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Listing - Cast and Crew
|Running Time||97:26 minutes|
|Start Up||Language Selection then Menu|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, during credits|
Lise (Lesley Collier) is the daughter of widowed, wealthy farm owner Simone (Brian Shaw) and is in love with a young farmer neighbour in Colas (Michael Coleman), but Simone has higher plans for Lise than a mere farmer, namely the incompetent buffoon of a son of wealthy vineyard owner Thomas (Leslie Edwards), Alain (Garry Grant). Lise is not overly enamoured with the buffoonery of Alain when they meet and is not in the least bit interested. It is harvest day and the farm is filled with visitors as the harvesters and associated hangers-on congregate before heading off to the fields for the exertions. Alain tries his best to impress Lise but Colas, with the aid of the harvesters, keeps on butting in and usurping Alain's efforts. The more this goes on, the more obvious it is that Lise only has eyes for Colas. Even Simone eventually has to agree, but he sure makes it hard for them. This includes trying very hard to keep them apart, but when Colas manages to get into the farmhouse and Simone disappears off to have a drink with the harvesters, things take a decisive turn. Even when Thomas turns up with a contract of marriage that Simone signs, things are still not resolved as Lise and Colas are discovered together in her bedroom.
The story may be banal but the ballet is lifted out of the ordinary by the excellent music, and some different choreography (you have got to love the chickens!). The result is a reasonably enjoyable experience, with just enough variety here to avoid falling into the extended technical dance that purists might love but the rest of us find boring. I mean, this ballet even includes a clog dance of all things! The dancing seems to be quite well done, although Lesley Collier in my view is significantly better than Michael Coleman. Brian Shaw and Garry Grant both get into the buffoonery side of things well and the result is something altogether more palatable for the non-fans.
Whilst the art does not get any closer to entering my heart as something worthwhile, this is just a slightly less stiffer style of ballet that is quite an enjoyable effort. After all, any ballet that includes both a chicken dance and a clog dance has to be worthwhile watching! It might not be hauteur stuff, but it is the sort of stuff that the masses can enjoy.
The flat look is amply demonstrated by the slightly diffuse transfer that does not quite show the full detail that we would expect of something recorded in the last five years. There are the occasional lapses in focus, which don't exactly help matters enormously. The overall result is something that lacks just a little in the depth of field. Shadow detail is not much of an issue here, whilst clarity is hampered somewhat by the presence of consistent minor grain. It is nothing really ugly, but just enough to make your eyes gravitate to it. There are no problems with low level noise in the transfer.
The colour palette is also just a little flat, lacking a little in saturation. This is again quite similar to other transfers seen from this era. It is nothing close to being a vibrant transfer, but after allowing for the lack of saturation the result is reasonably natural looking. Oversaturation is not an issue here, and nor are there any problems with colour bleed at all.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts
in the transfer. There are just a few odd indications of aliasing here
and there, most notably around 66:13
during an upward and then downward pan shot. There are no real film artefacts
present in the transfer.
The music comes up pretty well in the transfer and is quite clear. Obviously with this being a ballet programme, audio sync is not something that has to be considered.
The music, composed by Ferdinand Hérold and arranged by John Lanchbery, is mostly very good indeed: plenty of good tunes are dotted throughout the score, and this really helps to keep the interest level up a lot.
This is yet another Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack
that really does not have much wrong with it. It is quite a clear-sounding
effort, although a bit more clarity would not have gone astray, and it
has no indications of distortions or other blemishes. There is nothing
in the way of surround and bass channel use at all. The overall sound is
just a little bit too central but this is perhaps to be expected in a soundtrack
of this nature.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
10th June, 2001.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|