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Resident Alien

7 customer reviews

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(Sep 27, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

"I have always lived my life in the profession of being." - Quentin Crisp This hilarious film chronicles the adventures of cult figure Quentin Crisp, a flamboyant and eccentric Brit, in his madcap dash across the margins of downtown Manhattan in the pursuit of fame during the last days of bohemian New York City. A modern day Oscar Wilde, Quentin Crisp is the unbelievably witty and charming star of this intelligent and unconventional film. Crisp, wearing a dandified outfit and eye shadow, traipses through downtown Manhattan, assembling a doting fan club of artists and eccentrics, including Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn, elderly sex prodigy Felicity Mason, rock-star Sting, playwright Robert Patrick, and actor John Hurt (who played Crisp in the autobiographical The Naked Civil Servant). From intimate dinner parties to stage performances, Crisp and his entourage always make a point of disturbing the boundary between fantasy and reality. Acclaimed director Jonathan Nossiter complements Crisp's disdain for the mundane and orthodox with an energetic and wildly original blend of traditional documentary technique and a mélange of tricks culled from art house cinema. With Crisp now deceased, RESIDENT ALIEN stands as a living testimony to one man's singular gift to the world--himself.

Product Details

  • Actors: Quentin Crisp, Peter Walker, Gilbert Stafford, Gus Rogerson, Michaela Murphy
  • Directors: Jonathan Nossiter
  • Producers: Jonathan Nossiter, Chantal Bernheim, Dean Silvers, Silvia Lucchesi, Stephen J. Ross
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,429 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Resident Alien" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Michael Dobson on March 13, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary follows the life of Quentin Crisps life in New York and the people that hung around him. This is a sort of follow up to the 'Naked Civil Servant' and he meets up with John Hurt (the actor who portrayed him) to discuss how this television play changed both their respective lives.

Quentin seems to meet up with people who are equally as eccenteric as he was. For example he meets up with Holly Woodlawn (one of the Warhol 'top trannies') and there is a great deal of gushing that goes on (from la Woodlawn). Quentin is very polite to everyone, but appears to keep his distance and rarely offers any opinions that offend.

Infact Quentin does appear as a sort of by stander as all these fabulous New York artists go about their way and offer their, mostly, favourable opinions about him.

The interersting bits happen irrespective of the documentary, for example he does not meet with an entirely sympathetic audience consisting of elderly lesbian and Gays from New York. They pick him up on his attitude, and although he manages to joke his way out, I liked the fact that they were not as syphocantic as his collegues.

Another interesting section occurs during a chat show where an audience member calls him a form of Freak. Quentin does not bat a mascared eyelid.

The film maker, Mr Nossitor, puts some scenarios into the film which are simply cringeworthy. For example he has Quentin and John Hurt looking at each other in a through a mirror, this is wacky. Quentin also enacts the words from the films of Greta Garbo in a voice, and posture which is supposed to be her. It is if we are spying on a very personal moment.

One must appreciate that Quentin has said a lot of what appears in the film time and time again. He appears to be a willing stooge for the film and this detracts from his dignity.

However, the film is worth watching for Quentin as a documentary of the later part of his life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mossyfrog on November 1, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am getting really tired of labels saying it is closed captioned only to buy it then to discover that it has none.I am Deaf and depend on this.Oh well,can't review if I can't watch even though I am sure Quentin Crisp is great.Just a friendly warning to for others who need Closed Captioning.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Attila The Sub on April 16, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Quentin Crisp was one of the last great wits. A man who lived through two lifetimes worth of adventures, yet this movie comes off flat, strained and art~sy (when it it obvious the director is aiming at art~ful). It would have been better if the director just allowed Mr. Crisp to speak for himself, but instead, we are given shots of people speaking into mirrors and sometimes even through them.
I had such high hopes for this film, but it was a remarkable let down. Still, it is a must for Quentin Crisp fans and I know there are many people who fit into that category. Buy it, if you must, but don't say I didn't warn you.
As a side note, and apropos of nothing, there is a fascinating (perhaps the film's single instance of such an event) and disturbing scene shot in the Bridge Water art gallery in New York. The superb, and at that time unappreciated artist, Patrick Angus, Quentin Crisp and a play-write go to the Bridge Water gallery to show the owner Mr. Angus' work. The gallery owner poo-poos it and dismisses it as overly sexual and not commercial. You can see the utter and undisguised humiliation in Patrick Angus' eyes, the pain of rejection and the almost palpable sense of worthlessness as his paintings are cast aside as so much rubish...the scene is a window into the pain and suffering artists are subjected to each and every day. Mr. Angus died of Aids in 1992 (that scene was shot and took place in 1988) and lived in poverty while his ouvre was only finally understood and appreciated as he lay dying. I suppose that scene alone makes the purchase of this DVD worth~while. For one brief moment, we can all share in the ignominy accorded artists by an all too cruelly-commercial world.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Craig Beasley on November 13, 2008
Format: DVD
One as singular as Crisp should be looked upon as trully unique. His choice to defy the archaic and urbane sensibilities of the times he lived is extraordinary! Never has an individual stated with such grace, a way to conduct and convey an existence. I say bravo to his sheer determination to be exactly who he was! I would have loved to see all of the directors deleted takes. Such an unlucky fellow carried himself with a rather magnanimous flare for quips, axioms and aphorisms that will
entertain and enlighten many more for years to come. No one will ever be quite like him. He was timeless in his ability to emphasize the importance of being an individual extraodinaire!
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