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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/roeg.htm
Australia 1971

A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg. Along the way, they meet a young aborigine on his “walkabout,” a rite of passage in which adolescent boys are initiated into manhood by journeying into the wilderness alone. Walkabout is a thrilling adventure as well as a provocative rumination on time and civilization.

***

Wandering in the Australian outback, three young individuals survive because of an Aborigine’s abilities to extract food, water, and medical needs from the surrounding arid environment. Communication is the major issue, although more for the girl than for her younger brother. His young age enables him to disregard unnecessary etiquette and detail, and cut directly to the issue at hand. This communication bridge between the older pair—the native boy and the “city” girl—becomes their greatest adversity. As her mind wanders back to swimming naked together, it again reinforces Roeg’s subtle theme of the “hustle and bustle” of civilization versus idyllic pastoral innocence. Her appreciation of that time is purposely indecipherable. Does she regret the events that transpired? Pine for the communion with nature to return? Mark this as her maturity, her ascent to womanhood? Regardless, she’s recalling a mysterious and defining moment in her life. The whole film is no longer represented as a passing instance, but as a crucial yet tumultuous juncture in her life. The final moments of Walkabout define those days as something more than desperate survival-it brings the whole experience back to viewers and impacts them on a more personal level...

Posters

Theatrical Release: January, 1968 - Italy

Reviews      More Reviews      DVD Reviews

Comparison:

MC One (Germany) - Region 2- PAL vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Madman Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) MC One - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

MC One Classic

Region 2- PAL

Criterion Collection Spine #10

Region 0  - NTSC

Madman 
Region 0 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine # 10 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:36:12 (4%PAL Speedup) 1:40:21 1:40:12 (no PAL Speedup) 1:40:40.075
Video 1.74:1 Widescreen (cropped)
Average Bitrate: 7.16
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.77:1 Original Aspect Ratio 
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Widescreen (cropped)
Average Bitrate: 5.13
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 42,432,499,907 bytes

Feature Size: 27,326,939,136 bytes

Average Bitrate: 32.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

MC One

Bitrate:

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

Madman

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB: German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles German and none English and none None English and none
Features

Release Information:
Studio:
MC one Classics

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.74:1 


Edition Details:
•  Photo Gallery

•  Biographies-Crew

•  Trailers 

•  DVD Credits

DVD Release Date: June 5th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen - 1.70:1

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by Nicolas Roeg and Jenny Agutter 
• 
Original, unedited director’s cut 
• 
The theatrical trailers Long (4:08), Short (:37
• 
Subtitled for the deaf and hearing impaired 
• An essay by Roger Ebert (3 pages)

 

DVD Release Date: May 5th, 1998
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio:
Madman 

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.68:1 


Edition Details:
•  Audio Commentary-Nicolas Roeg (Director) and Jenny Agutter (Actor)

•  Theatrical Trailer-2 same as Criterion

•  Biographies-Crew

•  Roger Ebert Essay

•  Trailer-The Bank; Mullet

DVD Release Date: Dec 10th, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
j

Disc Size: 42,432,499,907 bytes

Feature Size: 27,326,939,136 bytes

Average Bitrate: 32.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary featuring Roeg and actress Jenny Agutter
• Video interviews with Agutter (20:00 in HD!) and actor Luc Roeg (20:51 in HD!)
• Gulpilil—One Red Blood (2002), an hour-long documentary on the life and career of actor David Gulpilil (56:10 in HD!)
• Theatrical trailer (4:12 in HD!)
• 28-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by author Paul Ryan

 

Blu-ray Release Date: May 18th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 17

 

Comments NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION - Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray May 2010 - The Criterion is advertised as "New, restored high-definition digital transfer, made from a newly minted 35 mm interpositive and approved by director Nicolas Roeg." While the improvement visually is less noticeable in some sequences - in others it is quite dramatic. The ratio is 1.78:1 and the 1080P shows more information in the frame than any of the DVDs. While the, almost, 40-year old film can't compete with the image quality of modern production - I feel confident that it is expressing the best that this masterpiece will ever look for home theater consumption. There are many parts that show depth with the textures of the arid and rocky landscape environment it was filmed. The contours of the sand look marvelous in this HD transfer. Colors (the sky) appear far more true and un-manipulated in the new Criterion Blu-ray. Since the original Criterion DVD was not even 16X9 enhanced this new transfer actually represents a vast superiority over the 12-year old digital presentation. Grain is not overly apparent but this disc gives a very positive presentation. Some individuals probably had higher expectations for the image but this appears to be as faithful as we are likely to get with this dual-layered transfer and its supporting high bitrate. I doubt that it can look any better.

Criterion stay true-to-form in keeping the original single channel audio, but it is given a lossless transfer in a linear PCM track at 1152 Kbps. Certain outdoor sounds definitely sound tighter and more crisp more closely resembling more robust tracks with demonstrative depth. This is the best I've ever heard Walkabout sound. As usual, there are expertly rendered, optional, English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it is being Region 'A'-locked.

I was looking forward to the new supplements on the disc. Retained from the original Criterion is the Roeg / Agutter commentary. Still enlightening with a revisit after many years past. We get some new digital extras - all in HD. There are 20-minute separate interviews with the lovely Agutter and actor Luc Roeg as they both discuss the director and the making of the film.  Gulpilil—One Red Blood is an hour-long documentary from 2002 on the life and career of actor David Gulpilil. I found this less engaging. We also get a theatrical trailer for a lengthy 4-minutes and a 28-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by author Paul Ryan and filled with impressive photos.

An easy recommendation - a favorite film looking and sounding better than ever before with over 1.5 hour's worth of new supplements. I've rekindled my crush on Jenny Agutter (it re-surfaced briefly in Logan's Run - but it's definitely back now). I'll take two copies of this Blu-ray (in case anything happens to one of them). Our highest recommendation and a probable vote-getter in the Year End Poll.    

*****

ADDITION - MC One Classics (16X9) June 2005 - Being one of my favorite films I have anxiously awaited an anamorphic DVD edition. I had never heard of MC One and did not have high expectations, but I very happy. Frankly, I think the MC One edition may have the most accurate colors of the 3 releases. The Criterion has some some contrast manipulation and very slight edge enhancement is noticeable - this shows in the form of slightly brighter (almost saturated) picture. Although the Criterion initially appears sharper - I don't think it has that much of an edge over the MC One. For colors the pool and desert scenes (see below) give the best indication of the differences of the three editions - each gaining in the color richness as your eyes wander down OR colors seem more faded as your eyes rise. It's very hard to know what colors are most akin to the theatrical presentation. Riding the fence we will state that the Criterion may be better for tube viewers and the MC One superior for widescreen or any projection systems. I'll do so more research but I still lean towards the MC One edition for the best color palette.

The MC One is a little cropped on the left and bottom edges, but is otherwise the correct ratio. It is also a very clean print. As we come up with more information I will post it here.

*****

ON THE MADMAN: Ohhh boy I'm mad. Firstly, Michael D's DVD info Website is one of the better DVD Review websites in the world. They are extremely thorough and detailed and have over 4000's DVD reviews listed on their website. BUT reviewer Ian Morris has totally misinformed anyone who read this paragraph on his Review (located HERE). He states:


"Walkabout has been available for some time in Region 1 on a DVD from The Criterion Collection. Promoted as a new digital transfer created from a 35mm interpositive, there was always something "not quite right" to me about the transfer. Apart from being just a little grainy at times, as well as being somewhat shimmery, this new Madman Region 4 release emphasises the reason for my qualms about The Criterion Collection release: the Region 1 release has a slightly muted colour palette. The Region 4 release also seems to be a lot cleaner and since it seems to boast an almost identical extras package, is the preferable version in every way."


This review cost me $20. You can plainly see that his comments in no way reflect the actual truth. What has really happened here is the Madman release has used the NTSC transfer instead of telecine-ing their own from the original PAL source. The times are the same - no PAL speedup compared to the NTSC. Hence we see blurred "ghosting" in motion sequences and other artifact inconsistencies associated with this lazy production quick-step. The Madman single-sided Region 4 (zero) is fraught with error. It is hazy. It is overly red (see skin tones), saturated and it is a little cropped on the vertical sides. Shameful. The Extras are duplicates making me again suspect that Madman bought (or bootlegged) the entire package from Criterion for PAL release. Even the chapter titles are the same. It looks to be going "out of print" anyway in Region 1. It might suggest that this will not be re-issued by Criterion in anamorphic, which is a shame because I would love to see this improved. Although saying that the Criterion DVD is quite good with accurate flesh tones, rich colors and tight sharpness. Buy the Criterion... and soon.

- Gary W. Tooze

 



Menus

(MC One Classics - Region 2- PAL)

 

 


(
Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Madman - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MC One - Region 2- PAL TOP

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 



 

1) MC One - Region 2- PAL TOP

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MC One - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MC One - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MC One - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MC One - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MC One - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MC One - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MC One - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion (original) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Madman - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

MC One Classic

Region 2- PAL

Criterion Collection Spine #10

Region 0  - NTSC

Madman 
Region 0 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine # 10 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



 

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Gary Tooze