Barfly - One for the Criterion Collection?

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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I love the Criterion Collection. they really know how to give a movie the treatment it deserves. bonus features up the ying yang, beautiful transfers, etc.
I think they would do a great job with Barfly.
and maybe if enough people contacted them about it...
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
A very good idea. Let's just hope the owners of Barfly let them do what needs to be done. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
 

mjp

Founding member
I doubt Warner or Cannon would have any problem saying 'yes' to a Criterion release, but honestly, I wonder if it's really Criterion material.

Would it be considered a "classic" film by anyone who didn't know who Bukowski was? Rourke seems to be playing Popeye in some of those scenes, and if you don't know the source it just looks like hammy acting.

I would like to see it too, I guess, but the Warner Brothers disc is a good transfer, and it has all the extras you'd expect.

But what the hell, I'll email Criterion and throw one more request into the ring.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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true, but the same could be said for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
I like Depp and Del Toro, but their performances didn't really work for me.
I didn't really care for the movie, but the Criterion edition had sooo many good extras, I had to buy it.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
true, but the same could be said for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
I like Depp and Del Toro, but their performances didn't really work for me.

What? I thought they were better than Bill Murray and Peter Boyle. I am a huge fan of Murray and Boyle. It must be the Canadian thing.;)

I need to go home and see if my copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is by Criterion.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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well, I think the big problem I had with that movie is the glossing over of the "american dream" theme from the book. the first time i read the book, it was that search for the possibly non existant american dream that struck me the most. the taco hut episode (part 2, chapter 9: Breakdown on Paradise Blvd.) is totally missing. that scene is crucial to the book (and should be to the film).
to find that the american dream was "a huge slab of cracked, scorched concrete in a vacant lot of tall weeds. The owner of a gas station across the road said the place had 'burned down about three years ago.'", is a sobering moment in an otherwise besotted book. that burnt down club is the promise of the '60s hippie culture (if it was promising) being thrown onto Nixon's hearth.
without the search of the American Dream, the book is funny as all get out and high speed madness and even counter counter culture, but has little point.
I felt that way about the movie. I liked it, but was let down.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
well, I think the big problem[..............]
without the search of the American Dream, the book is funny as all get out and high speed madness and even counter counter culture, but has little point.
I felt that way about the movie. I liked it, but was let down.

So, are you saying it was the screenplay more so than the actors?
Benicio del Toro and Johnny Depp were very fine, in my opinion. My copy of the DVD does not say Criterion on the box. I'll have to fire it up and see.
Have you seen Breakfast with Hunter? There's a part in that where Hunter S Thompson blasts a couple of screenplay writers about placing a cartoon sequence in the movie. He was not happy with the sceenplay at that point, sounds like most writers.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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Founding member
So, are you saying it was the screenplay more so than the actors?


a bit of both, I think.
but I think that both of those actors are generally excellent, and make interesting choices as far as films go.
Depp could have easily ridden his looks and made crappy big budget action films for huge paycheques, but decided not to.
del toro was also a good looking guy when he was younger and could have easily done the same thing, but also chose not to.
897_710441231_bdt_2_H234322_L.jpg



the criterion is a 2 disc affair and looks like this...
175_box_348x490.jpg
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
o, and I haven't seen Breakfast with Hunter yet, but will search it out.
thanks for the heads up.
 
so while watching my crappy bootleg copy of barfly last night i had an idea: why not email the criterion collection about doing barfly? i remember seeing once that they took suggestions from anyone and thought that if everyone on the forum emailed them they might look into it. maybe barfly is not "criterion material", but in my opinion it is very worthy of their treatment. being out of print and all, i would love to see it re-released through the criterion collection. hell, maybe it's a stupid idea, but what's the harm in trying, right? i mean, city lights DID produce a hardcover edition of "portions" after continuous urging from buk.net members. email them at suggestions@criterion.com.
if this seems like a bad idea for a thread, it can't be any worse than the "what are you having for dinner" thread :)

http://www.criterion.com/asp/faq.asp#FAQ36

http://www.criterion.com/asp/index.asp

Edit: dang! there's already a thread about this...
kudos hoochmonkey. i should have searched the forum first i suppose :o

anyhow, i emailed them today....
 

chronic

old and in the way
Criterion put out DVDs of Schroeder's Koko and Idi Amin documentaries as well as Maîtresse, so it might not be too much of a stretch to think that they would consider this if rights issues don't interfere too much.
 
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nervas

more crickets than friends
Oh man, what a glorius day that would be! I have only ever watched the movie on VHS!
 
This is one potential Criterion release that if I can't get it through my usual movie review connections (I write reviews for filmthreat.com), I will pay full price. I have no problem with it. I've wanted this for so long and mentally kicked myself for a while after it went out of print and the prices for available copies shot up astronomically.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
There's a new edition of the Barfly DVD on Amazon. It's been for sale for about a month. Unfortunately, it does'nt have the original commentary track by Barbet Schroeder. The only bonus material are some stills from the movie and actor biographies.
 
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For Criterion, I'll wait. They did a hell of a job on "My Dinner with Andre" and Jim Jarmusch's "Stranger than Paradise" and "Night on Earth," three of my very favorite films. I have the same faith for "Barfly."
 

mjp

Founding member
Hooch's 5 year old Facebook link doesn't go to where it's supposed to go to anymore (no surprise), but I know they haven't said anything publicly other than that, so maybe there was an issue. Best bet would be to find someone inside Criterion to get the straight dope. But if they were hinting at it 5 years ago and nothing has materialized yet, it doesn't sound promising.

Maybe Booker T. & The M.G.'s are holding it up. ;)

It was really something to see it on DVD for the first time though, after all those years of seeing the fuzzy, square VHS version. It's like an actual movie when you see it all crispy on the widescreen, and - I think - worth the $75 or $100 you have to pay to get it now.
 

mjp

Founding member
Yeah, watch out though. Some of those are bootlegs of questionable quality.
 
or 19,95 EUR (approx 25.- USD) for a 2-DVD-version that includes about 1 hour of Bukowski-Tapes too.
(new, sealed, shipping inside Germany free)
Roni,
So its playable in american DVD players, yea?!?....I think I need this for Christmas!!! I've had 3 or 4 copies, loaned/lost em all...
 

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
It's on my list as well...so long as the fat man adjudges me a "good boy" this year.
 
... playable in american DVD players, yea?
unfortunately, it's RC2, which is for European DVD-players. (RC1 is for USA, RC0 is region-code-free)

So, buying this one would only make sense for you (or other US-based cats), if you watch movies playing from your computer instead of a standalone DVD-player. Sorry.
 

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
...if you watch movies playing from your computer instead of a standalone DVD-player. Sorry.

What about an Xbox? I've used it to watch films before, ands don't remember declaring a region. Or, maybe, it somehow already knows?
 

mjp

Founding member
Don't know about Xbox specifically, but the region number is burned into the disc, so the player reads that data and says, nope if the player is made to playback only one region (as most are).

That's the movie industry trying to control where, how and to who their product is sold. The music industry would like to do the same thing, but so far they haven't been able to. Their DRM experiments have met with a lot of resistance. E-books from most big publishers also have DRM baked in.
 
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