Strictly Supernatural-Astrology & Tarot (1996) (NTSC)
|Category||New Age||Notes-Production Credits|
|Year Of Production||1996|
|Running Time||100:22 (Case: 102)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The second part of the documentary studies the appearance and evolution of the Tarot deck in its many different guises. The features of the twenty two cards of the Major Arcana are well illustrated by short acting cameos and pictures taken from the classic Rider-Waite deck and more obscure packs, no doubt illustrated from Stuart Caplan's vast collection. Minimal mention is made of the Minor Arcana (that's the Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles) or their relationship to playing cards. Mention is also made of the marriage of Astrology, Tarot and Kabbalah in the ceremonial magic of the Golden Dawn, the most notorious member of which, Aleister Crowley, is featured in some archival stills. Aleister was also responsible for the Thoth Tarot deck.
The documentary is well balanced and interesting. Practitioners of Astrology and Tarot recount their experiences and commentary and critique is provided by a practicing parapsychologist, astronomer and professors of logic and philosophy. The scope is broad enough to cover the basics for those with a passing interest and also provides some fresh insights and entertainment for more serious students of these mysterious occult sciences.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is clear although a little soft, probably from it being shot originally in NTSC video. Blacks are deep with minimal low level noise and there is good shadow detail although most of the feature is well-illuminated.
Colours are rich with minimal chroma noise and no discernible bleed.
Macro-blocking is seen in some of the colour backgrounds eg 100:22. Aliasing is infrequent due to a general lack of straight diagonals but when it does appear in some of the engravings it is quite severe eg 14:46. There are no film artefacts in the main video feature but unsurprisingly some of the inset archival film footage has a sprinkling of black flecks and scratches.
There are no subtitles.
The disc is single layered and hence there is no layer transition point.
The dialogue, from the authoritative narration of Christopher Lee to the interviewees, is all very clear. Audio sync in the interviews is satisfactory.
Incidental music is credited to Xian Vaosie and although not a major feature is appropriate and supportive of the feature.
There was no use of either surrounds or subwoofer and this would seem appropriate for a feature of this nature
|Surround Channel Use|
This is a bare-bones presentation and all we get is a menu and production credits. Some stills of Stuart Caplan's extensive Tarot collection would have been nice or maybe some trailers for other presentations in the Strictly Supernatural series.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The R1 and R4 releases appear to be identical.
The video quality is good.
The audio quality is satisfactory.
There are no significant extras.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-900E, using RGB output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon ACV-A1SE. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Theta Digital Intrepid|
|Speakers||ML Aeon front. B&W LRC6 Centre. ML Script rear. REL Strata III SW.|