Innocence (2000)

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Released 23-Aug-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Paul Cox (Director) & Paul Grabowsky (Composer)
Featurette-We Are All Alone My Dear
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Trailer-Lust And Revenge; A Woman's Tale; Island; Lonely Hearts
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Audio-Only Track-Innocence Soundtrack CD
Theatrical Trailer
Awards
Notes-Reviews
Gallery-Photo
Featurette-Year 2000 IF Awards
Trailer-The Monkey's Mask; Shadow Of The Vampire; Beau Travail
Trailer-A Ma Soeur!; Mullet; Rosetta
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 91:01 (Case: 95)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:59) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Paul Cox
Studio
Distributor
Strand
Madman Entertainment
Starring Julia Blake
Charles "Bud" Tingwell
Terry Norris
Robert Menzies
Martta Dusseldorp
Case Click
RPI $39.95 Music Paul Grabowsky


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Innocence is a very different take on a love story. This film centres on Andreas Borg (Charles 'Bud' Tingwell), a retired organist and music teacher who discovers that his first love from many, many years ago is now living in the same city as he and so decides to call her and meet to reminisce about old times. Julia Blake plays Claire, Andreas' first love. They meet and soon realise that their love for each other has not diminished after 50 years. Unfortunately, Claire is married to John (Julia Blake's real life husband Terry Norris), a man who has taken his wife for granted for many many years. Andreas and Claire rekindle their romance despite the effect it is having on John.

    We see glimpses of the couple as young lovers and the times they shared together. These glimpses are cut into the footage of them now rekindling their love and we realise that things are no different to how they were some fifty years ago. These are two people that are truly in love with each other and have no trouble at all expressing it, even in their advancing years.

    Told with a gentle hand and at such a relaxed pace by director Paul Cox, this is a rare gem of a film. It is a film that will make you think differently about your own relationships but also about those of older people such as your parents or even grandparents. We always assume that people that reach their autumn years must always be happy with what they've got and the partners they have chosen, but this is not always the case. We also assume that loving and making love has somehow been forgotten by them, but this is a myth that is also put to rest with what 'Bud' Tingwell describes as his first ever love scene.

    Look out for the almost Hitchcock-like cameo performance from the director later in the movie. He appears as the man crossing the railway track.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The lack of an anamorphic transfer harms the picture slightly, although not as badly as many I have seen.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect of 1.78:1 and is unfortunately not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is quite finely detailed, complemented by an almost total lack of grain and no edge enhancement. Blacks are deep and solid and shadows are handled nicely, with fine detail present.
   
    The colours are beautiful, with a nice, even saturation on offer with no evidence of colour bleeding. Skin tones are perfectly natural.

    There were no MPEG artefacts noted.  Film-to-video artefacts were limited to the odd amounts of shimmer on various surfaces such as clothing, though none of these were distracting. There are a few film artefacts of varying sizes, but only a couple are large enough to be bothersome.
   
    There are no subtitles present which is a shame.
   
    This is a single sided and dual layered disc that is RSDL formatted. The layer change occurs at 57:59 and is so well placed that it is almost indistinguishable in a fade-to-black scene change.

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

Audio

    There are two audio tracks present on this disc; a Dolby Digital 2.0 English soundtrack and a Dolby Digital 2.0 English Audio Commentary track. The soundtrack is distinctly stereo with a definite separation of several of the musical instruments in the soundfield.

    This is a dialogue-dependent film, and there are no problems with the dialogue levels in this transfer, although a pro-logic encoded track might have helped centre the dialogue a bit more. There are no audio sync issues.
   
    The score is credited to Paul Grabowsky, quite a well-known name on the Australian music scene, who also contributes to the audio commentary. It is very distinctive and adds real atmosphere to the soundtrack.

    There is no surround or subwoofer use.

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

Extras

    The extras are arranged quite differently to what is normally expected. Instead of all the biographies, trailers, and interviews lumped together under a sub-menu, these are put under a sub-menu for each of the cast or crew that they are attributed to. A different way of doing it, but once you get used to the navigation, it makes perfect sense.

Menu Animation & Audio

    The main theme from Paul Grabowsky and the images of the young lovers on the train platform as it rushes past.

Audio Commentary-Paul Cox (Director) & Paul Grabowsky (Composer)

    A censored audio commentary makes a bit of a change! Many expletives have been bleeped out of this commentary whenever Director Paul Cox decides to utter any number of four letter words. Most of these are in the early stages of the commentary when he is getting stuck right into a particular Melbourne critic (whose name is also bleeped out) who savaged the film. Because the commentary also features music composer Paul Grabowsky, there is a definite emphasis on the score and audio side of the production. Grabowsky does act as a sort of interviewer asking Cox several questions to direct the conversation in a particular direction. Cox tends to sniff and snort an awful lot during the track which becomes quite distracting after a time and is quite off-putting. Nonetheless, the commentary track is still full of plenty of information on his thoughts on the film-making process and the cast that he worked with.

Featurette-We Are All Alone My Dear

    A short film from director Paul Cox. Running time is 22:20 minutes. It is presented Full Frame 1.33:1 with a very muffled  Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The video quality is pretty poor with many film artefacts (though some of these do appear intentional). Shadow detail is also quite poor.

    This is quite a depressing featurette, its story focusing on the women that inhabit a rest home for the aged and how lonely their lives have become. Looks like it was made quite a few years ago, hence the poor quality of the video and audio.

Cast & Crew Interviews

    Interviews with various cast and crew members that are quite detailed. Not presented as questions and answers but has each of the people talking about their experiences in the movie business and what making the film Innocence meant to them. Included are Director Paul Cox (22:54 minutes), Producer Mark Patterson  (5:19 minutes), score composer Paul Grabowsky (9:15 minutes),  and actors Bud Tingwell (9:29 minutes),  Julia Blake (11:29 minutes), and Terry Norris (9:04 minutes). Not shown as full frame but as a small window in the centre of the screen. Audio is by way of a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack that is mastered at quite a low level so you will need to increase the volume significantly to hear it properly.

    These are very detailed and among the best cast/crew discussions that I have heard. The substantial length of the interviews and the lack of any fill-in footage from the film that is so common in this type of extra provide for a decent value-added featurette.

Trailer-Lust And Revenge; A Woman's Tale; Island; Lonely Hearts

    These are trailers for the other films by Director Paul Cox. Presented Full Frame 1.33:1, they are complemented by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. They run for 2:27, 1:22, 2:02 and 2:20 minutes respectively.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Reasonably detailed bios for the three main actors, Paul Cox, and Paul Grabowsky. Presented in a nice easy to read white font on a dark background.

Audio-Only Track-Innocence Soundtrack CD

    A sample of the Innocence CD soundtrack available through ABC Classics. Presented as a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Runs for about 5 minutes.

Theatrical Trailer

    A trailer presented in 1.33:1 Pan & Scan with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, this trailer runs for 2:30 minutes. A trailer that doesn't spoil the plot but gives you enough information to get you interested in the film is a winner.

Awards

    Lists the numerous (and I mean numerous) awards that this film has won. Highlights would have to include the Joint Best Film at the 2000 Montreal Film Festival.

Notes-Reviews

    26 pages of film critic comments from around Australia and the world including writers from The Australian, The SBS Movie Show, and the well-known Roger Ebert. There are a couple of spelling mistakes which is disappointing.

Gallery-Photo

    Now these are well done. A selection of 18 thumbnail size photos spread over 3 screens that when selected enlarge to the full screen. They have a sort of Internet feel to them. Decent size and resolution is all we can ask for and this time we get it.

Featurette-Year 2000 IF Awards

    A brief five minute featurette on the 2000 Independent Film (IF) makers awards, showing the awards that Innocence won; Best Actress for Julia Blake, Best Sound Design, Best Independent Feature Film, and Best Independent Film Maker (Paul Cox).

Trailer-The Monkey's Mask; Shadow Of The Vampire; Beau Travail, A Ma Soeur!; Mullet; Rosetta

    The usual Madman propaganda, highlighting some of their pending releases.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title doesn't appear to have been released in Region 1 as of yet.

Summary

    Love really does have no age barrier which is something we all tend to forget and take a little bit for granted. Innocence is a rare piece of Australian cinema that should be prerequisite viewing for all students of film.

    The video is above average considering the lack of 16x9 enhancement of the transfer. The audio is average.

    The extras are of very good quality and certainly add a few hours entertainment to the package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Tuesday, September 18, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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