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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Rolf de Heer
Australia / France 1991

 

Late jazz great Miles Davis made his only acting appearance in this film about a jazz trumpeter who dares to realize his musical dreams in the Australian outback. Dingo stars Colin Friels as John "Dingo" Anderson, a part-time musician and dingo trapper living in the bush who, after seeing his hero, legendary trumpeter Billy Cross (Miles Davis) on tour, longs to travel to Paris and play with the finest American jazz musicians. Frustrated by playing half-rate music in dusty dancehalls, John's dream is compromised by his love for his new family. Dingo must now decide whether he to make the supreme sacrifice for his music. Featuring a stunning, award-winning Miles Davis soundtrack (one of Davis' last recordings before his death), Dingo is directors Rolf de Heer's (Bad Boy Bubby, The Tracker) cinematic ode to the power of music.

***

Young John Anderson is captivated by jazz musician, Billy Cross when he performs on the remote airstrip of his Western Australian outback hometown after his plane is diverted. Years later, now a family man and making a meager living tracking dingoes and playing trumpet in a local band, John still dreams of joining Billy on trumpet and makes a pilgrimage to Paris.

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 1991 (Australian Film Institute)

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Review: Umbrella - Region FREE - Blu-ray

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Distribution Umbrella - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:49:52.794         
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,996,236,877 bytes

Feature: 33,643,333,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3609 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3609 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1999 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1999 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None / English (yellow) burned-in for brief French dialogue
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Umbrella

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,996,236,877 bytes

Feature: 33,643,333,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Interview featurettes with: Director Rolf de Heer and lead actress Helen Buday (33:48)
Helen Buday in Conversation with Paul Harris (15:17)
Rushes Reel: The Desert Runway with audio commentary by Rolf de Heer (17:55)
Theatrical Trailers: Dingo The Tracker Bad Boy Bubby (6:17)


Blu-ray Release Date:
January 15th, 2021
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Umbrella Blu-ray (March 2021): Umbrella Entertainment have transferred Rolf de Heer's Dingo to Blu-ray. as spine #2 of their 'Sunburnt Screens' marquee (the first was The Last Wave) The 1080P image looks consistent. There is a film-like thickness with strong detail in close-ups, great earthy browns and rich primaries (see Davis' yellow jacket.) 

NOTE: We have added 43 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Umbrella offer the option of a robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track of a lossless stereo track (both 24-bit) in the original English language. The film is heavily about the music and it sounds amazing with a score by iconic Michel Legrand (Cleo From 5 to 7, America As Seen By A Frenchman, Castle Keep, La Piscine, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort, A Woman is a Woman, Ice Station Zebra) and Miles Davis (Elevator to the Gallows, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One) adding a full layer of depth and subtleties to the performed music. There is separation in the surround but even the stereo is wonderful to behold. Umbrella offer optional English subtitles, plus there are burned-in yellow subtitles for the brief French, on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Umbrella Blu-ray offers some good supplements. There is a 2020 34-minute interview with director Director Rolf de Heer where he discusses Sammy Davis Jr.'s possible involvement (he passed away during negotiation), how cooperative Miles Davis was, working with composer Michel Legrand, his aversion to French co-productions and much more - he is forthright and it's interesting. There is also "Helen Buday in Conversation with Paul Harris" for 1/4 hour has the actor talking about her recollection of the production, French DoP Denis Lenoir and plenty more. It was conducted via video conferencing in July 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Quality is, predictably, not premium. There is also a Rushes Reel: The Desert Runway with audio commentary by Rolf de Heer and it centers on much of the technical aspects of shooting. It runs 18-minutes. There are also theatrical trailers for Dingo, The Tracker and Bad Boy Bubby.

Rolf de Heer's Dingo is an exceptional film even beyond he amazing jazz music - that, alone, is reason enough to indulge. There are strong themes of maturity, following dreams and believing in yourself. ANY jazz fan should seek this out but overall this is still an excellent film experience in its own right. The Region FREE Umbrella Blu-ray has uncovered this gem for everyone to embrace with impressive audio and 1080P image. There are revealing extras and we give this a very strong recommendation.

Gary Tooze

 


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