Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Josse De Pauw, Geert Hunaerts, Michael Pas, Gene Bervoets, Amid Chakir
Director: Dominique Deruddere
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Oscar ® nominated director Dominique Deruddere?s film is a darkly disturbing fairy tale for adults. On its original US release, the film was championed by Madonna, Sean Penn and GODFATHER director Francis Coppola. But it p... more »
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Dark and Stylish
Christopher W. Curry | Indianapolis, IN | 10/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Crazy Love is a Belgian film based partially on The Copulating Mermaid of Venice, California and Ham on Rye, both stories fantastically penned by the inimitable Charles Bukowski. Crazy Love also marks the directorial debut of Dominique Deruddere (Everybody's Famous and Wait Until Spring, Bandini) and the feature film introduction of Josse de Pauw (Hombres Complicados and S.). While Crazy Love has been consistently affirmed by critics and viewers alike the film has proven much too controversial for mainstream acceptance and has remained virtually unknown even with Francis Ford Coppola and Pop singer Madonna fighting for its cause.
Crazy Love tells the story of Harry Voss (a sure-fired stand-in for Bukowski) who is repeatedly referred to as "Harry Frankenstein" for his socially debilitating skin condition. Voss' over-sized and over-ripened acne causes children to stare, adults to look away and classmates to snicker. Bukowski unfortunately suffered this same tribulation in his own life.
Harry Voss' account is revealed over 3 key moments in his life. In the first part of the film he is infatuated with a Princess from a matinee film that he has seen and soon first-handedly discovers his budding sexuality. Moreover his adolescent ideals of love and marriage are not only debunked by his older friend but also crushed by his mother.
From age 12 we are transported 6 years later to Voss' high school graduation, an event he understandably declines to attend due to the unmerciful taunts that he receives from his classmates. A friend invites Voss to the graduation dance and he is only convinced to go after a good healthy round of drinks. Once at the gathering Voss spots the most popular girl in school and attempts asking her to dance. He doesn't have the nerve and retreats to the lavatory in order to regain his composure. In an act of desperation Voss completely wraps his head with tissues leaving only a tiny slit for his languid yet passionate eyes to be seen. Resembling Claude Rains from The Invisible Man, Voss lends his hand to the girl in question and she accepts the offer to dance. Certainly the idea of Voss looking like The Invisible Man versus the notion that he would sometimes rather be an invisible man did not elude the makers of this film. To be sure this bizarre dream-like sequence leaves the viewer wondering if it ever really happened at all.
Finally, in his 30's, disillusioned from alcoholism and suffering miserably from a broken heart, Harry Voss ends his quest for love by copulating with a female cadaver. Harry, thinking that the corpse is the Princess from his childhood fantasies, marries and then commits suicide with his new bride by walking forever into the sea.
Deruddere approaches this difficult subject matter with a stylistic finesse seldom seen in a first time director. In fact in America it is virtually unheard of, but the film commission in Belgium differs greatly from that of Hollywood's (just watch the "making of featurette" to get a clearer view of the differences). Deruddere masterfully orchestrates a fantastic piece of cinema that in the hands of a lesser director would have either been a pity-party or a freak show (or both) but instead it is a film that will inspire emotions of understanding and humility.
This Mondo Macabro release has some great extra features including: A "making of" documentary, an interview with the film's director and optional English subtitles."
A. Starke | Chicago | 03/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When it exploded onto screens in the mid 1980's, first time director Dominique Deruddere's film CRAZY LOVE divided critics and audiences as few films before or since. Those who loved it, did so with a passion; those who hated it, thought it one of the most disgusting things they'd seen in a long time. On its US release, the film was championed by Madonna, Sean Penn and Francis Ford Coppola. But ultimately it proved too controversial for mass acceptance, and never received the recognition it deserved. Now reappraised as one of the most underrated films of the 1980's, CRAZY LOVE makes its DVD debut in a stunning new anamorphic HD transfer from the original negative.Taking his cue from stories by cult American author Charles Bukowski, Deruddere's film tells the story of a man's life via three nights, spread over 15 years. We see his hero, Harry Voss, first as a romantic young boy of 12, then as an acne ridden teenager, lost in unrequited love, and finally as a drink sodden drop out, for whom no act is too dreadful to contemplate...with terrible and yet deeply moving consequences.It's a film that, once seen, is never likely to be forgotten. A film with a unique, bitter sweet and poetic mood that manages to be funny and tragic at the same time. A minor masterpiece, ripe for rediscovery on DVD."
It is not a "dog"
E. Honea | 09/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a great shame this film is not available in U.S. format. I saw it years ago in a theater--with subtitles. If you have a heart, this film can break it. The soundtrack adds greatly to the experience;probably the best ever use of "Love Hurts" (Everly Bros.) as part of the soundtrack."
Cstro | Baltimore | 02/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie in 1987. The story has stayed with me for 22 years. It was heartbreaking. I wish people in the U.S. had access to it."