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Lenny Bruce: Performance Film [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Koch Vision Video
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,226 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Bruce,Lenny ~ Performance Film

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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Nov. 2009
Format: DVD
Lenny Bruce was probably the single most important figure in post-war standup comedy. When he was at his best, he could summon up a brilliant stream-of-conciousness routine seemingly out of nowhere: in some ways, his comedy was like a jam session at times, but one that could highlight the absurdities of, say, segregation or civil rights abuses and still make them funny. Sadly, you'd never guess it from The Lenny Bruce Performance Film, which showcases him at his doped-up self-indulgent worst.

Shot in San Francisco in 1965 but released in 1967 a year after his death, this was his penultimate performance before his fatal overdose, and the damage that years of litigation, drugs and obscenity busts had done to his once razor-sharp mind is all-too obvious. By this point Bruce had stopped doing his act and was simply looking to put forward the case for the defense, quite literally - much of the one-hour set is simply Bruce picking through the court record of his latest obscenity bust and telling his version of events. There are still sporadic moments of genius, but they're short-lived and unfocussed. Where once he triumphed with stream of consciousness, this is almost stream of unconciousness at times as he gets sidetracked, throws in a couple of half-hearted renditions of classic routines like Father Flotsky's triumph and sporadically loses his place. In a horrible irony, it's in moments like these that he sounds like nothing so much as a bad, half-forgotten impersonation of Lenny Bruce, like one of the `peace officers' doing his act badly in front of a judge that he spends so much of this performance bitterly complaining about. As such, it's more for the fans who can put it into perspective rather than a particularly good introduction to his work.
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