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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)
Disc Size: 22,499,364,314 bytes
Feature Size: 17,632,542,720 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.14 Mbps
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.
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
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
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.
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).
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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze