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BOXING DAY: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Living alone in suburban Adelaide on home detention from prison, Chris (Richard Green), a recovering alcoholic and druggie, is preparing Christmas lunch in an effort to reunite his estranged wife Donna (Tammy Anderson) and teenage step-daughter/niece Brooke (Misty Sparrow), who come over with Donna's new man Dave (Syd Brisbane). When they arrive, unwanted surprise visitor Owen (Stuart Clark) recognizes Dave from prison and reveals a secret that detonates the reunion.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Shot by director Kriv Stenders on an HD video camera in real time, Boxing Day is like a compact, dynamite-filled short story. Superlative performances and a tough story about people living on the edge of society combine for high octane viewing.

Although reduced to its basic elements the story is like a pedestrian melodrama or working class soap opera, the material is so well delivered that like any story told by a top storyteller, it gains in dramatic value. The verity of the characters and the simplicity of the mise en scene also help focus the tension on the inner turmoil that is torturing the characters - for a variety of reasons.

Richard Green disappears inside his character and holds our attention throughout, in a superb performance. Indeed, all the cast deliver gutsy characterisations.

Made for about $175,000, completed without music, Boxing Day could well qualify as a Dogma project, using only available light, (virtually) no editing and no music; all rules of Dogma filmmaking. But the raw nature of the filmmaking simply reflects the raw nature of the story, enabling the viewer to slip into the sunny but soiled Christmas afternoon in a quiet suburban Australian street where such drama is perhaps not as unique as we might believe.

This excellent DVD package is presented with a sense of cinematic occasion: the 6-panel pictorial box opens up to reveal the two overlapping discs, each with a version of the film. The alternative version is just that, and the released film is the better result, but it's a demonstration of the greater range of choices that digital production makes possible. On the discs are several featurettes and bonus materials, all which worthwhile. Not to be forgotten, the 12 page colour booklet with the production notes, something usually only the media gets to see for reference. It's a simple and inexpensive extra worth noting by other distributors. In this case, all this extra material will be fodder for film schools and emerging filmmakers - and not so bad for joe public, either.

Published September 11, 2008

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

BOXING DAY: DVD (MA)
(Aust, 2007)

CAST: Richard Green, Tammy Anderson, Syd Brisbane, Catriona Hadden, Stuart Clark, Misty Sparrow

PRODUCER: Kristian Moliere

DIRECTOR: Kriv Stenders

SCRIPT: Kriv Stenders, Richard Green

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Kriv Stenders

EDITOR: Gabriella Muir

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Lisa Stonham

RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Smoking Gun Productions

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Melbourne: November 22, 2007; other cities to follow

PRESENTATION: 1.85:1; DD 2.0

SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc 1: Audio Commentary - with Kriv Stenders (Director/Co-Writer) & Kristian Moliere (Producer); Easter Egg. Disc 2: Boxing Day - Version 2.0 - full length alternative version of the film from Week 2 of the rehearsal; The Day After Christmas - documentary on the making of "Boxing Day" ; Casting Boxing Day - featurette on the casting process, including footage from the original auditions; The Rule of Three - featurette on Kriv Stenders' three production priorities ; When Syd Met Misty - featurette on set with actors, Syd Brisbane and Misty Sparrow; Richard Green: Poetry & Spoken Word - featurette of Richard Green's on-set performances; Trailer ; Easter Eggs; 12 page Production Booklet

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Siren Visual

DVD RELEASE: August 21, 2008







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