Hedwig and The Angry Inch

( 11 )

Overview

Rock & roll gets a twist with the low-budget, critically acclaimed movie Hedwig and the Angry Itch. New Line has done a very fine job on this 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The images look very well rendered with black levels and color schemes being very spot-on. Only a small amount of grain infiltrates the picture, though it's nothing major. The audio is presented in DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Both of these tracks are nice, though due to the low-budget source material, the soundtracks often ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Stereo)
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Overview

Rock & roll gets a twist with the low-budget, critically acclaimed movie Hedwig and the Angry Itch. New Line has done a very fine job on this 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The images look very well rendered with black levels and color schemes being very spot-on. Only a small amount of grain infiltrates the picture, though it's nothing major. The audio is presented in DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Both of these tracks are nice, though due to the low-budget source material, the soundtracks often come across on the low end of the fidelity scale. Overall the dialogue, effects, and music all sound clear and distortion free. Also included on this disc are English subtitles. Hedwig and the Angry Itch comes complete with some nice extra features for fans to browse through. First up is an extensive 85-minute documentary titled "Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig," presented in anamorphic widescreen. This is an odd and fascinating "video diary"-like feature that includes interviews with director, producer, and other cast and crew members from the film. The commentary track with director John Cameron Mitchell and director of photography Frank De Marco is both funny and insightful, giving viewers a rare glimpse into how this music-tinged movie was made. Finally, there are two deleted scenes and one discarded animation scene, a song index to jump directly to favorite musical numbers, a few filmographies, and a theatrical trailer for the film. All in all, this is a very nice DVD package from New Line.
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Special Features

Widescreen version of the film; 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS Surround Sound; Filmmaker commentary; Deleted scenes with filmmaker commentary; Original feature-length documentary: "Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig"; Select-a-song: song-by-song access to the film; Cast and crew filmographies; Theatrical trailer; Interactive menus; DVD-ROM content: original theatrical website
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
John Cameron Mitchell's thundering, intelligent psycho-comic essay on the creation and deconstruction of a pop persona is the best transvestite rock opera this side of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Based on Mitchell and Stephen Trask's Off-Broadway musical, the film is a reminiscence of the familial and sexual trauma that drove a young German boy to a sex-change operation gone horribly, hilariously wrong. As an adult American divorcée, Hedwig hits the road with her band, chasing down her rock-god ex-boyfriend from one town to the next. The ex plays the stadiums; Hedwig and her band play the dumps. On film, the songs -- vivid refractions of Roxy Music and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, among others, composed by Stephen Trask -- still work overtime to carry the story engine. Mitchell constructs plush visual interiors to illustrate the tunes, with help from dreamy, semi-connected animated interludes by Emily Hubley. Ultimately, Hedwig, with its keen, flashback-fueled grace, could be termed the rock flick's Citizen Kane -- and that's an overstatement you can flick your Bic to.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
A mixed-bag effort to translate John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's ambitious rock musical to the screen, this remains a worthwhile movie experience on any account, successfully opening up its heartfelt, often sad account of an "internationally ignored" rock singer suffering from a botched sex change operation. Mitchell's fierce, hypnotic performance is as indelible on film as it was on-stage -- fearful, hilarious, and moving. His direction is a bit less remarkable, as the movie offers much to look at, but little of it comes through in quite the same way as the music. The filmmakers too often literalize what should be expressed musically, which robs the viewer of some of the discoveries that might have made the film more successful. A few stretches sag as well, but the movie springs to life the most in its final reel -- when the title character takes on a young protégé a quietly effective Michael Pitt -- even if it fails to fully reach its emotional mark. Audiences at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival clearly found Hedwig refreshing: it won the Audience Award as well as a Grand Jury directing prize for Mitchell.
New York Times - Stephen Holden
Mr. Mitchell also sings in a voice whose lofty elocution and frosty, slightly inhuman tone echo Mr. Bowie's as spiked with a tiny whiff of helium. Fleshing out the story is a meaty rock score by Stephen Trask whose reaching-for-the-heavens anthems brilliantly parody Mr. Bowie's songwriting in the Ziggy Stardust era without lapsing into caricature. More than simply telling Hedwig's story, the songs, like Mr. Bowie's early-70's output, sketch an overarching pop philosophy whose conceptual grandiosity harks back to the days when stentorian proclamations about rock 'n' roll saving the world still had some currency.... If the glam-rock era is long gone, "Hedwig" reminds us, its subversive spirit, which has percolated under the surface of rock culture for more than two decades, lives on.
Los Angeles Times - Kevin Thomas
On the screen, the rip-roaring rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch retains all the excitement and energy it had on stage while adding depth, clarity and emotional texture. The result is a movie that absorbs its theatricality so smoothly and imaginatively that it never feels merely like a stage adaptation... Strutting through the movie in a dazzling assortment of wigs, and baring gams whose sleek, tapering curves rival those of Marlene Dietrich and Tina Turner, Mr. Mitchell is as imperiously charismatic on the screen as he was on the stage.... His embittered but plucky title character, who makes her way from East Berlin to Kansas and subsequently across America on a no-budget rock tour of tacky seafood restaurants, often suggests Mr. Bowie as a chilly German dominatrix.

Mr. Mitchell also sings in a voice whose lofty elocution and frosty, slightly inhuman tone echo Mr. Bowie's as spiked with a tiny whiff of helium. Fleshing out the story is a meaty rock score by Stephen Trask whose reaching-for-the-heavens anthems brilliantly parody Mr. Bowie's songwriting in the Ziggy Stardust era without lapsing into caricature. More than simply telling Hedwig's story, the songs, like Mr. Bowie's early-70's output, sketch an overarching pop philosophy whose conceptual grandiosity harks back to the days when stentorian proclamations about rock 'n' roll saving the world still had some currency.... If the glam-rock era is long gone, "Hedwig" reminds us, its subversive spirit, which has percolated under the surface of rock culture for more than two decades, lives on.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/11/2001
  • UPC: 794043540127
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Stereo
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:31:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,381

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Cameron Mitchell Hedwig/Hansel
Miriam Shor Yitzhak
Stephen Trask Skszp
Theodore Liscinski Jacek
Andrea Martin Phyllis Stein
Michael Pitt Tommy Gnosis
Rob Campbell Krzysztof
Michael Aronov Schlatco
Alberta Watson Hansel's Mom
Maurice Dean Wint Luther
Michael Stevens HedHead
Technical Credits
John Cameron Mitchell Director, Screenwriter
Michael De Luca Executive Producer
Frank G. de Marco Cinematographer
Therese DePrez Production Designer
Amy Henkels Executive Producer
Emily Hubley Animator
Pamela Koffler Producer
Andrew Marcus Editor
Jerry Mitchell Choreography
Nancy Pankiw Art Director
Arianne Phillips Costumes/Costume Designer
Katie Roumel Producer
Susan Shopmaker Casting
Patrick Tidy Asst. Director
Paul Urmson Sound/Sound Designer
Christine Vachon Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Select a Scene
1. America the Beautiful [1:05]
2. Tear Me Down [3:59]
3. Vitzhak [2:37]
4. St. Louis [4:42]
5. East Berlin 1968 [1:08]
6. Origin of Love [5:35]
7. The Wild Side [4:20]
8. Menses Fair [2:11]
9. Luther and Gummy Bears [2:29]
10. Sugar Daddy [2:10]
11. Cut and Paste [1:10]
12. Angry Inch [3:47]
13. Freedom [2:33]
14. Wig in a Box [5:14]
15. Mall Appearance [3:14]
16. Tommy Speck [3:21]
17. Wicked Little Town [4:09]
18. Knowledge [4:10]
19. Love is Immortal [7:06]
20. "I'm Going to Guam" [3:06]
21. Reunion [4:56]
22. Hedwig's Lament/Exquisite Corpse [3:49]
23. Wicked Little Town (Tommy Gnosis Version) [3:25]
24. Midnight Radio [:32]
25. Origin of Love [5:13]
26. Wig in a Box/End Credits [2:06]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   All Access Pass
      Commentary with Actor, Writer, Director John Cameron Mitchell and Director of Photography Frank DeMarco
      Whether You Like it or Not, The Story of Hedwig
      Deleted Scenes
         Alternate/Deleted Sequence
            Play without Commentary
            Play with Commentary
         Bedroom Boogie
            Play without Commentary
            Play with Commentary
         Play Both
            Play without Commentary
            Play with Commentary
      Select a Song
         Play All
         Tear Me Down
         Origin of Love
         Sugar Daddy
         Angry Inch
         Wig in a Box
         Wicked Little Town
         Hedwig's Lament/Exquisite Corpse
         Wicked Little Town
         Midnight Radio
      Theatrical Trailer
      Cast and Crew
         Skszp
         Krzysztof
         Schlatko
         Jacek
         Yitshak
         Hedwig
         Phyllis Stein
         Hansel's Mom
         Tommy Gnosis
         Sgt. Luther Robinson
         Hansel's Dad
   Set Up
      Audio Options
         Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
         DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
         Stereo Surround Sound
      Subtitle Options
         English Subtitles
         No Subtitles
   Play Movie
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Put your discomfort over there....on the coffee table

    ...and sit back and enoy the ride. It's not the most comfortable experience for people with any issue about sex or sexuality, but if you can put your discomfort aside (it's not about you!) and take in the story it's the ultimate example of making lemonade when life hands you lemons. And the sound track - though I'm not a heavey rocker - was beautifully written and performed. May also want to look into Shortbus (which is a Mitchell project); not as clear a story, but definitely very interesting.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A true original

    Highly entertaining. The movie is wacky from the start and just gets more wacky and fun by the minute. Brilliant writing and acting (thank you JCM) with songs that would be lame anywhere else, but surrounded by this movie, are fabulous. One of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Rock Musical of all time

    Hedwig and the Angry Inch is an amazing movie. Not only is the soundtrack amazing( I feel good everytime I hear ''Wig in a Box''), and John Cameron Mitchell wonderful and adorable as Hedwig, but just the whole movie and theme is awesome. The fact that he doesnt know who he is and is looking for his other half, is something we can all relate to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ROCK ON AND ON...

    Although the story is a little bit ''sick'' and,lets face it, rock-singing, Eastern-German transvestites that tour all America for fame is a story board that makes all of us heterosexuals a bit worried but yet...intrested. What I loved in this film is its music. Strong, pure, nostalgic, classic, grunge, hard and hot steamy Rock that shakes my world(along with my appartment). discover the wonderful ''Midnight Radio'', the up-tempo ''Wig on the self'' and the incredible ''Origin of Love''(the melodic Platos' myth) and you will remember me. If you like David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Kiss, Tommy Glitter e.t.c. you will live and breath for this pure GLAM-ROCK movie...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An amazing journey

    Quite a totally unexpected surprise. This film was worth every minute, and did not disappoint. Definitely an underappreciated classic that I feel will never get the credit or viewing it quite deserves. If you're looking for great music and an amazing journey Hedwig will take you there!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Why I Love This Movie

    I thought this movie was much more than it appeared. There were many hidden themes in it, all good ones. I believe this movie is very deep, and can truly become larger than life. I watch it very often. Each time, I catch something I didn't before and grow to love it more. It also has a fabulous soundtrack.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Story, Great Music

    With a lot of funny moments and an underlying serious theme of the nature of love, this movie can be interpreted on various levels. The music is a vital part of the movie and is how much of the story is told, so it stands alone and is absolutely wonderful itself. This movie is a great combination of plot, music, and FUN!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A MUST SEE!!!

    Hedwig is a must see movie; The music, the imagery, and the story all come together in in a remarkable way, making it truly a profound experience. It is rare for a movie to be able to capture the feel of live theatre like Hedwig did. I LOVED IT!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Unique Artistic Vision..or just strange!

    I have seen Hedwig twice at the movie theater and enjoyed it immensely. Trying to describe it to friends, I found I could only laugh and say, ''It is the product of a truly unique artistic vision!'' It literally swings from punk to pop, plunging into the depths of lost love and lost identity, and yet it is always funny, fascinating, and intimate. John Cameron Mitchell's portrayal of Hedwig is wonderful, and the songs by Steven Trask show an impressive range. If you're willing to go for a very unusual ride, buy this movie. I plan to watch it again and again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews