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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Travelogue > Visions Of France (Acorn DVD/Special Interest set)

Visions Of France (Special Interests/Travel)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Episodes: B-



The fourth HDTV Visions series installment of a major country from Acorn Media and WLIW is Visions Of France, a new two-DVD set covering the great country and all of its lands and architecture, both past and present.  The first volume is Provence, the second, The Riviera.  The first is more about the land structures, natural and civilized, while the second has famous landmarks like Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice and other special locations that continue to keep the country among the top in the world.


Produced in 2004, the show fares well against the Italy, England and Greece installments, though the Italy set is still the best to date for just going (no pun intended) that extra mile.  Nevertheless, with so much anti-French propaganda all over the U.S. these days, seeing the real France is refreshing, even more so than the many (and many bad) feature films that seem to constantly come out of the country of late.  Each main show runs about an hour and is as rich as the series has established itself to be so far.  Visions Of France lives up to its name because it cuts through the distorted world view the country gets too often and remains us of its constant innovations, while still holding on to its legacy.


The anamorphically enhanced 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 image has some detail troubles for whatever reason, but the color is very nice throughout as was the case with Visions Of Greece.  On the non-anamorphic, similarly framed extra footage, detail is a larger issue and it is odd that it would not get the same treatment.  The sound is Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo throughout and has no surround information, despite a really pleasant music score.  For a recent production, that is odd.  Outside of the extra footage for both segments running just over 20 minutes each, there are no other extras.  Anyone interested in even seeing some of France cannot go wrong with Visions Of France.  The Acorn Media-release for WLIW is at least thorough.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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