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|Category||Documentary||Main Menu Audio
Featurette - Additional Interviews (4) (21:07)
|Running Time||56:29 minutes|
Dame Joan Sutherland
|Case||Transparent Brackley - no lip|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 224 Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Of course, it did not end up being this at all. Whilst I would hardly say it was the most fascinating DVD I have ever seen, within the context of its rather short length it does a fair fist of presenting a summation of the life and work of this esteemed French composer. Comprising mainly interview material from a wealth of people involved in music or indeed a distant relative of the man, this is not a drag of a programme at all. Fleshing out the interviews are a number of still photographs as well as filmed excerpts from a couple of his operas. Nothing really radically different but a nice job nonetheless.
What really makes you take notice however is the fact that this is actually an Australian DVD. Quite why an Australian company should be releasing a DVD about a French composer does pose an interesting question, for I would have bet fair dollars that this sort of material does not have a huge domestic market. Still, you cannot knock the enterprise shown and given the general quality of the presentation here, you certainly have to give this DVD a firm recommendation indeed.
The transfer itself is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. Funny how a small Australia company can produce 16x9 enhanced DVDs, of specialist market material, whilst major multinational off-shoots cannot or will not consistently do the same.
Basically, apart from two rather unusual artefacts, this is a quite gorgeous looking transfer. Nice and sharp, very well detailed, exceptionally clear and with no indication whatsoever of grain or low level noise. The only drop off from these lofty heights is during the archival performance material, and that is hardly the fault of the producers of the DVD. This really is stunningly good stuff.
And then you have this gorgeous colour palette - wonderfully saturated without a hint of oversaturation, this is a visual treat far too good for the sort of programming that it is! Nice solid, unwavering tones throughout the range of colours ensure that there is nothing here to complain about at all. Nicely vibrant, a pity that we don't see this sort of quality more often.
There are no noticeable MPEG artefacts in the transfer.
There are instances of rather minor aliasing at various points in the transfer,
but nothing that detracts away from the programme. The only let-downs are
at 13:04 and again at 18:12
where there is some unusual white dotted banding across the two archival
photos being shown. In the case of the former the banding moves during
an upward pan. After the superb quality seen elsewhere, this is a rather
obvious problem even though it does not last long and is not really that
distracting. There did not appear to be any film artefacts present in the
The dialogue comes up very well, very clear and easy to understand, whilst the music excerpts are similarly very good. There did not appear to be any audio sync problems in the transfer.
Given that it is a documentary, obviously there are
no great expectations as far as the soundtrack is concerned. All it needs
to do is convey the dialogue and music as clearly and decently as possible,
and that is what it does. Nothing spectacular, just good, open, distortion-free
sound. Most acceptable indeed. Obviously the surround and bass channels
are not in use at all here.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
21st May, 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|