AFL-St Kilda: Heaven & Hell: The Saints from 1897 to 2003 (2003)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2003|
|Running Time||141:54 (Case: 135)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (71:32)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
Aust. Football Video
Visual Entertainment Group
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Heaven and Hell is the aptly-named story of the St Kilda Football Club. A foundation member of the VFL, the Saints have been the least successful of all foundation clubs, making only five Grand Finals and winning just one premiership in 107 seasons. It is fortunate for the makers of this documentary that this premiership happened during the television era, so footage exists of that historic match.
The first 45 minutes of this disc are taken up with the 5 years from when former player Allan Jeans took over as coach in 1961, to the fateful day in September 1966 when the Saints finally came marching in. This section is based on a lengthy interview with Jeans, plus grabs from other players of the era, including Ian Stewart, Allan Morrow, Neil Roberts and Ross Oakley. There is considerable black and white footage including lengthy highlights of the 1966 Grand Final.
Following this chapter is a brief look at the early history of the club, with footage from 1913 onwards. The programme goes on to look at the post 1966 era, interviewing numerous other players and coaches. Notable are the clips of Robert Muir, an indigenous footballer who achieved the nickname "Mad Dog". These clips show why. One of St Kilda's greatest players, Carl Ditterich, gets plenty of screen time. Had he played in the present day, he would have been suspended more frequently, judging by the available evidence.
There is also a short interview with Harold Bray, a player for the club during the 1940s, who says he played under 8 coaches and didn't hear a word any of them said!
It is a pity that the producers of this video were unable to obtain recent interviews with Ditterich and club legend Darrell Baldock, although the latter seems to have been quite ill at the time it was made.
The bulk of this programme was made in 1997, and concludes with an uninspiring direct-to-camera speech by then club president Andrew Plympton. The DVD includes an extra 20 minutes of footage covering the period from 1997 to 2003 as claimed on the jacket, but really this only goes to 2002. Unlike the similar Richmond disc, the additional footage has been put together with care and integrates well with the rest of the programme.
The material was written and narrated by broadcaster Stephen Phillips, who briefly appears in archive footage as an interviewer and presenter. For people offended by the omnipresence of a certain media megastar, there is some Channel 10 footage of Tony Lockett being interviewed by Eddie McGuire. Mind you, Plugger attempts to do this right thing by throwing a crutch at him.
The video transfer is pretty good, with only one irritating issue.
The video is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and naturally is not 16x9 enhanced. There is a short sequence in the additional footage of Tim Watson that is in a widescreen aspect ratio, but this lasts for less than a minute.
The video is reasonably sharp and clear, with no issues with shadow detail. Colour is fairly good, apart from some of the faded older footage. The BBC came to Australia during Grand Final week to make a programme about St Kilda, and the colour footage from this programme has faded badly, with the footage now mainly pink.
The footage from the 1910s and 1920s has considerable decomposition, but this would probably have come from a single surviving print, so we really could not expect any better. There is a little bit of aliasing on the frames of Allan Jeans' glasses, but otherwise this artefact is mercifully absent.
The major problem with the video transfer is the regular presence of video tracking errors. These occur almost every few seconds, such as at 0:30, 9:23, 9:47, 10:03 and 50:55. I found this quite annoying.
This disc is RSDL-formatted with the layer change occurring as a goal umpire signals a score at 71:32, and is mildly disruptive. This layer change could have been better positioned, with a chapter break occurring about a minute later.
There is only an English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track in this disc, and the material does not demand anything more.
The audio is pretty good, with no major issues apart from some minor distortion at 23:34 and some hiss during an audio-only recording of a pre-match address by Allan Killigrew.
The music score is compiled from various sources. It is well enough integrated with the rest of the material that I did not really notice it, which is pretty much ideal for this sort of programme.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are some minimal extras on this disc.
The main menu is nicely animated with footage from the main programme, and background music of the club song.
This extra is made up of three text-only sections featuring The Leadership at St Kilda, a list of all captains, coaches, leading goalkickers and Best and Fairest winners up to the end of the 2002 season; Games Records, which is a list of the players who have played the most games for the club; and Goals Record, which list the all-time leading goalkickers. This is useful information, though I would think it would not be used often for reference purposes. There are several spelling mistakes, with McNamarra instead of McNamara and S Loewe becomes S Leowe. Darrell Baldock's surname is spelled both Balldock and Balldcock. Spell checker please. You would think that if they could spell Duperouzel, they could spell anything.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
All other regions miss out on this DVD.
This is an excellent documentary on the St Kilda Football Club that all supporters will want to own. Followers of other clubs would probably enjoy it as well, as I did.
The video quality is imperfect but acceptable.
The audio quality is excellent.
The extras are skimpy.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-S733A, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Yamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains|
|Speakers||Main: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175|