S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry [Blu-ray]
(Alison Klayman, 2012)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Expressions United Media
Video: Artificial Eye
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 26,635,728,594 bytes
Feature Size: 20,042,606,592 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.32 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 8th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1658 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1658 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
•Interview with director Alison Klayman (21:23)
• Trailer (2:28)
Description: Over three years celebrated documentary filmmaker Alison Klayman followed leading contemporary artist Ai Weiwei as he prepared for exhibitions, spent time with his family and came to blows with the Chinese government. What resulted would create the documentary event of the year.
Ai Weiwei is known for many things; €great architecture, subversive in-your-face art, and political activism. He has also called for greater transparency on the part of the Chinese state. Director Alison Klayman chronicles the complexities of Ai's life for three years, beginning with his rise to public prominence via blog and Twitter after he questioned the deaths of more than 5,000 students in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The record continues through his widely publicized arrest in Beijing in April of 2011. As Ai prepares various works of art for major international exhibitions, his activism heats up, and his run-ins with China's authorities become more and more frequent. In this unprecedented look at Ai and those close to him, Klayman's camera captures his forthrightness and unequivocal stance. She gives a larger picture of the artist as an individual, a symbol of China's oppression, and a powerful voice against a country that still denies its citizens many basic freedoms.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Alison Klayman’s film offers a lively and rounded view of Ai. She gained
impressive access to him during 2010 and was able to draw on his
archives and speak to his friends and followers, many of them artists
themselves. There are talking-head interviews and biographical accounts
of the influence of his father, the poet and political prisoner Ai Qing,
as well as a section on the decade Ai spent in New York in the 1980s.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
This documentary was shot in HD at 1080i and transferred to 1080P Blu-ray without conversion (to, say, 35mm) so the image has combing. But it exports all the attributes of HDV - very sharp and crisp in the 1.78:1 frame. Colors are brighter and truer than SD could relate and contrast seems handled as well as the production format can. There is no excessive gloss. The 1080P supports the documentary in a, frequently, striking image quality. It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and, aside from the combing - a function of the production, there are really no flaws with the rendering.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The Artificial Eye offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1658 kbps but, being a documentary, the film has little in the way of separation. There is also a similar linear PCM stereo track at 1536 kbps. Narration and interviews are clean and audible without error. There is a smattering of original music by Ilan Isakov that sounds very pleasing in lossless. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Extras include a 20-minute interview with director Alison Klayman as she discusses reasons why she made the film - shot in HD. There is also a trailer.
October 7th, 2012
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 5000 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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