Jewboy (2005)

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Released 4-Apr-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Audio Commentary-Tony Krawitz (Director) & Greig Fraser (Cinematographer)
Deleted Scenes-8 Scenes with optional commentary by Tony Krawitz
Short Film-Unit 52 (2002)
Short Film-Into The Night (2002)
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Tony Krawitz (Director) & Ewen Leslie (Actor)
Theatrical Trailer-Jewboy
DVD-ROM Extras-10 Page Study Guide
Teaser Trailer-Madman Propaganda
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 52:03
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tony Krawitz
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Tony Krawitz
Saskia Burmeister
Nicholas Eadie
Chris Haywood
Ewen Leslie
Leah Vandenberg
Naomi Wilson
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Decoder Ring


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Australian writer/director Tony Krawitz has established a solid grounding in filmmaking with a fine body of work in the short film category. He also has directing credits in some local television productions. Jewboy is his most current film and this is showcased together with two of Tony's other short films in this excellent DVD presentation.

    Yuri Kovner (Ewen Leslie) is a young man in his early twenties. He returns home from studies in Israel after the sudden death of his rabbi father. After the funeral, the very close Chassidic community has congregated in the apartment of Yuri's grandmother, Minnie (Naomi Wilson) to commence a seven day period of mourning. The claustrophobic atmosphere in the apartment is escalating the psychological tension that Yuri is currently experiencing. He is beginning to have deep doubts about the direction of his life and of his faith. Although he rejects his girlfriend, Rivka (Saskia Burmeister), he still longs for the female contact that is forbidden until marriage by his religion.

    Yuri gets a job as a taxi driver and while he is receiving instruction from his new boss, Sam (Chris Haywood), he sees a woman who captivates his attention. Yuri introduces himself to Sarita (Leah Vandenberg) who works at the taxi car wash. She agrees to have a coffee with him during her break and Yuri becomes confident that they could develop a more serious relationship. However, his hopes are devastated a couple of days later, when Sarita walks out on their meeting, when Yuri prematurely suggests that they should go away together.

    Those close to the family begin to see a rebellious trait that indicates Yuri is losing his vocation to become a rabbi. His uncle Isaac (Nicholas Eadie) and Minnie try unsuccessfully to rein him in and redirect his priorities. Subsequently, Yuri packs his bags and finds alternative accommodation in the city.

    His taxi driving job presents Yuri with many situations and temptations that have been foreign to him throughout his life. He goes into a seedy sex shop and experiences a five dollar peepshow. In turn, this experience encourages him to pursue his desire to have intimate contact with a woman and he accepts a previous offer from a prostitute.

    Wracked with guilt, Yuri sits alone in his small room and feels the weight of his actions. He must now make a decision to seek the forgiveness and redemption from those he cares most about.

    Jewboy was the deserving winner of three AFI Awards in 2005 in the non-feature film category, Best Short Film, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography. The film showcases many excellent performances, in particular Ewen Leslie as Yuri and ear-marks Tony Krawitz as an Australian filmmaker to watch.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer for Jewboy compliments the overall DVD presentation.

    The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is 16x9 enhanced. The original aspect ratio for Jewboy is 1.85:1.

    Jewboy was filmed on S16mm stock and later transferred to 35mm for the finished print. The film exhibits very good levels of sharpness throughout. Film grain was noticed occasionally, but this is inherent in the source material. Blacks were clean and free from low-level-noise. Shadow detail was excellent.

    The film predominantly uses a soft and subtle colour palette, especially early in the film. This changes to a more vibrant palette when the main character ventures into the seedy life of the city. These colours appear very natural and nicely balanced.

    There were no MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Film-to-video artefacts did not present any significant issues and film artefacts were virtually non-existent.

    Unfortunately there are no subtitles on this DVD.

    This is a single sided, dual layer disc. I could not locate the layer change either by viewing the disc or with the assistance of software.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is also excellent.

    There are three audio tracks available on this disc, English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s).

    Dialogue quality was outstanding throughout and audio sync appeared very accurate.

    The original music score by the Sydney group, Decoder Ring is quite haunting and captures the atmosphere of the film precisely.

    The surround channels carried the occasional direct effect, such as birds taking flight at 11:40 and ambient traffic noise throughout the film. But predominantly the surrounds distributed Decoder Ring's music over all channels.

    Likewise, the subwoofer was most active during music passages, in particular, the thumping dance beat in the peepshow scene.

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

Extras

    There is a wonderful selection of relevant extras to compliment the presentation.

Menu

   The menu is well themed, static, 16x9 enhanced and features a sample of music from the film.

Audio Commentary - Tony Krawitz (Director) and Greig Fraser (Director of Photography )

    This is a very informative commentary which is full of relevant information, covering most aspects of Jewboy's production. For non-Jews, Tony also explains many of the rituals in the film and their significance within the story.

Deleted Scenes (8:36)

    Eight scenes that didn't make the final cut of Jewboy. There is also an optional audio commentary with Tony Krawitz which accompanies these scenes.

Short Film - Unit 52, 2002 (9:08)

    Shot in black and white, this unusual short film has no dialogue. The plot involves a single man and a single woman who live next door to each other in a block of units - the woman living in unit 52. At the centre of this story is an ambiguous picture on a postcard. Written and directed by Tony Krawitz. Aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) audio.

Short Film - Into The Night, 2002 (14:15)

    A young male prostitute is picked up on the street by a mature businessman and taken back to the client's house. Over the course of the evening, it becomes apparent that both men have a similarly troubled past. Written by Cath Moore and directed by Tony Krawitz. Aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) audio.

Interview with director, Tony Krawitz and actor, Ewen Leslie (Courtesy of the ABC program, At The Movies).

    A brief interview with Tony and Ewen, which appears to have been filmed at the Cannes Film Festival for the ABC program, At The Movies (3:21).

Theatrical Trailer - Jewboy (1:51)   

Study Guide - DVD Rom

    A 10 page study guide complete with information, still pictures and assignments for students.

Madman Propaganda

R4 vs R1

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

    At the time of this review there is no R1 version of Jewboy available.

Summary

    Jewboy is a beautiful and poetic short film dealing with the inner demons of a young man trying to balance the expectations of his faith with the natural desires of the body. The film is well written and directed, featuring superb performances from a wonderful cast.

    The video and audio transfers do justice to the film.

    The selection of extras are outstanding and compliment the overall presentation.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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