I knew I needed to celebrate the launch of our awesome new design with a contest. I need to give back to you guys, but I’m not exactly allowed to give away alcohol. Then I received in the mail two (yes two!) screener copies of Mondovino the Series. I received these free of charge from DVD producers Kino International. One is for me to watch, but the other is for you!
Now, I just got these DVDs in hand. It’s a newly released, four-DVD set containing 10 hours of video, so I haven’t had a chance to watch – or review – this yet. It’s going to take some time.
But you can beat me to it. If you’re interested, just leave a comment below with a message about why you’d like to get your hands on this screener set. I’ll use a random generator to pick the winner and announce next Thursday. Make sure you include your email address in the appropriate field of the comments. (Email addressses are not tracked, shared, or used for anything except to tell you that you won.)
So, what is this DVD anyway?
Mondovino was a documentary released in 2004 that was fairly controversial. It really pushes the “small is better” theory and is not kind to larger winemakers, including the Mondavis and Staglins. According to Decanter.com,
“Many feel that in his portraits of Michel Rolland, the de Montilles of Burgundy, the Frescobaldis, Mondavis and other great wine families he relies on sophisticated editing to get his point across.
Rolland in particular is singled out for demonisation. Using multiple replays of a single shot of the wine consultant laughing in his chauffeur-driven Mercedes, the director contrives to make him appear a malevolent presence.
Similarly, clever cutting canonises figures like Mas de Daumas Gassac’s Aime Guibert, or turns the Staglins of Napa into cliches of insensitive Californians.”
The original movie was one of only four documentaries nominated for the Palm d’Or at Cannes. The director, Jonathan Nossiter, turned that one film endeavor into a 10-part television series that supposedly is a more in-depth “investigation into the wine world, and more ‘intimate and detailed’ portraits of wine families” as compared to the original film. He covers everything from California to France. The series originally aired, from what I can find, on BBC Africa and BBC Food.
But I want you to keep in mind that this film raised the ire of many in the wine industry, as well as receiving a lot of praise. It’s often been called a one-sided documentary, and it does, in essence, charge Mondavi and Robert Parker with turning wine into a commodity such as coffee at Starbucks. This was filmed over four years at the beginning of the decade as well, and I’d like to think several things in the wine industry have changed over the last 5 years.
But the point of a documentary, even if you don’t agree with the filmmaker, is to make you think about, and consider, the subject.
If you’re interested in learning more, leave a comment telling me why. Maybe you’ll be the lucky random winner!
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