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Storefront Hitchcock (1998)

Robyn Hitchcock , Deni Bonet , Jonathan Demme  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robyn Hitchcock, Deni Bonet, Tim Keegan
  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Producers: Edward Saxon, Gary Goetzman, Peter Saraf, Steve Shareshian
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2001
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792843630
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,913 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Storefront Hitchcock" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This Hitchcock is a thriller of a different stripe, thanks to director Jonathan Demme, whose evident passion for music again combines with his consummate filmmaking skills to show off its subject to maximum effect. Much as he did for the Talking Heads in Stop Making Sense, Demme here gets right to the core of singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock by focusing on him in performance. It's a testament to all involved that Storefront Hitchcock achieves an impact similar to that classic concert film through a strikingly different approach.

Unlike the Heads, Hitchcock is a quintessential cult artist who retired his band, the Egyptians, and now performs mostly solo. To capture his songs in sharp focus, Demme filmed the musician playing in a vacated Manhattan storefront, his back to its broad window, his small but rapt audience heard but not seen. Apart from an establishing credit sequence that descends to the streets, the 77-minute program consists of Hitchcock in medium or close shots, with occasional glimpses of passersby and onlookers in the street behind him. Simple stage lighting is augmented by use of a translucent curtain, an opaque backdrop, and a checkerboard overlay of different colored gels that periodically change the outward view. For DVD and VHS, Demme has opted for a full-frame transfer that actually makes sense in terms of sustaining this intimacy.

That simplicity, and the beautifully shot and composed color film footage, draw us deeply into Hitchcock's songs and monologues, which confirm his acerbic wit, a sharp eye for pop cultural details, and a free-floating surrealism that lends his verbal riffs an antic poetry. He's not a virtuoso by any measure, yet it's easy to hear why he's such a musician's favorite in the instinctive drama and energy of his mostly acoustic guitar work. If you've never heard Robyn Hitchcock, this stunning, minimalist feature will intrigue you. If you're already a fan, prepare to swoon. --Sam Sutherland

Product Description


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SEEING IS BELIEVING February 28, 2000
By A Customer
just like seems to get Robyn Hitchcock you need to see him LIVE...and I can't imagine a better simulation than this wonderful little film. THE ONLY drawback is it is WAY too short! with DVD I have become expectant of bonus material and a few extra songs wouldn't hurt ..but hey that just tells you how good this is..YOU DO NOT WANT IT TO END. I wasn't a big fan before I saw this movie and now I understand why his fans (or cult) are so passionate..lyrics which are challenging (to say the least) great vocals (lennonesque) and a pretty stunning guitarist to boot...BUY this will be charmed and enthralled.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT July 27, 2004
I had seen this film breifly on Sundance but a friend of mine always turned it to something else saying "I hate this guy!"

Then I found what I was sure was it, even though I didn't know the title before I bought it. I took it home and watched it and was hooked; I continuously watched it and it never got old. I always find something I missed the time before. No one I show it to understands it the same way I do, but there's something special about it. It's like it's not just a concert video, but it's really a movie, but a different kind of movie all together. I reccomend this to ANYone, however, I've determined that this is the border of coolness. If you enjoy this film, you're cool, if you don't then you are uncool and you probably only listen to mainstream pop anyway.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robyn Hitchcock, one of the best pop musicians October 22, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Robyn Hitchcock is one of the best pop musicians, there's no doubt about it. This movie directed by the Oscar winner ("The silence of the lambs") Jonathan Demme, is simply the consecration of Hitchcock, playing before an audience that we never see but that fervor applauds it, in a window of New York. The people who passes behind sometimes appear incredulous, and those who are of the side of in enjoy the fantastic music and poetry of the great Robyn Hitchcock.

The songs are brilliant, detailed selected, and with a contained emotive high place, which wins in crudeness having only to Hitchcock and his guitar. For moments there is a violin (Deni Bonet), but most of the time is man and guitar joined in delicate and strident songs.

The spoken parts between songs deserves a special attention. There are product of the sarcasm and irony of the great english gentleman.

The DVD have spanish and french subtitles, which makes it much more interesting for whom the english is not our original language.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film just WAY too little of it. September 20, 2005
I love Storefront Hitchcock. However the DVD was released in Standard format only (full screen) which is way lame.

And Hitchcock performed many other songs that were filmed that could've easily been included here. the Soundtrack CD contains a bunch of songs not in the film (and the Soundtrack Vinyl LP contains a few more).

It's nice that Demme would make this film but why is it SOOO brief?

I mean his Talking Heads film Stop Making Sense is nearly two hours in length.

Come on, 77 Minutes?!?

It's shame that it took so long to be released on DVD/VHS to begin with but why it

was given such a half baked-release is beyond me.

Hitchcock deserves much better.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm finally proud to be a fan! June 21, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I've been a fan for years and years, but I have learned that my friends just don't see the brilliance in Robyn that I do - mainly because it takes a little effort on the part of the listener to look beyond the cheese, flesh, and tomato references to find the humor and genius. I saw Storefront Hitchcock this weekend, and the film is so well-made: the store-window concept, the camera work, and the songs that were chosen - all excellent. If you're this kind of fan, buy this video!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SO UNPLUGGED September 6, 2004
Simple and stark intimate concert movie showcases Robyn Hitchcock (the Soft Boys, ...and The Egyptians) playing mostly solo to a small audience in an abandoned Manhatten storefront against the backdrop of a large window looking out on a typical New York Street. The visual effect is sedative and seductive with the psychedelic pop storyteller singing the deep psyche of your average bi-polar joe, as he warms the audience with his mesmerizing pop numbers while intriguing New York passerbys with the theatrically mysterious storefront. And he's no slouch on guitar either.
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5.0 out of 5 stars godlike genius April 11, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
a special artist at the top of his game this is shakespere if he was a singer robyn is that damn good
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!
Awesome!! A must have for every Robyn Hitchcock/Music Fan... I have been waiting a long item to watch/listen this in it's entirety, and I was extremely pleased with my purchase!... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Robyn Griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating portrait of the artist
Jonathan Demme directed this and frames it as the most intimate of live portraits. This is probably what MTV used to aim for but not got to, what Storytellers wants to be but... Read more
Published on January 19, 2012 by alex bushman
4.0 out of 5 stars Rear Window
Maybe Demme was thinking this would be his homage to Alfred Hitchcock ("Rear Window"?). Perhaps it's free association or confusion. Read more
Published on August 3, 2008 by Douglas
2.0 out of 5 stars love the window
Pointing a camera out a window on to a NY city street is nice as is the colored transparency seen later in a couple of songs. Just don't expect great guitar playing. Read more
Published on July 23, 2008 by bob turnley
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull concert film
English singer songwriter Robyn Hitchcock (no relation to Sir Alfred) became a cult performer in the 1980s through the American college radio circuit. Read more
Published on January 30, 2008 by Andres C. Salama
5.0 out of 5 stars I have played this DVD more than any other
This is a totally amazing film and I also leave it in the DVD player as I would a CD. And I remember Delancey street at the time in NYC and this thing just captures the look of... Read more
Published on January 23, 2005 by Chris Ward
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