Monkey Grip (1982)
Main Menu Audio
Audio-Only Track-Interview With Writer Helen Garner
Music Video-All The Boys In Town - The Divinyls
Notes-Monkey Grip - The Novel
Notes-Helen Garner Profile
Trailer-Malcolm, Puberty Blues, We Of The Never Never
|Year Of Production||1982|
|Running Time||97:43 (Case: 101)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (64:48)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Ken Cameron|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Monkey Grip is one of those Australian films which I knew of by name but had never seen, like Alvin Purple or The Man From Hong Kong. I wanted to see it and was glad to have gotten the opportunity. I am not sure whether I actually knew of it more as a film or because of The Divinyls' soundtrack album. Anyway, I have now seen it and am glad to have done so.
The film is a gritty drama about an obsessive relationship between two people which they know is not really getting them anywhere, however, they cannot drag themselves away from it. The protagonists in this relationship are Nora (Noni Hazlehurst's AFI Award winning performance), a single mother and writer and Javo (Colin Friels), an actor and heroin addict. The story is set in Melbourne (although filmed in Sydney for budget reasons) in the 1970s amongst a bohemian group of artists, writers, actors and musicians. Other important characters include Gracie, Nora's daughter (Alice Garner), Martin (Tim Burns) the boyfriend Nora dumps to take up with Javo, and Angela, a singer friend of Nora's (Christina Amphlett). Michael Caton also appears in a small role as Clive.
The story is based on a novel by Helen Garner (mother of Alice Garner who appears in the film). The very revealing audio interview with her included in the extras indicates that she is not a big fan of the film and considers it to be a 'period piece' despite the fact that her daughter appears in it. Having not read the book it is difficult for me to say what the differences are.
I found this film interesting to watch but somewhat depressing. I also felt that by the end of the film, very little had really occurred. The film is well acted and well made despite its obviously small budget. It was nominated for four other AFI awards besides the one won by Noni Hazlehurst.
Personally, I would not want to own this film, however, if you are a fan or have an interest in Australian film history, this DVD is well worth your money.
The video quality is good but afflicted by film artefacts.
The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced. I do not have any information about the original theatrical ratio, unfortunately.
The picture was generally clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was reasonable with some detail available in darker scenes. Light grain was present throughout.
The colour was quite good throughout although a little washed out, however, the colours were free from colour bleeding.
There were significant film artefacts on show constantly during the film including black specks, lines & hairs. They are not overly distracting despite their constancy. There was a spot of pixelization which I could not shift, despite cleaning the disc, at 5:26. I noticed some very minor aliasing on piano keys at 40:00 and little bits of edge enhancement here and there.
There are no subtitles.
The layer change occurs at the end of chapter 8 according to my PC (at 64:48), however during the actual play of the film I could not pick it up.
The audio quality is good but very front and centre focused.
This DVD contains one audio option, a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there were no issues with audio sync.
The score of this film by Bruce Smeaton does not play a huge part. The stand out part of the musical presentation are the songs by The Divinyls which feature on the soundtrack.
The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu includes music and photos from the film plus a scene select function.
Discussion of funding, budgetary issues, locations, casting and writing the screenplay. Interestingly, they play up Helen Garner's role which she plays down in her interview. Also they mention that Doc Neeson, lead singer of the Angels was originally cast as Javo. Interesting. 16x9 enhanced.
This is an audio only track with no time clock available. Helen discusses the novel, how it was based on her own experiences, that she had very little to do with the film and has only seen it once. She expresses her like for Noni Hazlehurst's performance but mentions that she didn't like lots of other things about the film. If you are interested in the film, this is well worth a listen.
A live clip of The Divinyls performing this song, some time after the film was made. Presented in 4x3.
Behind the scenes photos of the production set to The Divinyls. Presented in 4x3.
A reasonable summation of the film in 16x9.
Text based page on the novel and 5 pages of biography of Helen Garner.
Trailers for Malcolm, Puberty Blues, We of the Never Never & Travelling North.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
I cannot find any evidence of this film being available outside Region 4.
The video quality is good but has some issues.
The audio quality is good.
The disc has a good selection of relevant extras.
|DVD||Toshiba 1200, using Component output|
|Display||Sony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Bose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)|