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DINGO: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
When a special freight express plane makes a pit stop at Poona Flat in the Western Australian outback in 1969, the handful of special passengers emerge for an impromptu performance. It's famed trumpet player Billy Cross (Miles Davis) and his jazz band. In the crowd is schoolboy John Anderson (Daniel Scott), who is smitten with the music. Billy invites the youngster to look him up if he ever goes to Paris. Years later, John 'Dingo' Anderson (Colin Friels) is a dingo trapper and part time trumpeter in a dancehall band; he's been sending letters to Billy Cross via Billy's agents and playing along with Billy Cross records. And he's been saving 'Paris money' ever since that tarmac concert. But now he has a young family with attendant responsibilities. Still, the dream of Paris with Billy Cross haunts and taunts him.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
In Dingo, Miles Davis features one of the last recordings before his death, and a minimalist performance as legendary trumpeter Billy Cross; much of Billy is indeed Miles. For his fans, the film is a milestone (pardon the pun) as it marks the end of his musical career, but a fitting one since his generosity toward the young Aussie trumpeter, John 'Dingo (Colin Friels) is a nice tribute to the great jazz man.

The screenplay tracks the hopeless dream of a young outback boy, and while it take a few liberties (Why did a freight plane carry the Billy Cross band? Why does it land in Poona Flat? Why does young Johnny hear Billy's trumpet playing even before the plane lands?) the core of the story is strong enough and engaging enough to keep us involved.

The story evolves with the tension maintained, thanks to Rolf de Heer's taut direction and Colin Friels' fine performance as a man with two sides to his personality: the down to earth dingo trapper and the soulful jazz trumpeter. Helen Buday offers strong support as his young wife, Jane, and Joe Petruzzi makes a likeable old friend, despite being in love with Jane. Also outstanding is the stylish Bernadette Lafont as Billy's wife Angie.

The jazz is great (winning Best Original Music at the 1991 AFI Awards) and the ending is both credible and satisfying.

Published November 1, 2007

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

DINGO: DVD (PG)
(Aust/France, 1991)

CAST: Miles Davis, Colin Friels, Helen Buday, Jane Anderson, Joe Petruzzi, Brigitte Catillon, Bernard Fresson, Bernadette Lafont, Steven Shaw, Helen Doig

PRODUCER: Rolf de Heer, Georgio Draskovic, Marie-Pascale Osterrieth, Marc Rosenberg

DIRECTOR: Rolf de Heer

SCRIPT: Marc Rosenberger

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Denis Lenoir

EDITOR: Suresh Ayyar

MUSIC: Michel Legrand, Miles Davis

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Judith Russell

RUNNING TIME: 119 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1, DD 2.0

SPECIAL FEATURES: Image gallery

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella

DVD RELEASE: July 15, 2005







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