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Prick Up Your Ears Special Edition [DVD]
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The life story of controversial 1960s playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman), revealed in flashback after his murder by lover Kenneth Halliwell (Alfred Molina). Born in Leicester, Orton moves to London and enjoys an openly gay relationship with Halliwell in their famous Islington flat. However, when Orton achieves spectacular success with such plays as 'What the Butler Saw' and 'Loot', Halliwell begins to feel alienated and the pair's future looks increasingly uncertain.
Based on John Lahr's biography of the same name and co-written by Alan Bennett, Prick Up Your Ears charts the 16-year relationship between the monstrously talented but deeply selfish playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman), author of West End farces such as Loot and What the Butler Saw, and his neurotic but nevertheless wronged lover and collaborator Kenneth Halliwell (Alfred Molina). Halliwell introduced Orton to art, literature and gay sex only to see his protégeacute; outstrip his mentor with innate and rampant talent for sexual conquest. By turns hilarious and excoriatingly painful, it's as much a tribute to an anti-hero of our times-Orton's ruthless frankness and anarchic mindset helped form the basis of what's called the "queer" sensibility today--as it is a portrait of the Swinging 60s just after the reform of anti-homosexuality laws irrevocably changed society. The modern-day framing device has Lahr (Wallace Shawn) researching his book through interviews with Peggy Ramsay (Vanessa Redgrave), Orton's agent and the diary he wrote, a nimble device which ends up drawing a provocative parallel between Orton and Halliwell's relationship and that of Lahr and his wife (Lindsay Duncan). Director Stephen Frears, fresh off the back of the also-gay-themed My Beautiful Laundrette, nimbly balances our sympathies for both the protagonists while the leads give what may in retrospect look like the standout performances of their careers: Oldman was never more feral and charming, while Molina, foppishingly fretting over his wig and decrying that his lover "even sleeps better than I do" is simply heartbreaking. --Leslie Felperin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
DVD special features:
Interview With Stephen Frears.
Recollections Of Leonie Barnett.
1967 Interview Of Joe Orton With Eamonn Andrews.
English Hard Of Hearing
Just the thought of seeing a filmed interview with the real-life Joe Orton, if that is indeed what is presented here, is well worth the price of admission to this colorful and remarkable piece of gay cinema. Hopefully in the future, there may be a full fledge documentary on Joe Orton as he seems to be still a rather mysterious but playful and original playright of the twentieth century.
But perhaps the biggest flaw in Alan Bennett's script is that it fails to convey much sense of Orton's work, literary brilliance, and therefore, why the man warrants this attention.
That said, anyone interested in Orton, or the British theatre in the late 1960s, will have fun watching this film.
N.B. anyone considering buying this Special Edition to see the 1967 Orton TV appearance Special Feature: this is NOT the full interview, just a meagre 120 seconds of it. It is outrageously misleading of ITV DVD not to make this clear, or to make clear why the excerpt is so short, seeing as many will buy this edition specifically to see this item.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
PRICK UP YOUR EARS [1987 / 2015] [Blu-ray] [US Release] They Shared Everything . . . Except Success! From the Director of ‘My Beautiful Launderette. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Hard to watch film - quite boring really and was surprised because I love Gary Oldman - however this was one of his earlier roles. Read morePublished 11 months ago by jacqui weir
Whilst the storyline was fairly good, the film was sometimes too dark to watch, spoiled it for me as Iv allready read the story of joe ortonPublished 12 months ago by Margaret Barlow