Tropfest 2004 (2004)

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Released 15-Nov-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Introduction-Tim Bullock (Winner Of Tropfest 2003)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Trailer-Sony Tropfest 2004
Featurette-Tips For Budding Filmmakers
Featurette-Award Ceremony
Featurette-Where Are They Now?
Notes-Sony Tropfest Info
DVD Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 96:59 (Case: 122)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor
Stomp Visual Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio Varies
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Varies Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, in several shorts

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    From its small beginnings, Australia's pre-eminent short film festival Tropfest continues to grow and expand. In 2006 Tropfest and Robert de Niro's Tribeca Film Festival will be joining forces to present Tropfest@Tribeca. Not bad for a festival that began its days in the back of a cafe.

    While you wait for Tropfest@Tribeca, refresh your memory of earlier films from 2004's finalists. Some top quality films are on display, featuring the Tropfest Signature "Hook", and kudos must go to winning film The Money and its brilliant Eddie MacGuire impersonation. As usual, mockumentaries and one joke films fill out the ranks, but most are excellent and highly enjoyable. You can't go wrong with Tropfest and although it might not be quite as much fun as gathering for the big outdoor showing, watching Tropfest 2004 at home makes for a great night in.

    1. Book Em (6:50) - Dir. Andelko Jurin. The life and times of a take-no-prisoners, bloody-minded parking inspector.

    2. Self Serve (6:50) - Dir. Franzel Balley. There's only one way to get decent service at a petrol station.

    3. Enzo (6:52) - Dir. Sam Worthington. Gifted soccer player Enzo discusses his plans for World Cup glory.

    4. Sold Out (2:43) - Dir. Luke Doolan. What is the story behind the single empty seat at a sold out cricket match?

    5. Wild Thing (3:00) - Dir. Eleni Arbus. Stick your finger in your bellybutton. Trust me - it's important.

    6. The Little Woman (7:00) - Dir. Greg Williams. The little woman has gone missing . . . but did she really exist at all?

    7. Yin (6:59) - Dir. Costa Augoustinos. A beautiful animated piece. Had my vote for first place, but took out third.

    8. Chipman (7:00) - Dir. Annabel Osborne. The heroic actions of the Chipman, documented with close observation.

    9. 8 Pounds (5:42) - Dir. Michael Brown. The wonders of childbirth caught in a characteristic Aussie light.

    10. The Belfast Boys (7:00) - Dir. Helen Thomas. One of the few serious films to find its way into Tropfest tells a tragic tale touched by sectarian violence.

    11. Confessions of an Animation (3:52) - Dir. Steve Baker. Another animation and second place winner. I didn't rate it too highly myself, but it's still amusing.

    12. The Money (6:45) - Dir. Gary Eck. The winning entry and deservedly so. The less revealed the better - excellent stuff!

    13. Summer Angst (6:40) - Dir. Elissa Down. Every girl's worst nightmare always happens on summer holidays.

    14. For Every Year (6:53) - Dir. Glenn Stewart. Life and death through the eyes of a young boy. Serious piece.

    15. One Down (5:56) - Dir. Gary Cunliffe. The power of the mighty crossword.

    16. Call Me Al - A Volunteer's Story (6:57) - Dir. Antonio Oreña Barlin. A Sydney Olympics volunteer clings on to the dream . . . sad, sad, man.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The 16 finalist films have not been transferred as well as one would like, but are very watchable. Several of the features are very good though. All of the films are presented in varying aspect ratios, 4x3 letterboxed.

    The films have been shot on different stock and varying digital media, ranging from 35mm to cheap DV. Sharpness varies in each. Shadow detail is also variable but generally is only poor to average. Low level noise and grain are present in every short. Black levels are quite poor in most. Colours are fine, but tend to bleed a little.

    Edge enhancement rears its ugly head and aliasing is never far away. Credits often display a lot of shimmer and pixelization and posterization are visible from time to time.

    There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer reflects the varied quality of the films themselves. We get a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 track, surround encoded.

    Dialogue is generally clear, but sometimes muffled. Most films feature flat and undynamic voices. Audio sync is spot on for the most part.

    Each film has its own style of music. Some films have great scores, others are fairly unmemorable.

    Several films use the surrounds to provide ambient effects and occasional directional effects. Most films are stuck firmly front and centre. My subwoofer had practically nothing to do.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Introduction

    2003's winner introduces Tropfest 2004.

Main Menu Introduction

Main Menu Audio

Trailer

    Tradition has the previous year's winner film a short film as an advertisement for Tropfest. I enjoyed this ad-cum-film quite a lot.

Featurette

    Tips for Budding Filmmakers - Past winners give their advice on how to succeed in the industry and, more importantly, how to win Tropfest.

Featurette

    Awards Ceremony - Edited footage from the presentation of the top three films presented by Salma Hayak among others.

Featurette

    Where Are They Now? - Want to know whether past winners have made the big time yet? Let them tell you themselves.

Notes

    A brief history of Tropfest and the rules for 2004.

DVD Credits

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as we can tell, Tropfest 2004 has only been released in Region 4.

Summary

    Tropfest gets better each year. 2004 includes some great films and a few duds. The winning entry The Money deserved its top prize.

    The video and audio quality vary dramatically between shorts.

    The extras are decent and give you all the information you'd expect.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Atkinson (read my bio)
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S336, using Component output
DisplayLG Flatron Widescreen RT-28FZ85RX. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V357
SpeakersDB Dynamics Belmont Series: Fronts: B50F, Centre: B50C, Rears: B50S, Sub: SW8BR

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