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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Dogora aka Dogora - Ouvrons les yeux [Blu-ray]


(Patrice Leconte, 2004)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Epithète Films

Video: Severin Films



Region: A (B+ C untested)

Runtime: 1:17:59.257

Disc Size: 22,499,364,314 bytes

Feature Size: 17,632,542,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.14 Mbps

Chapters: 21

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 18th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Undetermined 4020 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4020 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Undetermined 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / DN -4dB






• Featurette: Leconte on Leconte Part 3 (38:53 in HD!)

• Trailer (1:47 in HD!)





Description: DOGORA was born of two vying forces that created an emotional explosion in Oscar® nominated writer/director Patrice Leconte (THE HAIRDRESSER'S HUSBAND): A musical urge written in an imaginary language, "The Dogorian" and a visual urge, inspired by images, faces, landscapes magnified with the vital force of Cambodia. The marriage of these two emotions, delivers a a film without a narrative, actors or plot. DOGORA follows in the footsteps of the hugely-popular, visually-splendid BARAKA and is now re-mastered in stunning High Definition and presented on Blu-ray for the first time ever in North America.



The Film:

In a career that has taken him from the heights of French cinema to the honors of the Academy Awards®, director Patrice Leconte has always followed his own remarkable muse. And for his most personal film yet, Leconte now travels to Cambodia to create a sound and image symphony of a land and its people. From the city streets to rural villages, from factories to farmlands and beyond, discover the men, women and children of this ever-surprising Southeast Asia nation at work, play and peace, all moving at the speed of life. It’s an extraordinary sensory journey – featuring a stunning score in 5.1 DTS Surround Sound – from the celebrated filmmaker The New York Times calls “an adventurer who operates outside the boundaries…Mr. Leconte believes in the power of emotion to rise above the petty limitations of reality.”

Excerpt from the Severin website located HERE


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

Perhaps more credit should go to the cinematography of Dogora than to the transfer for any exceptional visual experiences found while viewing the 1080P presentation. It's a modest rendering to Blu-ray but still supports some exquisite moments touring the less travelled areas of Cambodia. Colors and detail are adept.  Strangely the Severin website, TF1 French DVD (sample below) and IMDb claim the aspect ratio of this film to be 2.35:1 - but you can plainly see this Blu-ray is 1.78. Frankly, the full HD ratio never looks wrong in composition to me - but I'll defer to the experts. The image quality has strength but I suspect a dual-layered transfer with a higher bitrate could escalate the appearance to look notably superior.









TF1 DVD at 2.35:1










Audio :

The audio has some impressive moments in a lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a strong 4020 kbps. I believe we are listening to composer Etienne Perruchon's Dogora score with a substantial child choir which we see in clouded compositions at the beginning and end of the film. In this area the Blu-ray shines brightly. The film is dialogue-less and so there is no need for subtitles. I haven't verified but believe this is region 'A'-locked.



Extras :

What we get beyond the 1:47 HD trailer is the featurette entitled Leconte on Leconte Part 3 directed by David Gregory (in French with burned in yellow subtitles). It runs for almost 40-minutes and has some revealing moments. Leconte shows himself a smart cookie and discuss the marriage of music and images. He praises the crew on Dogora and talks of his future career plans (to only make 2 more feature films). I actually wouldn't have minded this being longer (or seeing part 1 + 2).



I enjoyed viewing Dogora but I don't know that it amounts to much more than a curiosity. I've read wildly divergent reaction from elation to disgust - but I probably lie somewhere in between. Since it seems without a definitive point I'm unsure that simply allowing the visuals that wash over you are enough of a narrative impact. There are so many positives for people to see this though that I cannot easily dismiss it. Learning more about this world we inhabit is more vital than ever before and so I applaud the attempt but suggest it doesn't succeed as an ideal concept. The Blu-ray does a decent, if not stellar, job and, aspect ratio conundrum aside, will probably be the best way to see Dogora - so, those keen enough are encouraged to indulge. 

Gary Tooze

May 17th, 2010




About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze








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