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Three Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 3 Discs
FEATURES
  • Includes the films Poto and Cabengo, Routine Pleasures, and My Crasy Life

Three Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Jean-Pierre Gorin
2012 | 250 Minutes | Licensor: Jean-Pierre Gorin

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $44.95 | Series: Eclipse from the Criterion Collection | Edition: #31
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: January 17, 2012
Review Date: January 9, 2012

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SYNOPSIS

Filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin, widely known for his early-seventies collaborations (including Tout va bien) with Jean-Luc Godard in the Dziga Vertov Group, established his singular voice with this trio of accomplished, fascinating, and nontraditional documentaries, made in Southern California after his relocation there. Poto and Cabengo (1978) is a compelling visit with two young San Diego twins who have invented their own language. In Routine Pleasures (1986), Gorin conjoins the story of a group of model train enthusiasts in Del Mar with a meditation on the work of critic and painter Manny Farber. And My Crasy Life (1992) is an expectation-shredding exploration of a Samoan gang in Long Beach. With these three films, Gorin excavates hidden communities that are a part of everyday American life, and shows himself to be a major chronicler of what is eccentric and beautiful in our common culture.

Discuss the film and DVD here   


PICTURE

The 31st release in Criterionís Eclipse line presents three ďdocumentaryĒ films by director Jean-Pierre Gorin, bundled together under the name Three Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin. The set includes the films Poto and Cabengo, Routine Pleasures, and My Crasy Life. All three films are presented in their original aspect ratios of 1.33:1 over three single-layer discs.

All three transfers look splendid and itís honestly hard to pick out much in the way of faults. Most of the issues lay within the source materials but even then theyíre minor problems. All three present some minor blemishes but are generally clean, almost spotless. Of the three Poto and Cabengo shows its age (though in all fairness it looks like a lot of the footage comes from video) with some more faded colours but the others are in generally pristine condition.

Colours are bright and bold in the latter two, rendered beautifully. Black levels are strong with some minor crushing in places and sharpness and detail across all three is terrific with nary a soft spot I can recall (the details on the model trains found in Routine Pleasures can be especially striking.) Compression noise isnít a major concern, and all three have very clean digital transfers without any distracting issues. In all itís another fabulous looking Eclipse release.

8/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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Poto and Cabengo

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Poto and Cabengo

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Poto and Cabengo

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Poto and Cabengo

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Poto and Cabengo

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Routine Pleasures

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Routine Pleasures

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Routine Pleasures

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Routine Pleasures

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Routine Pleasures

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My Crasy Life

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My Crasy Life

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My Crasy Life

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My Crasy Life

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My Crasy Life

AUDIO

All three films present acceptable but unspectacular Dolby Digital 1.0 mono tracks. Poto and Cabengoís age shows a bit more in comparison to the other two, coming off a bit muffled, but overall the three are clear and easy to hear.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Sadly we donít get any supplements. It would have been nice to maybe revisit any of the subjects we find here, and also it would have been great to learn more about how some of the films were accomplished. My Crasy Life is the most unique of the bunch and learning about how Gorin was able to pull off convincing the gang members (and I assume police) present in the film to actually play themselves would have been fascinating. But we do get some great essays on Gorin, his American work, and these three films by Kent Jones, which shed some light.

1/10

CLOSING

I wish the set made it into the main Criterion line if only for the possibility of supplements (plus something tells me these would look great on Blu-ray,) but this is still a great set. The three films, all of which are mesmerizing, and all so distinctive yet from the same hand, get fabulous looking presentations.




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