Paul Kelly: Stories of Me (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 12-Dec-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Interviews-Crew-Director Ian Darling
Deleted Scenes
More…-Bonus Live Performances
Notes-Study Guide
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 96:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Ian Darling

Madman Entertainment
Starring Paul Kelly
Michael Barclay
Kasey Chambers
Kutcha Edwards
Renée Geyer
Richard Guiliatt
Peter Luscombe
Jon Schofield
Megan Washington
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Paul Kelly

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Linear PCM 48/24 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

40 Years - 22 Albums - 350 Songs

     Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly is still to this day producing vibrant compelling and meaningful music. Right now, however, it is time for a pause to reflect on his past, his present and his legacy. Not only did Kelly release a memoir recently but now documentary film maker Ian Darling has made a movie about our favourite son titled Paul Kelly - Stories of Me.

     The title itself is fairly apt. Paul Kelly creates characters and their stories, short sketches of Australian life that sum up in minutes what other artists might take hours. Take a song like his perhaps best known work, Before Too Long and see how it tells the story of a relationship of heartbreak, despair and perhaps redemption in a snappy 3½ sing along minutes.

     It is not the first time that someone has taken a look at Paul Kelly and tried to understand the man and his work. This is by far the most comprehensive account gathering together family members, friends and musical colleagues to comment on the life of this remarkable Australian. Rest assured that whilst the documentary and its participants may wax lyrical about the genius of Paul Kelly, the singer/songwriter, this is not an attempt to canonise the Adelaide born battler. He emerges from the film as an every man, just as prone to make mistakes (as immortalised in Dumb Things) as the rest of us with failed relationships, a lifelong addiction to heroin and some slightly disgruntled former band members to show for it.

     Kelly isn't exactly chameleon like. His songs hover around the folk rock genre although he has experimented with some other styles most recently with the groove influenced Professor Ratbaggy. Yet perhaps there is a bit of the reptile in him as he feels compelled to slough off his skin every few years to change his band mates. Witness the confused members of the Messengers who Kelly disbanded when they were seemingly at the height of their fame.

     Ultimately no film can take us to the heart of an artist but this at least gives family members a chance to talk about his upbringing in suburban Adelaide and his transition from Melbourne to Sydney, from St Kilda to King's Cross if you will. Kelly is still driven by the ambition to write another good song and will clearly be performing with one foot in his grave. Alongside the interview segments are some wonderful songs performed live in concert as well as some old video clips and segments from Countdown that will surely bring back memories for those who experienced the rise of Paul Kelly in the 80's.

     It probably helps to be an admirer of Kelly or his songs to get the most out of this movie. Even casual fans, however, will get enjoyment out of this film and it's hard to imagine anyone watching it who doesn't slip off to the record store and pick up a Kelly album or two.

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Transfer Quality


     Paul Kelly - Stories of Me is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio in 1080P high definition.

     One comes to documentaries, except nature documentaries, with an expectation slightly diminished from those of a feature film. There are no such concerns with this release. The interview footage and present day material, including the concert footage, is extremely sharp and represents superb transfer quality. There is no compression and only the slightest noise in some of the concert footage. There is the most minor aliasing to be found.

     The colours are bright and clear. The film includes a lot of historical footage and the archival material is consistent with its era. It has been cleaned up and colour timed however there is no way to make early Countdown appearances look cutting edge. These segments contain understandable elements of age.

    There are no general subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Paul Kelly - Stories of Me contains two audio tracks. The first is an English 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track. The second is a LPCM English 2.0 track.

     In fact, both are adequate for this documentary. The surround channels are used to give emphasis to some of the music scenes but most of the documentary comes from the centre channel. The dialogue can be heard clearly throughout. There are some forced subtitles in some of the early footage where the dialogue is difficult to discern.

     The musical performances, particularly the recent concert performances, are crystal clear with good stereo separation. The subwoofer amply supports the bass and the live sound is excellent.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     There is approximately an hour of extras included with this Blu-ray release.

Interview with director Ian Darling

     The director talks about his ideas for the film and how he approached Paul Kelly to make it. A difficulty was to gain the trust of Kelly and his friends and family members in order to get their honest reflections.

Deleted scenes

     There are 3 deleted scenes included: Sinatra, Sweet Guy, Kindred Soul: The Influence of Raymond Carver. They are all worth watching. In Sinatra the title card points out that they had wished to show Kelly's love for the Frank Sinatra album In the Wee Small Hours but the cost of licensing the Sinatra music was prohibitive. Kelly therefore performed his tribute. The other scenes are equally interesting.

Bonus live performances for Paul Kelly and Band

     There are 5 live performances included. In most cases they have been compiled from selected performances put together. The cuts are seamless and the songs are all enjoyable.

Theatrical Trailer

     The trailer for the film.

Study Guide

     Pop the Blu-ray into your PC Blu-ray player and you can access a study guide relating to the life and work of Paul Kelly.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.


     Not available in Region A yet.


     Paul Kelly - Stories of Me charts the life and career of this great performer who is still clearly in the prime of his career. It is interesting throughout.

     The Blu-ray is of excellent quality in both sound and vision terms.

    The extras are entertaining.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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