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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Inspirations
Inspirations
Home Vision Entertainment // Unrated // June 18, 2002
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted June 8, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
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The Movie:

Director Michael Apted is one of a small amount of directors currently working whose films capture a remarkably wide variety of subject matter and vary greatly in budget. Apted has gone from big-budget dramas to action movies to small documentaries and does so seemingly with ease. Most widely known for his "7 Up" series of documentaries that followed-up on a group of people after every seven years, the director has also helmed projects like the 007 adventure "The World Is Not Enough", the superb "Enigma" and even the recent Jennifer Lopez drama "Enough". "Inspirations" is the first of two Apted documentaries (the other being "Me & Issac Newton", where several scientists were interviews) that explore the nature of creativity.

In "Inspirations", Apted turns his camera on several artists, including Tadao Ando, David Bowie, Dale Chihuly, Louise Lecavalier, Roy Lichtenstein, Edouard Lock and Nora Naranjo-Morse. All of the artists discuss their past and how it has influenced them as well as what inspires them in everyday life to create further works. Although watching more popular artists like Lichteinstein and Bowie create is certainly fascinating (we watch Bowie in the studio composing a song inspired by a newspaper headline), hearing from less widely known names as sculptor Naranjo-Morse and Osaka-born sculptor is just as interesting. Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures are absolutely riveting to view and it's quite engaging to hear and see how they're formed.

As per usual, Apted has crafted a beautiful documentary that seems to live and breathe more than documentary features usually do. The camerawork of Maryse Alberti smoothly moves about the room to capture the artist's space and offers interesting close-ups and perspectives. Patrick Seymour's score is soothing, calm and appropriately used. Editing is also well-done, and the documentary moves along crisply. It's a terrific exploration of what stirs the creative energy of these seven people.


The DVD

VIDEO: Home Vision Entertainment presents "Inspirations" in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The new digital transfer of the film is certainly excellent, as sharpness and detail are terrific. At no time did the film not appear well-defined and crisp; depth to the image was often pleasing, as well.

Flaws were so minor as to be almost non-existent. Some very slight grain was present during a few scenes, but the grain was very minimal. No specks or other print flaws were seen, nor were any instances of edge enhancement or pixelation. Although most of the documentary has a subdued color palette, several scenes presented warmer, brighter colors in a very pleasing manner. A superb transfer.

SOUND: The documentary is presented in Dolby Stereo and simply captures the interviews, doing so clearly and crisply.

MENUS: Beautifully animated main menu, which uses clips from the documentary cut together.

EXTRAS: Nothing.

Final Thoughts: I've enjoyed most of Apted's works and almost all of his documentaries very much. "Inspirations" is no different, a well-crafted and informative look at what makes the people produce their particular art. Home Vision has provided an excellent presentation of the film itself, but the lack of supplements is somewhat disapointing, especially with the $29.99 retail price. Still, the DVD is certainly worth a look if it can be found for a less expensive price.
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