directed by Jennifer Baichwal
Canada 2006

 

Manufactured Landscapes is Jennifer Baichwal's award-winning documentary film on renowned artist Edward Burtynsky, whose large-scale photographs portray the devastating impact of industrial expansion on the environment. Released theatrically nationwide by the BFI in May 2008, Manufactured Landscapes now comes to DVD with a host of extra features.

Burtynsky creates stunningly beautiful art from the materials and debris of civilisation - of 'manufactured landscapes' - quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines and dams, provoking questions about ethics and aesthetics without trying to easily answer them.

Jennifer Baichwal follows Burtynsky as he travels through China photographing the evidence and effects of its massive industrial revolution. Baichwal captures the artist at work amid some of the most surreal landscapes of the 21st century: the mountains of 'ewaste' in China where 50% of the world's computers end up to be recycled; the Yangtze Valley where whole towns are being demolished to make way for the Three Gorges Dam and the crowded skyline of Shanghai which has recently attracted millions of new inhabitants.

The film continues this approach of presenting complexity without trying to reach simplistic judgements or resolutions and in the process it tries to shift our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it.

Excerpt from the BFI website HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: 9 September 2006 (Toronto Film Festival)

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DVD Review: BFI - Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

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Zeitgeist Films in North America released this film in region 1 - NTSC:

                

Distribution

BFI

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:24:09 (4% PAL Speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.8 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Audio English - and some Chinese - (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles Although one might assume optional English subtitles are listed I could not get them to work for the English dialogue and they are only optional for the Mandarin language dialogue
Features Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Stills gallery with commentary by Edward Burtynsky
• Six Additional scenes with directors commentary (approx 36 minutes worth)
• Discussion with Edward Burtynsky and Jennifer Baichwal (19:02)
• Interview with cinematographer Peter Mettler (5:17)
• Jennifer Baichwal at BFI Southbank (May 2008) - 15:16
• 20-page Illustrated booklet with essays and biographies

DVD Release Date: September 22nd, 2008
Transparent Keepcase

Chapters 14

 

Comments:

Firstly, a fabulous documentary from Canada. Very well-worth seeing.

The image quality on this dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive PAL DVD from BFI seems competent and although some of the scenes were shot on 16mm film, the less detailed and grainy filled appearance does not adversely affect the impact of the documentary.  Edward Burtynsky’s locational photographs can look very nice - sharp, bright colors giving an overall smooth, fairly artifact-free digital look (see samples below). I never feel the need for exacting criticism of the image quality of such a documentary - this is very acceptable for viewing the film. I *think* it may be marginally superior to the NTSC version reviewed HERE.

The English 2.0 dialogue is clean and clear although I wasn't able to access the optional subtitles offered. The 'choice' only appears to be for the infrequent Mandarin dialogue which I'll assume most who watch this will require.

Quite a lot of extra features - a bit more than the Zeitgeist region 1 release - although some of the supplements are duplicated. We have an extensive stills gallery with commentary by Edward Burtynsky, six additional scenes with a director's commentary (approx. 36 minutes), a 20 minute featurette discussion with Edward Burtynsky and director Jennifer Baichwal, a 5 minute piece with cinematographer Peter Mettler and, from May of this year, Jennifer Baichwal gives a 15 minute talk at BFI Southbank. Finally we have a nicely bound 20-page Illustrated booklet with essays and biographies.

This is about the same price as the Region 1 release and offers a bit more but no matter which you choose I'd suggest indulging in this fascinating documentary.

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures


Subtitle sample (only available for non-English dialogue)

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Zeitgeist Films in North America released this film in region 1 - NTSC:

                

Distribution

BFI

Region 2 - PAL




 

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