Saturday, November 20, 2021

In Balanchines Classroom (2021) Kino Lorber DVD Review

In Balanchine's Classroom (2021) Kino Lorber 11/16/2021

Directed By: Connie Hochman 

Starring: George Balanchine 

Disclaimer: Kino Lorber has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections. 

Other Kino Reviews:

The Real Bedford Falls HERE
Songs My Brother Taught Me HERE
Village Detective: A Cycle Song HERE

        I have to say that I no very little about ballet but, as always I am trying to push myself to broaden my horizons.  Plus, I think the mark of any good documentary is, regardless of if you are a fan of the subject or a total novice, it should be totally absorbing.  As the title suggests, this film tells the story of George Balanchine who is credited as formalizing US ballet. Told through archival interviews with the man himself as well as former pupils. For me, In Balanchine's Classroom is a mixed bag. What I think was the most interesting was learning about the life of Balanchine yet, the filmmakers skim over this fairly quickly. It also contains a lot of interesting facts and incredible first hand insights. I think that the pacing is the main problem here. This feels like a 60 minute lean and effective doc. Things tend to get a bit tedious and repetitive. I kind of wish that things like the founding of the New York Ballet would have been explored in more depth. For hardcore ballet fans I think this might be interesting but it probably doesn't present them with anything they didn't already know before. 

Interesting but it left me wanting more and at times less. 

Picture/Sound: Classroom has a overall nice crisp look though the image is grainy and this is clearly because of the transfer from HD to 720p. Obviously, this is a doc so it doesn't need to look UHD levels of detail. The sound is from a DTS 5.1 track. Dialogue seems kind of on the low side but, overall very clear. 

Extras: Additional scenes, trailers 

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