DVD: Faster Horse, A (2015)

September 30, 2016 | By

FasterHorseFilm: Very Good

Transfer:  Excellent

Extras: n/a

Label: FilmRise / MVD Visual

Region: (NTSC)

Released: December 15, 2015

Genre:  Documentary / Automotive History

Synopsis: Brisk chronicle of Ford’s decision to redesign the hallowed Mustang sports car for its 50th anniversary in 2015.

Special Features:  (none)




“So many people came up to me and said ‘Don’t screw this up… If you screw this up, you’re screwing up the entire country.”

“A car is really rolling art when you get right down to it.”


David Gelb’s ode to the mythic Mustang automobile actually covers Ford’s decision to redesign the company’s most iconic brand in 2009 and get the job done in time for the Mustang’s 50th anniversary in 2015. Woven between vignettes and candid slices of challenges faced by the new design team are plenty of rich sounds and archival images spanning the brand’s debut in 1965, its place in pop culture, and the major design changes that kept the car alive and well, with an unwavering international recognition factor.

The Mustang’s creation is really a remarkable tale of a car whose makers were also imbued with a wild and rebellious nature. After the debacle that was the Edsel, Henry Ford II didn’t want another risky venture, so the Mustang was developed in secret until timing was right, in terms of company cash flow, Henry Ford’s temperament, and a savvy pitch by Lee Iaccoca: build a car that’s ‘fast, fun, and affordable’ for the emerging baby boomers.

It’s a car created ahead of a demographic’s emerging financial independence, and one designed to stand out among the standard sedans and blah family cars, which is why the Mustang is so beloved, and fans are so defensive. It’s also a car designed to sway buyers on an emotional level rather than practical logic, which is also Gelb’s filmic approach: keep the techno-babble low (if not impressionistic); weave through past, present, and future emotional relationships between designers, assembly plant workers, buyers, and the media; and make sure the look of the film is as commercially glossy as a Mustang magazine ad.

Will Basanta’s commercially pure cinematography packages the film like a slick advert, but it’s also a celebration of car details which fans rightly adore and fetishize, from chrome logos, hubcaps, trim, grills, and tires to the sound of the car moving and gunning up to speed on a test track. The rack focusing, interpolated slo-mo shots, and porous visages have a Michael Bay sheen, but certainly on an emotional level, A Faster Horse is effective in tugging at the hearts of fans for a brand that’s always been cool, and instilled envy and fanciful daydreams among auto enthusiasts.

Although FilmRise’s DVD sports a sharp transfer, it’s unfortunately a bare bones release, whereas the Blu-ray features bonus interviews and deleted scenes.



© 2016 Mark R. Hasan



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Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review

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