Audio commentary - with Paul Currie, Gary Ravenscroft, Gary Woodyard, Josh. G Abrahams, David Hobson and Paul Pirola
Featurette - The Making of One Perfect Day
One Perfect Day
Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 102 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Films based on the rave culture stand few and far between, with standouts being Go and Groove. Films based on the Australian rave culture are a new breed to look at, and One Perfect Day creates a stylised and energy-drive piece that quite easily equals the international standards set by the two aforementioned films. Yet One Perfect Day is able to go one step further and go beyond the dance culture, bringing in a well-executed and touching emotional drama, dealing with life and life’s relationships. The relevance of this, as well as the dance culture, are equally important to young people around the world, and gives modern audiences, a welcome change from the shallow nature of many mainstream films today.
You spin me right round...
On one level, we are taken head on into the constantly growing dance and rave culture, with a side serve of drugs, while then simultaneously, a detailed emotional drama is unfolding, with just a splash of melodrama to bring on the waterworks. These multiple layers, however, can be taken the wrong way by those wanting a mindless film, as this is definitely an intelligent film requiring audience attention throughout to take control of the many subtleties One Perfect Day has to offer. I think this is what makes it so appealing – the fact that the filmmakers are giving us, as an audience, respect and the chance to make our own decisions in the film.
Continuing from the interview with Phil Gregory, this idea follows on with Lightstream Films’ aim in film production – make realistic films where realistic people are faced with making their own decisions. It is the maturity that films like One Perfect Day contain that makes them appealing to those after a little more depth and meaning in their cinema. Starring a young upcoming Australian cast including Dan Spielman (The Secret Life of Us), Leeanna Walsman (Looking for Alibrandi, Jessica), Abbie Cornish (The Monkey’s Mask, Life Support) and Nathan Phillips (Australian Rules, Under the Radar), One Perfect Day tests all of these actors with some rather heavy drama and changes in their characters, all of whom execute their roles superbly. Supporting this young cast is Australian Kerry Armstrong, who too adds presence to her role, and Brit Andrew Howard, acting as the menacing and downright twisted baddie. The chemistry between the two leads, Spielman and Walsman, flows electrically between them, as does the brother/sister relationship of Spielman and Cornish.
Paul Currie shows great potential as a director with such a daring international project, and pulls it off with such a clear and knowledgeable vision. One Perfect Day leaps off the screen with vibrancy, life and emotion, all wrapped up with a slick soundtrack and effervescent editing. But Currie doesn’t stand alone, as a team of talented and passionate individuals, from editing to sound design, and acting to graphic design, work together to achieve a common goal. One Perfect Day is the product, and one that the entire cast and crew can be proud of. As soon as The Rairbirds track Blow Wind Blow kicks off in the opening titles, you know you’re in for one hell of an energetic ride.
"You know, if you throw your voice into an empty space it echoes to the ones you love."
Leeanna Walsman looks terrified as she realises that 'Tidy' actually stood for 'Tiny'...
Tommy Matisse (Spielman) is a young Australian studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London, who is writing an operatic symphony with his girlfriend, Alysse (Walsman) back in Melbourne, sharing the same “simple melody”, a theme waiting for lyrics. On Emma’s (Cornish), his sister’s, birthday, she is faced with a few problems of her own and heads out for wild night of partying with Alysse. But this is to be Emma’s last birthday as an experimentation with drugs leads to a fatal consequence. Returning to Australia after being kicked out of the Royal Academy for experimental musicianship, he picks up the pieces of his life in Australia and explores the world of Emma that he knows nothing about – the dance culture. Yet, a nasty find in Alysse’s apartment leads to the couple going their separate ways – Tommy into the DJ scene following after his younger sister’s goals, and Alysse wandering into the seductive arms of Hector, record producer and dealer, promising her the chance to record her angelic voice. But now, dealing with a new culture, a new ‘tribe’ as Trig (Phillips), “atmospheric distribution specialist”, calls it, Tommy gets the chance to express himself without boundaries, and explore a new breed of music, one that has already touched thousands of people all around the world and requires just as much discipline as classical music. But a chance meeting at a rave in the desert causes jealousy to rage within Hector, creating an angry stir leading to one of the most powerful and elaborate finales in Australian cinema starring nearly 6,000 extras.
"All you have to do is listen."
Presented in an anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect of 2.40:1, very close to the original theatrical aspect of 2.35:1, One Perfect Day comes to us on with a powerful transfer. While just shy of perfect, this transfer sure is a beauty, and compared to the transfers of other Australian films, we’ve got little to complain about. Receiving a “dirty” chroma-ised appearance on the theatrical prints, One Perfect Day is faithful to this somewhat stylistic look, capturing a slight soft edge to the image in what appears to be a slight chroma effect. Notice here that the keyword is slight, with the artefact being non-disruptive to the enjoyment of watching this film. Accompanying this slight mottling effect is the odd case of low-level noise, however the image still remains detailed, relatively clear and free from film artefacts. Colours are lusciously bright, richly saturated and cleanly presented, with blacks being perhaps a little on the grey side. Shadow detail is generally very good, yet one or two scenes do lean a little towards murkiness. With the duration of the entire disc relatively lengthy, it is great to see that compression-related artefacts aren’t an issue at all, with a superbly placed layer change occurring quickly at 26:03. English subtitles for the Hearing Impaired have been included, and are mostly accurate with the odd word omitted for simplicity.
C'mon, up the anti... make it a... *gulp*... TOUCHDOWN!
Three soundtracks have been included on this disc, two for the film and one for the audio commentary. The two film tracks, both English, give us the choice of either Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448Kbps or 2.0 at 224Kbps. With so much emphasis made on sound design, it is quite clear that the 5.1 track is by far the prime listening option. Dialogue comes cleanly from the centre channel, in perfect synch for the entire duration. Andrew Howard’s voice, however, at times sounds a little over-compressed, lacking the high fidelity of the remainder of the soundtrack which is one that is sure to test out your sound system, with one of the most detailed, imaginative and innovative soundstages that this guy has ever heard. Every single speaker gets a heavy workout, constantly adding discrete effects to the soundstage, with the subwoofer getting plenty to woof about – it’s doof-doof music after all.
Now, with all this in mind, the 2.0 track sounds terribly flat to listen to, however if you’ve only got that stereo option, this track is still a beauty with the same clarity as the 5.1 track, but just lacking the enthusiasm of a surround soundstage. The score, credited to David Hobson with additional workings by Josh G. Abrahams, is opulently theatrical, capturing the warmth and love of the emotional story and taking the audience soaring to moving emotional levels. The remainder of the soundtrack is made up of a huge collection of dance and alternative acts, from both Australia and abroad, boasting the international potential of One Perfect Day. We hear tracks from Nubreed, Lamb (Gorecki in the most tender of moments), Queens of the Stone Age, Fatboy Slim, Missy Higgins, Rob Dougan and CJ Bolland just to name a few, with an amazing theme remixed by Paul Van Dyk featuring vocals by Ali McGregor. Adding more Australian talent to the barrel is the fantastic work from Lisa Gerrard and her vocals on the track One Perfect Sunrise by Orbital. The combination of Hobson’s score with tracks such as this just create such an intertwined soundtrack that is both emotive and complete, making One Perfect Day the modern musical of the year.
One Perfect DVD Menu
After the initial Roadshow logo and the copyright warnings, One Perfect Day’s aesthetic 16:9 menus load, busting with suited animation and a little Easter Egg, but you know where to read more about that. Each of the submenus feature the same fitting and stylistic graphic design, as well as animation, including animated scene selections.
From the Extras page, we’re led to two of the three features, the first being the superb theatrical trailer, presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphically enhanced aspect with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Running for 2:03, this trailer is a great advertising tool doing a great job at describing the story as well as promoting the killer soundtrack. The second option here is a 39:39 featurette looking at The Making of One Perfect Day. This features interviews with Paul Currie, Phil Gregory, Charles Morton, Chip Richards, Dan Spielman, Andrew Howard, Kerry Armstrong, Abbie Cornish, Leeanna Walsman, Nathan Phillips, Rory Williamson, Paul Pirola and David Hobson and gives you a fairly decent look at several key aspects of the film including character development, music and sound design and post production. While still covering a heck of a lot in a limited time, this is a great featurette and by the looks of things, there are a fair number of deleted scenes that sadly aren’t on this DVD.
From the Audio page, we’re able to see that there is in fact another decent extra feature that is not listed on the slick – a feature-length filmmaker commentary featuring most of the guys from the production of the film including Paul Currie, Gary Ravenscroft, Gary Woodyard, Josh. G Abrahams, David Hobson and Paul Pirola to name a few as some seem to be unintroduced. These guys chat really easily amongst themselves and are great at discussing both trivial and technical points of the production of the film. With such a gelled group of guys watching the film, they make for an informative, humorous and action-packed commentary. Oh, and keep listening towards the end of the credits too when they get a little honest about finances and box office figures.
Critically, One Perfect Day was praised by many including Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton from The Movie Show and Wallis Theatres to name two sources. Sadly, the public didn’t take too kindly to the film, however it get’s Marty’s official two-thumbs up on DVDnet. One Perfect Day is a detailed film operating on many levels both mentally and emotionally, and treats the audience with respect, leaving many subtleties just that – subtle. Accompanying the film is a pulsating soundtrack, which has been superbly mastered for DVD with an awesome video transfer. The extra features, while totally only three, are detailed and all worthy inclusions, making One Perfect Day one perfect decision for your next night in, or a warm up for your next night out.