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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'The Temptation of St. Tony)


Directed by Veiko ’unpuu
Estonia - 2009


Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost. Dante Alighieri, „Divine Comedy”. Inferno, Song I

The Temptation of St. Tony” is a film about a man, who has reached middle age, and finds himself in exactly the kind of darkening forest that Dante describes. An unusual problem intrudes upon his moderately prosperous and quiet life - morality. Is it possible to be a “good person”? What does that mean anyway? And what’s in it for you? On his journey towards a clearer conscience but an increasingly complicated reality, Tony meets several typical specimens familiar from contemporary Estonian society and lives through exciting adventures, not without some diverting humour. And it starts to seem that slowly, and quite inevitably, the man loses his job, his family, and finally reality, itself.

Compassion incurs capital loss.


Theatrical Release: October 10th, 2009

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DVD Review: Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:54:52 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Estonian | Russian | English | French (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (burned-in)

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: February 22nd, 2011

Keep Case
Chapters: 8



Olive Films is handling another non-Paramount, modern, foreign-language film (as they did with Nicolo Donato's Brotherhood and the excellent The Milk of Sorrow). The Temptation of St. Tony is quite a different film - very amusing with some impressive cinematography. It gives pause to reflect on Kafka literature, Tarkovsky and, maybe even, BuŮuel - almost tongue-in-cheek. I enjoyed it.   

Like all widescreen Olive Film DVDs to date this is dual-layered, anamorphic, progressive and bare-bones. It looks strong at the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Contrast is strong - as is detail. It really has no noise - or flaws in general. There is, predictably, no damage. It probably exports a decent replication of theatrical.

We will reiterate - while mainstream DVD may be dying a slow death - less mainstream, festival films like this (that you won't even find in a Walmart discount bin) should continue for decades. Olive Films are giving us an accessible method of seeing the film that many would not have the opportunity to indulge in.  

Audio offers clear dialogue and unfortunately, the English subtitles are, again, burned-in. The sound is clean - supporting ‹lo Krigul's score. There are no extras - not even a trailer. Supplements here would be greatly appreciated - a commentary would probably shed some light since some of the satire is layered pretty deep. But then again - maybe that is the appeal - the under-spoken hints at.

There is a kind of ambitious resignation to life's absurdities in The Temptation of St. Tony that some may find tiresome - but the dark comedy gives it an entertaining edge. I can't recall ever seeing an Estonian film before - although I'm sure I must have at some point. I had a good time with this - I think many will also give a some pleasant smirks. 

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC

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