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#1 Keith Walters

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 07:33 AM

Yesterday my wife persuaded me to go to the movies.

She seems to get a sort of "Cabin Fever" thing every now and again where it seems she suddenly just HAS to get out and see something, nearly always when there's nothing but crap on.

I'm the first to admit I'm totally un-patriotic as far as films are concerned. I think the vast majority of home-grown Aussie films are rubbish, and I rarely watch them, even when they finally come to TV.

BUT she'd heard that there was an Australian film called "Kenny" which some of her friends thought was hilarious, and a reviewer in a local paper gave it 9 out of 10 (which is always a worry for me, what are they going to give a film that really IS good!)

What was is it about? No idea, she said. Oh great......

So we fronted up and I bought our "half-price-tuesday" tickets, a huge bucket of popcorn and two giant cokes and we found our way into cinema #7, to see there were all of four other people in there (two of whom walked out halfway through)<_<

Then when the film started the first thing I noticed was the unmistakeable edge artifacts of 576p video painfully obvious on the big screen, followed by massive "outside-world burnout" on scenes shot in the cabin of a truck. Jeezus Christ.....

But DESPITE all that, the film was hilarious, and I soon stopped noticing all the technical deficiencies.

Basically it's a pseudo-documentary about a guy called Kenny, who works for a company that supplies portable toilet facilities for sporting events and the like. It's a total gross-out almost from start to finish, although I only realized later that nowhere do we actually get to SEE any of the, er stuff that Kenny has to deal with.

The highlight of the film was probably when, as a reward for his hard work, his company sends Kenny to a "Pumpers Convention" in Nashville Tennessee, and it's filmed at a real convention, where they actually DO have all the latest and greatest of portable sanitation equipment on display.

Anyway, in the credits they mentioned "MiniDV to HD conversion" although they don't mention whether the whole thing was shot on MiniDV. I've been trying to find out how it was shot, but there's not a lot about it on the internet.

But it just goes to show that you can produce worthwhile cinema-release images with quite low-cost equipment, if the story is suited to the format. The documentary style of Kenny looks OK with the rough and ready video format, although there was a really noticeable lack of background detail (even my wife noticed this).

This is the sort of "cult" film that can do well at film festivals, and the themes are pretty universal. If it gets released in your country, make an effort to see it, it really is a quirky masterpiece.
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#2 Dominic Case

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 06:48 PM

"Kenny" is actually based on a real person, though the director's brother actually played the role in the film.

The company it is about is also real: they are called Splashdown (yes!) and I believe they put most of the production money up.

Almost invariably, films that are shot on DV, miniDV, HDV etc look just like that. They aren't ever going to have the image quality of film originals. But mostly, the ones that get away with it (or even do better because of the look) are documentaries, mockumentaries, pseudo-documentaries, or something else that benefits from a "cinéma vérité" sort of feel.
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