The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0802 Wednesday, 27 April 2005
Date: Tuesday, 26 Apr 2005 20:40:53 -0400
Subject: Info on Radford M of V DVD
The DVD (releasing May 10)
William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice appears in an attractive
anamorphic widescreen transfer, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. It's
presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, with a
clean print. Some edge enhancement is present, but overall the
appearance is lovely. Colors are rich and highly saturated, with skin
tones looking natural and all the scenes exhibiting nice subtleties of
shading and detail.
The soundtrack is a respectable Dolby 5.1 track, which provides a clean
and attractive-sounding listening experience. The surround sound isn't
particularly aggressive, but it's used on occasion to give a sense of
immersion. Dialogue is clean and crisp, and for the most part is always
easy to understand. I did note at times that the background music was a
bit too strong in relation to the actors' voices, which is not a great
move in a film that's using original Shakespearean dialogue, which the
audience will really have to pay attention to.
French subtitles are included, but I was disappointed to see that there
are no English subtitles, which would have been helpful to viewers who
aren't familiar with the Shakespearean style.
The main special feature is a full-length audio commentary from director
Michael Radford and actor Lynn Collins. It's a reasonably good track,
with some interesting material presented, and a steady flow of
commentary for the most part.
A 29-minute documentary is also included, called " The Merchant of
Venice: Shakespeare Through the Lens." Though it does have some clips
from the film (more than I'd like), it incorporates some interesting
interview segments with director and cast, and will be worth watching
for those who enjoyed the film.
Trailers for The Merchant of Venice, Being Julia, In My Country, House
of Flying Daggers, Cirque du Soleil: Solstrom, and Creature Comforts are
also included, as is a weblink to a teacher's guide.
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