An Englishman in New York
Stephen Michael Dobson | London, England | 03/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary follows the life of Quentin Crisps life in New York and the people that hung around him. This is a sort of follow up to the 'Naked Civil Servant' and he meets up with John Hurt (the actor who portrayed him) to discuss how this television play changed both their respective lives.
Quentin seems to meet up with people who are equally as eccenteric as he was. For example he meets up with Holly Woodlawn (one of the Warhol 'top trannies') and there is a great deal of gushing that goes on (from la Woodlawn). Quentin is very polite to everyone, but appears to keep his distance and rarely offers any opinions that offend.
Infact Quentin does appear as a sort of by stander as all these fabulous New York artists go about their way and offer their, mostly, favourable opinions about him.
The interersting bits happen irrespective of the documentary, for example he does not meet with an entirely sympathetic audience consisting of elderly lesbian and Gays from New York. They pick him up on his attitude, and although he manages to joke his way out, I liked the fact that they were not as syphocantic as his collegues.
Another interesting section occurs during a chat show where an audience member calls him a form of Freak. Quentin does not bat a mascared eyelid.
The film maker, Mr Nossitor, puts some scenarios into the film which are simply cringeworthy. For example he has Quentin and John Hurt looking at each other in a through a mirror, this is wacky. Quentin also enacts the words from the films of Greta Garbo in a voice, and posture which is supposed to be her. It is if we are spying on a very personal moment.
One must appreciate that Quentin has said a lot of what appears in the film time and time again. He appears to be a willing stooge for the film and this detracts from his dignity.
However, the film is worth watching for Quentin as a documentary of the later part of his life."
Flawed and pretentious documentary on a brilliant yet humble
Modernizm | Palm Springs California | 04/16/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Quentin Crisp was one of the last great wits. A man who lived through two lifetimes worth of adventures, yet this movie comes off flat, strained and art~sy (when it it obvious the director is aiming at art~ful). It would have been better if the director just allowed Mr. Crisp to speak for himself, but instead, we are given shots of people speaking into mirrors and sometimes even through them.
I had such high hopes for this film, but it was a remarkable let down. Still, it is a must for Quentin Crisp fans and I know there are many people who fit into that category. Buy it, if you must, but don't say I didn't warn you.
As a side note, and apropos of nothing, there is a fascinating (perhaps the film's single instance of such an event) and disturbing scene shot in the Bridge Water art gallery in New York. The superb, and at that time unappreciated artist, Patrick Angus, Quentin Crisp and a play-write go to the Bridge Water gallery to show the owner Mr. Angus' work. The gallery owner poo-poos it and dismisses it as overly sexual and not commercial. You can see the utter and undisguised humiliation in Patrick Angus' eyes, the pain of rejection and the almost palpable sense of worthlessness as his paintings are cast aside as so much rubish...the scene is a window into the pain and suffering artists are subjected to each and every day. Mr. Angus died of Aids in 1992 (that scene was shot and took place in 1988) and lived in poverty while his ouvre was only finally understood and appreciated as he lay dying. I suppose that scene alone makes the purchase of this DVD worth~while. For one brief moment, we can all share in the ignominy accorded artists by an all too cruelly-commercial world."
Craig Beasley | 11/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One as singular as Crisp should be looked upon as trully unique. His choice to defy the archaic and urbane sensibilities of the times he lived is extraordinary! Never has an individual stated with such grace, a way to conduct and convey an existence. I say bravo to his sheer determination to be exactly who he was! I would have loved to see all of the directors deleted takes. Such an unlucky fellow carried himself with a rather magnanimous flare for quips, axioms and aphorisms that will
entertain and enlighten many more for years to come. No one will ever be quite like him. He was timeless in his ability to emphasize the importance of being an individual extraodinaire!"