In Search of Fellini appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Within the parameters of SD-DVD, this became a mostly solid presentation.
As long as I considered those constraints, sharpness looked fine. Inevitably some softness impacted wider shots, but most of the film offered decent accuracy and definition.
Jagged edges and shimmering weren’t a problem, and I saw no print flaws. Edge haloes also failed to interfere.
Colors emphasized teal and amber, with some other stylized hues involved as well. These choices felt less than exciting, but the DVD represented them adequately.
Blacks provided reasonable depth, while shadows appeared fairly smooth. Ultimately, the image worked fine for its format.
Don’t expect fireworks from the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, as we got a mix heavy on a dialogue. Music and effects did broaden horizons in a reasonable manner, though, so they added some pep to the track, especially when the movie wanted to “go surreal” ala Fellini.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, and the score demonstrated pretty good vivacity.
Effects did little to tax my system but they were clear and accurate enough. Overall, this ended up as a decent mix for a dialogue-heavy movie.
Among extras, we get an audio commentary from director Taron Lexton and co-writer Nancy Cartwright. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at Cartwright’s life experiences and her adaptation of these events into the film’s fiction, sets and locations, story and characters, cast and performances, visual design, cinematography and costumes, and related topics.
This becomes an engaging chat, especially when Cartwright discusses the autobiographical elements in the film. Other filmmaking moments get good attention as well and allow this to turn into a useful conversation.
A Behind the Scenes Featurette runs eight minutes, 38 seconds and provides notes from Cartwright, Lexton, writer Peter Kjennas, producers Milena Ferreira, Monica Gil, Michael Doven and Nathan Lorch, production designer Todd Jeffery, director of photography Kevin Garrison,and actors Ksenia Solo, Maria Bello, Enrico Oetiker, and Mary Lynn Rajskub.
We learn of the project’s origins, story/characters, cast and performances, locations, and design. Though we get a few decent notes, the program mainly remains promotional, so don’t expect much substance.
The disc includes trailers for Fellini and This Beautiful Fantastic.
Due to the efforts of a talented cast, In Search of Fellini musters occasional bouts of entertainment. However, it lacks engaging character development and seems too inconsistent to fully succeed. The DVD offers generally positive picture and audio along with a good commentary. Search winds up as a watchable but erratic tale.