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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Evidentia (1995)

Evidentia (1995)

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Released 8-Oct-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Dance Booklet
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 83:51 (Case: 85)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Thomas Balogh
Adam Roberts
Mat Ek
Francoise Ha Van

Warner Vision
Starring Sylvie Guillem
William Forsythe
Niklas Ek
David Kern
Benedicte Loyen
Brian Reeder
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music Thom Willems
Adam Roberts
Arvo Part

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

"Life is movement"

    If you caught up with the recent Royal Ballet tour of Australia, you may have been lucky enough to see Principal Guest Artist, French ballerina Sylvie Guillem, performing live. One of the world's leading exponents of dance, Guillem is not only recognised for her technical prowess but also her skills of artistic interpretation and in 1998 she created her own version of Giselle. In Evidentia, a multi-national production for television, she was given free rein to put down on film her own ideas on dance and movement together with other contemporary dancers, musicians and film directors. The title comes from the concatenation of the french for life (vie) and dance (danse) which when pronounced correctly, en francais, and joined by the little letter 'e' produces eh-vee-donce or again, en francais, Evidentia.

    The 83 minute production is split into 5 distinct features with narrated introduction by Ms Guillem together with frequent footage of Sylvie cavorting around in a black tutu. The features are supplemented by archival video footage and selected musical accompaniment.


    "Movement is a factor of the fact that you are actually evaporating."

    6:54 of solo artistic improvisation by choreographer William Forsythe, shot in black and white film, performing a complex sequence of fast body movements somewhat reminiscent of a rare neurological condition. Accompanied by discordant solo violin rendition of music by Thom Willems.

    Blue Yellow

    "As the camera moves on from the doorway yellow gives way to blue, image gives way to memory and imagination."

    11:44 film of Sylvie Guillem viewed through a blue doorway into a yellow-walled dance studio performing, to the inexpert eye, what appears to be warm-up exercises but is actually a complex artistic piece, choreographed by Jonathan Burrows and accompanied by music composed by Kevin Volans played by The Duke Quartet.


    "In smoke I show the relationship with a man and a woman. ... The smoke which comes from their clothes and mouths is what they say to each other."

    A bit more like conventional ballet now, 20:43 colour video of Sylvie Guillem and Swedish dancer Niklas Ek in a pas de deux choreographed by brother Mats Ek. The piece, created for television,  depicts the evolution and events of the relationship between man and woman and is accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful score by Estonian composer Arvo Part.


    "My interest in movement (all sorts of movements) is probably my love for life, seeing stories, mine, other people's stories, understanding our relationship to the world."

    Fascinating 20:20 montage of mostly black & white film and video clips depicting various movements in their various manifestations. Includes archival footage of 1936 Olympiad, Buster Keaton, Mohammed Ali, wind and water, a cheetah and some very old archival footage of German expressionist dancer Mary Wigman. Interspersed with excerpts from Yo-Yo Ma's rendition of Bach's Suite No.4 for cello and even a snatch from Leonard Cohen: "Love is the only engine for our survival".

    In The Wind, There Is Someone

    Back to the abstract and unusual again in this 15:09 mostly colour video pastiche of two dancers set loose in the scenery store of the Paris Opera. Imagine a bad dream where you're fighting a huge drape and then a forest through video special effects of smear and pastelisation and you've got the general idea. Accompanied by more strings, this time in the shape of a Bach violin solo performed by Phuong-Mai Ngo. Not to be watched whilst suffering a migraine or with a hangover.


    And there you have it, life + dance = Evidentia. Voila!

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    With such a wide variety of source footage, the video transfer is unsurprisingly very variable. Even the recent footage, however, is not of a high quality, presumably to facilitate fitting the production onto a DVD-5. Naturally, the numerous video shortcomings can be ascribed to creating and enhancing a suitable artistic ambience for the feature.

    Produced primarily for television, the transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The video has mostly a soft focus rendition although there is occasional sharp relief of the dancers' faces. There is little by way of shadow but what there is is suitably detailed. There was no low level noise.

    Much of the footage is in black and white of varying contrast levels. Colours, when present, are subdued, in keeping with low light levels and artistic effect. There was no chroma noise.

    Pixelization is present throughout most of the features in the background drops. Macro-blocking is evident in the black and white sequences of 'In The Wind .. ' for instance at 72:52. There is minor aliasing throughout most of the feature but it was particularly distracting on the table top in 'Smoke'. There were infrequent film artefacts in recent film footage - a few white flecks in 'Solo' and 'Blue Yellow' - and understandable major scratches, dust and grain artefacts in the archival film footage in 'Movement'.

   There are no subtitles.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered and thus has no layer transition.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio is of sufficient quality to back the video content but is not going to win any awards for quality or innovation. There is a single audio track, mostly in English, with a little interspersed French, recorded in LPCM stereo.

    Sophie's commentary was clear and easily understandable and the quality of the music was acceptable. There was nostalgic, analogue valve-related hiss on some of  the old news footage. Oh, the good old days of 2LO!

    There was very little synchronised sound and video but what there was appeared to have no synch problems.

    As may be judged from the synopsis notes, musical content was sourced from many different origins but was well done and augmented the feature well.

    There was no surround, centre channel or subwoofer activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    1.33:1. Simple choice of play or chapter selection with a musical background courtesy of Mr Schostakovich and an animated dance figure.


    As befits a production of this nature, the booklet provides 5 pages of helpful explanatory and biographical notes and these are repeated in French, German, Spanish and Italian.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This multi-region PAL DVD seems to be the only worldwide release and I could find no evidence of an R1 copy.


    An unusual release, definitely belonging to the Arthouse category and of limited interest to the great unwashed. For students of dance, professional or amateur and those of an artistic bent the release contains much of fascination. Worth a rental, if even to marvel at the articulation and litheness of a professional ballerina - especially one with a nice husky French accent and mascara-enhanced big round eyes - oh yes, and did I mention the tutu?

    The video quality is pretty ordinary, and about on a par with a good quality video tape.

    The audio quality is satisfactory and does the job.

    The extra is confined to a helpful booklet - Warner obviously didn't want to spend much on this release but it's to their credit that it was released on DVD at all!

Ratings (out of 5)


© John Lancaster (read my bio)
Monday, November 11, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDEAD 8000 Pro, using RGB output
DisplayNEC MP3. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
Audio DecoderNaim AV2. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTheta Digital Intrepid
SpeakersML Aeon front. B&W LRC6 Centre. ML Script rear. REL Strata III SW.

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