Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Life of Verdi|
Actors: Ronald Pickup, Carla Fracci, Giampiero Albertini, Omero Antonutti, Lino Capolicchio
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
"Sumptuously costumed and splendidly staged, this elaborate cinematic biography blends documentary with drama to tell the story of a great artistic genius who became the musical voice of a nation."* Booklist. Filmed on loc... more »
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A superb TV series. Unacceptable DVD setup . PIRATED work?
Bertrand Renaud | 02/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some years ago, I had watched the original TV series that is superb, and left me with vivid memories. This is one of the very best biographies of a great artist that I ever watched on TV. A landmark. Definitely 5-star. I have great admiration and respect for the quality and authenticity of all the works of director Renato Castellani. So I was really happy to find that I could buy this biography of Verdi in DVD's. However, this company KULTUR and its staff deserve to be taken to the woodshed -- maybe to court?From a user point of view, there are several problems: (1) the quality of the recording is poor, video tracking pops-up from time to time. Images of large scale views such at the stage in La Scala are not sharp. It is readily apparent that this DVD series has not been made from the original tapes from some copy: this is conspicuous at the start of Episode 2 where the introducer's blue dress "bleeds" startingly on the screen. [I have not yet found the time to watch the last three episodes. Maybe there are surprises there too. I hope not.] (2) Switching from one episod to another is a true hassle because the programing is not set up properly. The episodes do not load on their own and start only after repeated clicks. Left unattended, the opening trailers at the start of each episode keep cycling endlessly. (3) There is also no background information about the series on paper: not on the cover box, not in a simple paper flyer inside the CD containers. The cover box only carries a quote from a review in a source named as "Booklist". The only basic information on how the series were made is embedded in the original PBS introductions to each episode. Disappointedly, but not objectionable there no additional information inside the CDs in the form of video interviews of the director or actors, nor segments deleted from the original movie, which a very common value- added item in DVD movies, particularly expected in a 4-DVD series.The strength and beauty of the original work is such that once the action gets started we are immediatly absorbed in Verdi's life and music. But not thanks to Kultur.Commercially, could it be that Amazon.com is selling a pirated product? I am suspicious, but I am not a professional in those matters. Why suspicious? because, I was looking for the release date of the original TV series, but I could not find it anywhere. To my astonishment there is no reference to the date of the movie nor any listing of main actors on the box, or inside. On closer scrutiny, I then noticed also that there is not copyright statement on the cover box. I distincly recall also that such statements -- and the date of production again --are absent from the end trailers of credits at the end of every individual episode I have watched so far. Is this KULTUR outfit legitimate? or were these DVDs made in some US or Asian garage?Conclusion: a superb biography of one of the greatest opera composers of all times that is worth being part of a permanent DVD collection. But, a flawed and suspicious DVD transfer by KULTUR."
5 stars for content, *1* star for dvd quality
none | Goleta, CA United States | 01/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The greatness of Verdi is detailed meticulously in this brilliant miniseries/documentary. If you're a Verdi fan, this is definitely a must see. However, the DVD transfer is horrible. It would seem like that the source of the transfer is an old VHS tape. There are sections where the entire screen and audio are chewed up. This problem occurs frequently in episodes 3-6. Would it have killed Kultur to remaster the source?"
Fine accomplishment but poor transfer
W. Russell | Springfield, VA USA | 01/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On all counts the original presentation of "Life of Verdi" was a well-conceived and well-executed treat on all counts. What fails us now is Kultur's amateurish transfer. First of all, viewers can't skip past Robert Peter's introductions (which could easily have been omitted but at least she, unlike Burt Lancaster on PBS, could pronounce "Verdi"). Second, the transfer is from a flawed video tape. Tracking problems occur occasionally which they wouldn't had Kultur bothered to go back to the originals. How cheap!! Now watch them remaster it and us who have it forced to decide whether to get a whole new set of something that should have been done RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!!"
Loved the story, DVD really stank though!
Little Dorrit | WA state | 12/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well to the reviewer of this film that said he wanted the DVD of it, I can only say I hope yours is better than the one we got! All four discs in the new factory sealed copy we received have some major problems, they'll play fine for a bit and then all sorts of lines, fuzziness and sometimes even pauses occur and are most distracting.As to the film itself, we loved it! It is an interesting form of docudrama and we learned much watching it, not just about Verdi, but the changing world he lived in and his part in it. The sets are gorgeous and long as this version is, it didn't drag for us, we couldn't wait to get to the next installment to see what happened next.I didn't find the narrator annoying, just the awful quality of the dvd! If I can find it in video format I may just buy it."