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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Because of You" )

 

directed by Andrew J. Muscato
USA 2013

 

As much a filmed account of the "shot heard 'round the world" as it is a "making-of" for infamous Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca's biography "A Moment in Time" as told by prolific ghost writer David Ritz, BRANCA'S PITCH attempts to convey the way in which the distinctive voices of these two storytellers (or mythmakers) mesh into one (and to what extend one may have overtaken the other). Of course, there's another voice here: that of director Andrew J. Muscato - whose BALLPLAYER: PELOTERO is also due out from Strand Releasing - who unsubtle, surreal cutaways during the depiction of the titular event may be less symbolic of the mindset of the protagonist than that of the national psyche during this event (particularly of those total strangers who were abusive to Branca and his family in the aftermath). It is appropriate that this major even is covered only forty-odd minutes into the film, because Branca's life went on after it (colored as it was by the event in many ways). The revelations that the Giants may have cheated by stealing signs - dropped by Branca himself but not investigated until years later by sports writer Josh Prager (also interviewed here) and advanced in his book "The Echoing Green" reveals Branca's own anger and sense of injustice as he tried to play the good sport after his initial post-game meltdown (photographs of Branca and Thompson being friendly as well as a humorous Ed Sullivan show appearance from which the documentary derives is original title BECAUSE OF YOU). Prager himself - also interviewed here - does dispel some other aspects of the myth of Branca being brought down by the single event (his stats were not particularly stellar at the time), and his own book may be more balanced in telling the story of Branca and Thompson; but Ritz believes that everyone is entitled to their own myth, and "A Moment in Time" is Branca's story while BRANCA'S PITCH offers up some interesting context (if not balance).

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 1 October 2013 (USA)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:28:18
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.31 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:27)
• Trailers for 'Ballplayer: Pelotero', 'Cameraman', 'The Green Wave', and 'Zaytoun'

DVD Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 10

 

Comments

The variety of sources including old kinescope, archival monochrome and color film sources, broadcast analog and digital video, a smattering of DV camcorder and webcam of course means variable quality, but Strand Releasing's single-layer, progressive, anamorphic encode can hardly be faulted (and the modern black-and-white interview footage looks gorgeous). A Dolby Digital 2.0 surround track is usually more than needed for a talking head documentary, but this one has a more layered soundtrack with music cues and atmospheric sound effects in addition to the dialogue.

The only extras are the film's trailer and trailers for other forthcoming Strand Releasing titles.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

 



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