Tropfest 2005 (2005)

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Released 16-Jun-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Theatrical Trailer
Biographies-Crew-Filmmakers'
Notes-Sony Tropfest Info
DVD Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 93:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor
Stomp Visual Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI ? Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/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

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

Plot Synopsis

    Tropfest continues in its usual fine form with the release of the 16 finalist films from 2005 on DVD. Each year attracts some top-notch talent and just a few so-so efforts and 2005 tips the scale almost completely toward excellent filmmaking, all featuring the signature item "umbrella." Luke Eve's Australian Summer took top honours from a panel including Geoffrey Rush, Magda Szubanski, and Bryan Singer. The very slick Lucky, directed by Nash Edgerton cleaned up in second place. Comedy features prominently, as is the norm, but a few serious films have made their way to the finals. You'll laugh, cry, and may just find your own inspiration to get behind the camera. If you didn't make it out to Tropfest 2005 as an entrant or audience member, then this release makes an excellent consolation prize and will tide you over nicely until Tropfest returns.

    1. Family Legacy (7:01) - Dir. Rory Williamson. A new cricketing hero follows in the footsteps of his father and his father before him.

    2. Australian Summer (6:44) - Dir. Luke Eve. Two homeless men imagine a better reality.

    3. Benny: Unseen Hero (5:42) - Dir. Darren Arbib and Steven Hirst. Benny has incredible luck but no one seems to ever be around to notice.

    4. Bomb (3:52) - Dir. Alister Greeson. A trip to the dentist and a broken down car lead to an unfortunate misunderstanding.

    5. Chiuso (5:50) - Dir. Hugh Rutherford. A grim tale set in a barbershop and shot using pixilation (stop motion with live actors) to create an eerie effect.

    6. Coma (6:11) - Dir. Stuart Charles. A girl lies in a coma as a young man talks to her.

    7. Fingerprints (7:00) - Dir. Catherine McVeigh. A forensic investigator desperately searches for just a single fingerprint.

    8. Garbage Man (6:51) - Dir. Henry Naylor. A mutant cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush stalks an unsuspecting woman. Doesn't quite live up to its premise.

    9. In Your Dreams (7:07) - Dir. Greg Williams. A day in the life of the actors who work in our dreams.

    10. Lucky (4:21) - Dir. Nash Edgerton. A man wakes up in the boot of a car. Who's driving? Snappy and ultimately surprising.

    11. Money (1:49) - Dir. James Wilson. An animated "thing" finds a gold coin and faces a moral dilemma.

    12. Rattus Pistofficus (5:10) - Dir. Josh Reed and Sam Reed. A cold and wet animated rat dukes it out with a human. Animation on filmed background.

    13. The Razor's Edge (6:52) - Dir. Gabriel Dowrick. A homeless man stumbles onto a murder scene and finds himself fighting for the life of an abandoned baby.

    14. This Film is Yet to be Classified (4:47) - Dir. Jayce White. A biting animated satire on filmmaking in Australia. Everyone comes in for a drubbing.

    15. Too Far (6:50) - Dir. Matthew Peek. Some dads aren't just embarrassing to their sons: they can also be paranoid idiots.

    16. Too Sunny, Too Cold (6:33) - Dir. Tania Yuki. Getting a crush is still a lot of fun in later life. About as charming and sweet as they come.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Video quality is variable between shorts, running the gamut of quite good to just acceptable and reflecting the different film equipment used for each. Each short is presented in its original aspect ratio in letterboxed 4x3.

    Sharpness is quite good in some shorts (for example, In Your Dreams), while others appear quite soft at times. Grain and low level noise are plentiful but not too heavy. Shadow detail is often murky and never great. Blacks are not as deep as they could be. Colours are render adequately, although perhaps just a little flat and under-saturated. Not great, but not unwatchable.

    Every film displays MPEG artefacts of some sort. Pixelization and macro-blocking are the biggest offenders and are visible in all solid colours and often during rapid movement. Colour banding and pixelization are also present and are especially visible in the animated films. There is some aliasing and several shorts display edge enhancement. I didn't notice any film artefacts (most of the shorts appear to have been shot digitally).

    No subtitles are available.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is adequate and again varies between shorts. Audio is presented in Linear PCM 2.0. Roughly fifty percent decode in mono under Pro Logic, the other half in surround.

    Dialogue is clear and audible but largely undynamic. Audio sync is accurate for the most part, occasionally falling out of step. There's not a whole lot of depth to the soundtrack, although some shorts create a solid ambience with directional effects in the front and rear. Any use of the surrounds is generally clean and effective. Money is plagued by audio dropouts, but this issue appears to be a problem with the source rather than the transfer.

    The music is varied and eclectic. Some filmmakers are more adept than others at producing a soundtrack, but no score stood out as particularly poor or ill-judged. The only musicians I recognised were The Sleepy Jackson.

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

Extras

    No footage of the award ceremony or even anything to indicate who won which awards. Skimpy on the extras.

Theatrical Trailer

    The winner of Tropfest is invited to make a short film to advertise the next year's festivities. A group of friends play a disastrous game of Celebrity Head. The film works a lot better in its shortened television version: this version drags just a little.

Biographies-Crew

    When a film is selected separately, a short biographical note appears. A word of warning though: once the film finishes you will be returned to the main menu rather than the 16 finalists sub-menu. A play all option is also available which skips the biographical notes.

Notes

    Information on Tropfest 2005 explaining the rules and history of the festival.

DVD Credits

    If you're interested, credits are available for your viewing pleasure along with an offer for a discounted subscription to the Sydney Morning Herald (now long expired).

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 are aware, Tropfest 2005 has not been released outside Region 4.

Summary

    Tropfest 2005 is a lot of fun and features some excellent work.

    Video and audio quality is variable between the film sources and the transfer is passable. It's certainly watchable but not brilliant.

    Extras are a little light on.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Atkinson (read my bio)
Monday, May 01, 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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