An Englishman in New York  [DVD]
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John Hurt stars as Quentin Crisp (a role he originally played in 1975's 'The Naked Civil Servant') in this biographical drama based on the last 20 years of Crisp's life. The literary figure and gay iconoclast emigrated to New York in 1981 and lived there until his death in 1999. The film observes Crisp in both his public and private lives, from his seemingly cavalier response to the outbreak of AIDS to his tender relationship with his dying friend Patrick Angus (Jonathan Tucker) and his own response to growing old. Denis O'Hare, Swoosie Kurtz and Cynthia Nixon co-star.
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Top Customer Reviews
This account of Crisp's later years in America, where he found modest fame and fortune, was greeted with rather tepid enthusuasm by the critics when it aired recently on TV. They observed it didn't have the impact of The Naked Civil Servant and lacked its freshness, its edginess and often savage humour. But perhaps this was inevitable. By the time Crisp died he seemed a rather cosy and familiar figure. When a few years back he delivered his "alternative queen's speech" on Christmas day TV we no longer stared in wide-eyed fascination. The world had changed and for Crisp it had become a friendlier, gentler place, poverty and struggle were things of the past. Only Crisp himself did not change very much, he remained brave and true to himself (often to the point of foolhardiness as in his waspish dismissal of AIDS as a gay fad.) So inevitably An Englishman in New York lacks some of the ingredients that made The Naked Civil Servant so compelling.Read more ›
I am hoping your motivation may include
at least one kind thought for the subject
(and hero) of this very fine film.
Mr Crisp is a conundrum.
I have read many accounts of meetings with the
man but few that have come even remotely close
to approximating what it was like to know him.
That he put his foot in it on more than one
occasion (AIDS and Princess Dianna to name
but two) is, of course, well known.
That he fully understood the import that his
statements might have made is less clear.
It seems, to me, possible that some form of
high-functioning autism might account for many
aspects of his elusive persona. The repetitive
sterotypy of his stories; his monotonous diction;
the lack of ability to consider the impact that his
views might have on the feelings of others and his
uncompromising eccentricity are all strong indicators
for such a hypothesis.
That these quirks of being were also his strength,
shield and salvation should be an example to us all.
Mr Crisp was a Gentleman (first and foremost) but he
was also a gentle man. Although he did not suffer fools
gladly he was both generous with his time and able to
both give and take from those that he felt able to trust.
That Mr Hurt felt able to revisit his remarkable
personification of this iconic figure is a generous act.
Brian Fillis' script and Richard Laxton's sensitive
direction bring Mr Crisp to life with warmth and honesty.
The observational detail in Mr Hurt's portrayal is uncanny.
He is, indeed, Mr Crisp's "representative on earth".Read more ›
Angus was a sweet, sweet man (as played by Jonathan Tucker) and his paintings were remarkable, as a monograph from GMP goes to prove. It is wonderful to see the pictures here in his studio - obviously they're not the originals but you see them from too far to notice - and to hear this wonderful young man muse on his low expectations of life and love, and be gently borne up by Crisp's concern. It was Crisp who got him an exhibition, on the back of a magazine article that appeared through Crisp's employer Phillip Steele (he wrote film reviews). Sadly, Angus died of Aids just as his painting seemed to be taking off; a scene in a nightclub showed his tender advance brutally rejected, yet there was something angelic about him. Crisp appeared quite a lot on stage in New York, which was clearly a city he loved. We hear many of his famed utterances, and see a lot of street life from that period, including a sexy guy on roller skates in micro-shorts, some hunks shirtless in clubs and various other eye candy, all filled out with club hits from the period.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some really sad parts and some really funny parts and some nice quotes! Excellent.Published 13 months ago by mr levi thompson
A wonderful and stylish film with John Hurt on his usual excellent form. In this he is enthralling and truly seems to capture the "essence" of Quentin Crisp. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Cameo Boy