Review: Test Screening of New Australian Film : Kenny

Today Donna and I went to the first audience screening for a new Australian film called Kenny. It’s a fake documentary following the life and work of a portaloo person, Kenny, who works for a Melbourne company called Splashdown as he copes with customers, family, the public and, of course, sewage.

Kenny is much more than just a very funny film, it’s a film with a good heart and a sharp eye on the human condition – especially where it concerns those “invisible” folks doing the dirty work that keeps society going. The filming is great and it makes quite a convincing documentary, the character of Kenny is strong, humble, funny and very warm hearted.

The authenticity is helped by the fact that Splashdown is a real Melbourne company (doing “Corporate Bathroom Rentals” – the owner Glenn Preusker is the sole investor in the film) who lent them the equipment, yard and vehicles. You could say that’s the ultimate in product placement, and sure, it won’t do their image any harm, but that’s not what the story is, the story is how Kenny copes with lifes ups and downs with good grace and humour – whether that be trying to persuade a new recruit to retrieve a lost wedding ring at a festival, defending their precious thunderboxes from this years annual torching at a race meet or coping with your first flight to the US.

It was my first time at a test screening and what we got to see was not the finished movie, still left to do is doing the sound (we had the audio from the camera used, which was still damn good & added to the authenticity in my book), fixing up the colour matching between scenes and some tidying up. The films creator, producer and director Clayton Jacobson (IMDB entry) was there to introduce the film and lead discussion and questions afterwards, but also there was Kenny himself (believed to be Claytons brother Shane) and a number of others from the cast (ex-wife, son, co-worker) and the camera man.

The audience reaction was brilliant, they loved the film. A couple felt there was a flat bit prior to the trip to the US, but to me (and according to Clayton) that was because Kenny was going through a difficult patch and that life isn’t all roses. It also gave a good contrast to what came after.

Anyway, I think it was an awesome film and well worth going to see when it comes out!

It’s being distributed in Australia by Madman Entertainment and is due out around July – keep an eye out for it.

Oh, and Clayton, if you read this, any chance of keeping the soundtrack we heard at the test screening as an alternate option on the DVD ? Please ? 🙂

Review Score: 4.5 out of 5! 

17 thoughts on “Review: Test Screening of New Australian Film : Kenny

  1. Absolutely brilliant – I laughed so much. I really related to this guy and his relationships with son, ex-wife, father, friends and colleagues. What a corker!

  2. Hello,

    Thanks for the review. I live in the US and just returned from my first trip to Australia (Canberra and Sydney). Some folks in Sydney were talking about this movie, so I’m anxious to see it. Any idea when it will be released in the US?

  3. This is one of the REAL films – one that is entirely natural and spontaneous – seemingly uncontrived. It’s so Australian – raw and yet it still remains sensitive. Am sure it will appeal overseas. It deals with day to day issues, many of which we pretend don’t happen – toilets and crap disposal – yet is not crude. We loved it and the entire audience came out laughing which is rare. If there would be any criticism for me as a filmaker, it would be the editing and so many very very short wobbly camera scenes … nevertheless, I would give it four and a half stars plus a bit ! Congratulations to the entire crew. Regina

  4. I saw “Kenny” on a flight back to the USA. I would like to see it in an Australian cinema as I have no doubt the audience reaction would add to the enjoyment. This is a great film and I hope to be able to access it here in the USA as it will provide countless hours of enjoyment in explaining some of the Aussie sayings which permeate the film. The scenes in the US are scarily real in respect of the local reactions to Kenny. A must see film. David.

  5. Your best bet there Ross is to try and contact Madman directly and see what they say.

    Given that it’s still out in cinemas here though I suspect it’s unlikely for the moment, but I suspect it will happen…

    I’d really like to see them get an international distributor deal!

  6. my friend lesley boseley mention your fim i think she had a part in it. i was on a cruyise with them last year. i hear you are coming to england rto promote it any idea when? if i coulkd meet up while you are here it would be great

  7. …If this film’s as good as “The Castle” then it deserves an Oscar or at least a Golden Globe Award!…C’mon you guys when is it going on world wide release?

  8. Pingback: Kenny wins the AFI Best Actor award at The Musings of Chris Samuel

  9. My husband and I saw “Kenny” on a Quantas flight and thought it was hilarious. We are sort of snobbly about what movies we watch and a movie about a port-a-potty business wasn’t our usual choice. But we thought it was great independent film-making and much more entertaining that the mega billion US blockbusters.

  10. Saw this film in Sydney when visiting my nephews thought it was hilarious just got back from Silverstone (British Grand Prix) it reminde me of the film Kenny would have loved it as all there was was lots of chemical toilets and two blokes going round non stop with their machine couldn’t help chuckling every time I saw them

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