(aka 'Beed-e majnoon' The Willow Tree' or 'Baz ghasht' or 'Weeping Willow')
The Iranian director Majid
Majidi’s sad, soulful film “The Willow Tree” is his second movie to
explore blindness and sight on multiple levels. Its heartbreaking 1999
forerunner, “The Color of Paradise,” focused on the desperately lonely
but strangely happy existence of Mohammad, a blind 8-year-old whose widowed
father reluctantly abandons him to the care of a rural carpenter, then vanishes.
“The Willow Tree” examines the traumatic shocks experienced by a blind
professor of literature whose eyesight is miraculously restored.
Theatrical Release: September 12th, 2005 - Toronto Film Festival
DVD Review: New Yorker Video - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||New Yorker Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||Farsi (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Hmmmm... it appears as though NY'er fell off the wagon - so to speak. This single-layered bare-bones DVD edition of Majidi's 2005 film is fraught with transfer weakness. It is non-anamorphic - I believe the film was shot in 1.85, but this letterboxed image is in-and-around the 1.61 ratio. It is interlaced (see 'combing' example below) and has, in one early scene (in the hospital), burnt in Farsi subtitles. ?!!? On the positive, detail is not fatal for CRT viewing, but to charge $25+ for this is tantamount to consumer disrespect. I believe this does have the distinction of being the only English-friendly release available, but I suspect a tech-savvy individual could make a similar edition with a stable VHS and a home computer.
The English subtitles are removable and the Farsi audio is of similar quality to the image. There are no extras save four NY'er advert/trailers and a four page liner notes flyer.
I like the two Majidi films that I have seen - The Colour of Paradise and The Children of Heaven - this one equally well but this presentation leaves a lot to be desired. In fairness, I expect NY'er used the best source they could for this and I feel that much the richer for just having seen it, but the current price should be adjusted if they want to maintain some credibility with fans of world cinema. This DVD quality is as bad as I have seen from them in years but DVD-o-philes keen on Iranian cinema may wish to indulge solely on the basis of the film itself - assuming you still have a tube TV to view it on as on more advanced equipment the transfer flaws become quite glaring.