers next door. It's only with the appearance of the more optimistic Ruby (Kate Ashfield), whom he meets when she shows him round various flats, that he actually gets the impetus to change his life. The tentativeness with which Frank and Ruby get together, hovering between insecurity and desire, is acutely observed, while his relationships with friends and fellow workers (he's a TV prop designer, which makes for some good visual gags), by turns laconic, pissed-off and hilarious, are disconcertingly true to life.

Gillen and Ashfield are terrific, but so are the supporting cast--particularly Dean Lennox Kelly and Tobias Menzies as friends Mike and John. The Low Down is a thoroughly absorbing film, its emotional edginess highlighted by the hand-held camera and by the freeze-framing to distort time. The effect is quirky and inviting rather than annoyingly arty, and Thraves is clearly one to watch.

On the DVD: The Low Down on disc has a featurette with just under eight minutes of excerpts. There's a commentary on the film, plus a brief sample of fly-on-the-wall footage in "On Location". Don't get overexcited about the promise of Cast and Crew Interviews, though, since they are very soundbitey and not very profound (for example, Jamie Thraves on making his first feature film: "I've felt more relaxed than I've ever done"). And of course there's the usual theatrical trailer. --Harriet Smith

Product Description

DVD Special Features
On Location
Cast and Crew Interviews with Jamie Thraves, Aidan Gillen, Kate Ashfield, Dean Lennox Kelly, Tobias Menzies, Rupert Proctor
Theatrical Trailer
Picture: 1.85:1 anamorphic
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishingly truthful, beautifully observed 24 Aug 2001
OK, cards on the table time. You're either going to love this desperately, feel protective towards it, and sing its praises with evangelical zeal at every opportunity, or be profoundly unmoved.
The difference, I suspect, is one of identification with the characters' semi-slacker existence and the nuances of twentysomething friendships.
Aidan Gillen, best known as Stuart from Queer As Folk, stars as Frank, a props maker approaching a crossroads in his life. He has all but outgrown his student-flavoured life with its squalid accommodation, juvenile jokes, and dysfunctional mates but has yet to admit the fact to himself.
Director Jamie Thraves opts for a naturalistic, new wave style, and the dialogue is largely improvised. Thanks to his universally excellent young cast, the gamble pays off handsomely.
There is precious little in the way of plot but, then again, The Low Down isn't about the telling of a story - it's a wonderfully observed, achingly bittersweet requiem for young adulthood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An actual experience 23 Mar 2011
By Dooscah
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Rarely does a film generate a feeling for me of actually being involved in it's setting as it plays. The camera shots almost emulate the same infrastructural things my eyes would normally gaze or stare at as I go about my outdoor life. The characters are also all people I've virtually met before.

It's just real man, and to capture that on film well is just beautiful. The feeling of being a fly on the wall of these familiar conversations or awkward situations that you know you've been in before is just so erm... 'interesting'!!

The best thing about owning this product, is re-watching it. The convenience of experiencing the story by simply re-watching a plastic DVD, is one of the reasons I love life. I think as time passes I will enjoy it even more and nostalgia will deepen for the symbolic takes of environment it presents in 2000.

This isn't a movie, it's film and should be appreciated as an art piece to be experienced like Janet Cardiff's work for instance. I think you'll get the most from this if you have ever been a student in London. The Low Down [DVD] [2000]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So So! 14 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought it after watching Trecle Jr on TV (which I loved) because I was curious to find out more about this director. I think that because I liked so much Trecle Jr I had quite high expectation for this film too. I couldn't however quite get into the story in the same way.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical 3 Nov 2007
By Billy
There are some films that disprove the theory about plot being integral; Withnail and I, Lost in Translation, Waking Life to name but a few, and The Low Down is another great example of this.

There's no need for me to describe this film - you can read the synopsis for that. The performances are great and are, essentially, all that matters. Aiden Gillen is wonderful in the lead role, capturing the slight awkwardness, hints of OCD and insecurity of his character brilliantly. But the best performace in this film comes from Kate Ashfield who plays the dreamy Ruby. Be warned, though, if you're as sloppy a male as I am, you will fall head-over-heels in love with this character. I cannot begin to dscribe how utterly scrumptious she is in this film.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Failure to connect 4 Jan 2012
After I read the other reviews of this film that passionately defended it, I thought I'd bagged a gem. Perhaps it's because I watched 'Persona' several days before, but this film made no great shakes. Yes, I've been there and met the people. I've seen 'that' life and I got that the eye-level camera work described character dis-interestedness or an act of looking etc. The problem is the characters are dull and I never believed their friendships or relationships. I just sat back watching something puzzling being played out waiting for something to make me care either way. Trying to put my finger on it, I think their lack of anything to say for themselves, to connect with each other or themselves really blows the engagement of the audience. People are not as dull and are more colourful than this. Still, it's not all awful - the impression of their lives in London rings true even if the outlines haven't been filled in. Perhaps that was the deal - to not allow the fiction to overwhelm the experience you bring to it. Unfortunately, it means you are underwhelmed by what it has to bring to you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a suprisingly affecting, and understatedly powerful portrayal of growing up. Its a about the need for answers, finding our way and some role in life, as we begin to explore ourselves making the transition from young adulthood to the next unknown. Personally, to me, its about finding our place in the world and being contented with that. The film doesn't provide any answers though, just a breathtakingly poignant, some might say pointless examination into that stage in our lives. The film is stylistically directed. Certainly there are similarities to the work of the 50-60s by the french new wave of Truffaut, Godard and co, in its simple yet effective (and seemingly) improvised use of creative camera technique i.e. freeze frame, slo mo etc. The performances (apparently improvised - well some of it) are absolutley astonishing in their realism. All the characters have an amazing rapport and chemistry with each other - you really do believe they have been friends for a lifetime. Thraves is marvellous but no more so than the other cast. So realistic are they, that no doubt you will have met similar individuals at some point in your life.
A mini masterpiece of a debut from a promising director.
The DVD is adequate with a few mini features and so forth.
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