GREATEST MOVIE SITE
I have just discovered your site. Fantastic and all Australian; you guys and girls
have done a brilliant job. I especially like the in depth reviews from a variety of
critics, and the ease in which I can get around the site. Very well done, and keep up the
Ed: Thanks. (We publish these congratulatory letters from time to time
in a fit of net-vanity; please excuse. . . )
EARTH ON CD
I am trying to find out about the availability of the soundtrack to Deepa Mehta's
film, Earth. (1999/2000?) Any suggestions?.....Thanking you,
Ed replies: Presently, there does not appear to be an Australian distributor for
this soundtrack. I would suggest trying the World and Indian music stores in your area. As
you obviously enjoyed the music from the film, you may also want to try to get your hands
on a CD by the composer, AR Rahman. His music is distributed by Sony – specifically
Coumbia Records. Good luck!
DVD WIDESCREEN - EXPLAINED
I read in an article recently that less than 1% of Australian homes have wide
screen (or 16:9 ratio) screens. Why is it that I cannot seem to hire or buy DVDs in other
than wide screen formats and consequently have to put up with losing a third of the
Michael Kavanagh, Melbourne
Ed: We asked the specialists at DVD usergroup.com.au to answer this for the
benefit of Michael and others who would like to know. Thanks to Cassie Cale for the
As you have correctly pointed out nearly all DVDs released are in Widescreen
version and there are not many discs that are produced that have both Pan & Scan and
Widescreen versions on them. The reasoning for
this is that to have 2 separate versions of the movie on a disc takes up a large amount of
space and means that there are less of the Special Features included, which is what the
majority of DVD users are interested in.
You mentioned that you are losing 1/3 of the screen when you are watching the Widescreen
versions, however the Widescreen version is actually giving you the full viewing
experience that was intended for the cinema release. Widescreen means you are seeing the
movie exactly as the Director of the movie intended it to be seen.
When we see movies in a Pan & Scan version, we are actually losing up to 1/3 of the
movie as it is cut off to fit to our screens.
Widescreen is the preferred format for DVDs and you will find that DVDs will continue to
be released in this version.
We have provided you with a link to a very good article on another website which explains
very well the difference between Widescreen and Pan & Scan and how they appear on your
TV. The Link is:
However, there is another small thing which can help with regards to watching a Widescreen
or Anamorphic Widescreen movie on your TV, to try and create a Pan and Scan effect. All
DVD Players have a SET UP
function. Under VIDEO or PLAYBACK there should be 3 options: 4:3 PAN & SCAN, 4:3
LETTERBOX & 16:9.
With this you can 'cheat' a little. For example if you were watching a movie with an
aspect ratio of 1:85:1, you could select the 16:9 setting on the DVD player and this would
show the movie now filling the whole screen of your normal TV. It hasn't panned and
scanned the picture, it has used the anamorphic widescreen image (provided that there is
When you look at the screen it is full but the image looks stretched vertically.
This can ONLY be done with a film that is recorded in ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (or 16:9
enhanced). With this function you can cheat and create a pan & scan effect, but the
downside is that the image looks
weird and on a 2:35:1 film you can only reduce the size of the letterboxing, not get rid
of it completely!
We hope this is of some help and not too confusing for you!!
JANUARY 11, 2001
DANCER IN THE DARK
Obviously neither of your reviewers get this film at all. Yes, the camera work is
slightly nauseating and the song interludes are, at first, distracting. But the impact
this film had on myself and my fellow cinema goers was astounding. The musical numbers are
ironic given the tragedy of the story, and become a welcome relief during some of the
more harrowing moments. Bjork is brilliant. She takes a while to warm up, but by the end
of the film she must stand as a favourite for an Oscar. I give it 9 out of 10.
Where and when can I see Himalaya in Tasmania, Australia?
Sandie Don, Dendy Films replies: Himalaya opens in Tasmania at the
State Theatre in Hobart on January 25, 2001.