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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Samson and Delilah [Blu-ray]

 

(Warwick Thornton, 2009)

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: CAAMA Productions

Video: Trinity Films

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:40:44.038

Disc Size: 23,755,535,727 bytes

Feature Size: 18,861,210,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 21st, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3360 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3360 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768
kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English for Aboriginal dialogue, none

 

Extras:

• Q + A with Warwick Thornton (11:17)
Interviews with Warwick Thornton, Kath Shelper, Marissa Gibson, and Rowan McNamara (20:42 in total)
Behind the Scenes (19:41)
• Four Short Films by Director Warwick Thornton (Greenbush, Payback, Nana and Mimi - (56:48)
UK Theatrical trailer (2:09)
Survival International trailer (1:36)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Samson and Delilah's world is small--an isolated community in the Central Australian desert. When tragedy strikes they turn their backs on home and embark on a journey of survival. Lost, unwanted and alone they discover that life isn't always fair, but love never judges. A winner of numerous international awards, Samson and Delilah marks the emergence of a major new talent in writer/ director Warwick Thornton. Offering a rare insight into the issues confronting the youth of a lost generation of Aborigines, it has already been hailed by critics as the one of the greatest films ever to come out of Australia.

 

 

The Film:

Warwick Thornton’s debut feature, Samson And Delilah, has ‘important’ written all over it. It’s a tag that almost put me off completely. The Australian press temporarily disappeared into spasms of ecstasy on its release, proclaiming the movie to be one of the best and most important films the country has ever made. Indeed, the film’s depiction of a shunned, perhaps forgotten, Aborigine culture is unparalleled.

Thankfully, the film is more than that. It’s also a gorgeous love story between the two eponymous characters. Delilah (Marissa Gibson) lives with her artistic, but frail, grandmother (Mitjili Gibson) in a simple house somewhere in the deserts of central Australia. Neighbourhood hot-head Samson (Rowan McNamara) has a thing for Delilah, but can’t express how he feels in words. Instead, he throws rock at her. They both want to escape, and frequently retreat in their own ways - Samson sniffs petrol, while Delilah escapes to music with lyrics she doesn’t understand.

Excerpt from James Benefield at Eye For Film located HERE

 


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

While Samson and Delilah reaches Blu-ray on a pragmatic 1.78:1 single-layered transfer - the 1080P rendering nonetheless exports the film's extensive beauty. Colors are vibrant and bright and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. A lot of the film has a hand-held, jittery, camera but when things become more stable the detail has impressive moments. The film has some exquisite visuals and cinematography is a definite strong point. Moods overflow from the image heavy sequences. This Trinity Films Blu-ray has minimal noise and no major flaws and probably looks like the film Samson and Delilah did in its Festival run - advancing handily beyond SD-DVD in several key areas - notably detail, contrast and colors.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

It's a competent DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3360 kbps. Background music is not utilized excepting a couple of scenes but there is some 'live' music (band performing and radios playing) - intentional feedback is piercing in one scene. The dialogue sparse but clear and audible. The film's aura is best supported in the silent moments. There is rare separation. Subtitles exist for the brief Aboriginal dialogue. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

There are quite a number of extra features including a 10-minute Q + A with director/writer Warwick Thornton, 20-minutes worth of interviews with Warwick Thornton, Kath Shelper, Marissa Gibson, and Rowan McNamara, some Behind the Scenes material and most notably Four Short Films by Director Warwick Thornton (Greenbush, Payback, Nana and Mimi) running just under an hour in total. There is a UK Theatrical trailer and a Survival International trailer. So, no commentary but quite a lot of video supplements to indulge in and many may find something new and intriguing with the director's short works that are offered.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Through many scenes of Samson and Delilah I thought of the work of both Gus Van Sant and Agnes Varda (now there's an odd pairing). The powerful verité-style cinematography approaches chiaroscuro levels. It is a dour, sobering and riveting piece of art - beautifully realized and highly impacting. We don't see enough of this type of cinema - certainly not at this level of... commitment. The Blu-ray A/V may be modest but it accentuates the film's intensity on multiple planes. This work captures a lot of what I love about the film medium and the 1080P transfer is the best way to appreciate the experience. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

June 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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