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Neil Gaiman's A Short Film About John Bolton (2004)

John O'Mahony , Marcus Brigstocke , Neil Gaiman  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John O'Mahony, Marcus Brigstocke, Carolyn Backhouse, Jonathan Ross, Tree Petts
  • Directors: Neil Gaiman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00061QJAI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,025 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Neil Gaiman's A Short Film About John Bolton" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Live at the Aladdin: feature-length documentary on Neil Gaiman
  • "The Making of John Bolton": interview with Neil Gaiman
  • John Bolton photo gallery
  • Drawn in Darkness: Neil Gaiman audio recording
  • Cast and crew biographies

Editorial Reviews

About the Director

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman (born November 10, 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.

Product Description

From cult author and filmmaker Neil Gaiman--the endlessly creative genius behind the otherworldly film fantasy MirrorMask, The Sandman graphic novels, the BBC-TV series Neverwhere, and the U.S. adaptation of Princess Mononoke--comes A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON, a darkly hip and hilarious film which explores the question that torments artists of every medium: Where do your ideas come from?

Renowned artist John Bolton s paintings of voluptuous she-vampire nudes have earned this quiet eccentric a reputation for having a damaged imagination. BBC radio personality Jonathan Ross buys his pieces, which leads interviewer extraordinaire Marcus Brigstocke to find out what the appeal is in Bolton s beautiful (but terrifying) artwork. Why does Bolton demand that his gallery monsterpieces speak for themselves? What does he do with that ornamental knife that he carries everywhere. Will Marcus ever learn how to operate the camera?

Smart and stylish, writer/director Neil Gaiman s A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON is an unforgettable oddity. And, also for the first time on DVD Live at the Aladdin--a feature-length recording of Gaiman s October 2000 benefit performance, including interviews with Gaiman s colleagues and fans.

Special Features:

Commentary Track with Director Neil Gaiman and Actor Marcus Brigstocke; Live At The Aladdin: Feature Length Benefit Performance by Neil Gaiman; The Making of John Bolton Interview with Neil Gaiman; John Bolton Photo Gallery; Neil Gaiman Audio Recording: Drawn In Darkness; Biographies; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a Gaiman fan, you're going to want this dvd! October 30, 2004
Format:DVD
I think that the less you know about the half-hour "A Short Film About John Bolton", the more enjoyable it is to watch, so I'll leave that for the official summary. All I'll say is, like Gaiman's written work, it has a great mix of humor and horror, and makes me confident that his feature-film directorial debut will be terrific. Also, I found I liked the film better on repeat viewing. So if you're underwhelmed by it the first time, give it another try.

Aside from the film itself, the bonus features make this a must-have for any fan. In addition to the commentary & making-of featurette, and the audio feature of Gaiman reading "Drawn In Darkness", there's the 100-minute "Live At The Aladdin" film. This is a recording of one of his benefit performances for the CBLDF, in which he reads some of his classic stories like "Chivalry" and "The Price", poems like "Locks" and "Babycakes", and rarities like "Being An Experiment" (where he hilariously demonstrates the effects of alcohol on writing ability).

Whether you're an uber-fan, or just discovering Gaiman's work, this dvd is for you.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something Different... November 22, 2004
Format:DVD
I saw this short film, introduced in person by Gaiman, at a Comic-Con a year or two ago. As he said himself, it is a documentary "of sorts," something new for him. However, it is definitely Gaiman's work, and to dismiss it on this basis would be a grave mistake for any fan. It would fit well alongside the short stories in Smoke and Mirrors, but is far more entertaining in a video format. The film itself feels like a labor of love more than a pricey studio production and, if my memory serves me, that's exactly what it is. However, the included extras dismiss any notion that this is less than a quality release.

For newcomers to Mr. Gaiman's work, I would probably recommend one of his novels (Stardust, American Gods, or Neverwhere) or short story collections (Smoke and Mirrors, Angels and Visitations) as a better place to start. For fans, this is a must-have.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A short film indeed...with lots of extras August 2, 2006
Format:DVD
This little film of Neil Gaiman's is a pleasant surprise. I went into it expecting a quick documentary feature about one of my favorite artists (John Bolton) made by one of my favorite writers (Gaiman), something that could be provide insight into their past collaborations, if nothing else. What the film actually is becomes something quite a bit stranger. Quite...other. And also quite enjoyable.

As advertised (the title gives it away) the film itself is very short -- only about 25 minutes in length. It's a quick, satisfying little jaunt and taken by itself might be worth the price of the DVD alone. However, it's not alone -- it's got friends.

Specifically, it's got about 2 hours of extra features, tailor-made for the most rabid Neil Gaiman fan. The longest extra feature is actually three times as long as the short film, a video made of Neil Gaiman's appearance in Portland, Oregon on 'The Last Tour' for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. In just under 90 minutes, Gaiman does several excellent readings from his work and answers questions for an eager audience. His 'scientific experiment' on the effects of alcohol on writing is especially good, far better performed than read on a page. Also included in the DVD extras are a short interview with Gaiman about the film, an audio commentary track for the film itself, some 'biographies' of people in the film, a photo gallery of John Bolton's work, and a message from Neil about the CBLDF.

All in all, the film and the extras make for a pretty full evening's entertainment...as long as you're a Neil Gaiman fan. Despite the title, the DVD is much more about Gaiman than it is about John Bolton. But for a Gaiman fan, it's all worth watching.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Extras Trump Feature Presentation! January 30, 2005
Format:DVD
The "Live @ the Aladdin" extra, in which Gaiman reads a number of short stories and answers written questions from a live audience is excellent, and that's coming from somebody who has "seen it before" when caught this reading/Comic Book Legal Defense Fund on tour in LA.

Alas, I was not overly impressed by the short film, which I felt was rather thin on content and thus too long by half. It's the only time I can recall feeling dissapointed by Gaiman's usually flawless storytelling abilities! So two stars for the short, five stars for the Aladdin reading extra (and it's whopping in size: almost an HOUR).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GHASTLY AND HILARIOUSLY GREAT TIME... December 30, 2005
Format:DVD
The short "documentary" (and I will not tell why the word documentary is in quote marks...I'll leave that for the viewer to uncover) is in iteslf worth the price of the DVD. If this is any indication of what Gaiman will bring to the medium of film, then it looks as though we truly have something of a Renaissance Man on our hands (having already masterd the art of writing for the comic-book, short story, full-prose novels, as well as screenplays). One would hope that this quirky..but uniquely visionary film...would be enough to put to rest the Hollywood moguls who may be hesitant about allowing Gaiman to direct the film based on the graphic novel with his character "Death" from his SANDMAN series.

Icing on the cake are the two hours' worth of extras on this DVD. The highlight of these extras is Neil Gaiman doing an extended (and very animated) reading and Question/Answer in Portland, Oregon. If one has not had the good fortune to see Neil Gaiman live and in person, then this is the next best thing to it. Gaiman does not merely read his stories in such live appearances...instead, one is treated to the very heart and soul of Gaiman's works through such readings (a statement that can be justified since folks tend to laugh in all the right places).

Having seen Neil Gaiman over the years, one of the qualities that comes through...both on this DVD and in his live appearances...is the fine balance of genius, wit, accessibility and humility that he brings to his live appearances. All of these qualities come shining through on the "extra" feature of Gaiman's live appearance than is included on this DVD.

This DVD is pretty essential for anyone who appreciates Neil Gaiman's work...
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