Schizopolis

( 1 )

Overview

Regardless of the markedly lukewarm reception it received upon original release, Steven Soderbergh's wildly experimental comedy satire nevertheless gets the royal treatment on DVD courtesy of the fine folks at Criterion. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the film looks great as the ambitious Soderbergh wavers between various film stocks and shooting styles. For this reason, the image can appear somewhat grainy at times, but this is indeed the effect that the director was going for, and colors are finely ...
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Overview

Regardless of the markedly lukewarm reception it received upon original release, Steven Soderbergh's wildly experimental comedy satire nevertheless gets the royal treatment on DVD courtesy of the fine folks at Criterion. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the film looks great as the ambitious Soderbergh wavers between various film stocks and shooting styles. For this reason, the image can appear somewhat grainy at times, but this is indeed the effect that the director was going for, and colors are finely balanced with even, attractive skin tones. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital Mono and lacks any real dynamic impact on the viewer. Regardless of its lack of dynamics, though, the soundtrack is exceptionally clear, with no signs of any auditory distortion. Though the extras on this release may not be as plentiful as Criterion fans have come to be used to, their originality and entertainment value more than makes up for any perceived shortcomings. Starting with the packaging itself, Village Voice film editor Dennis Lim places the Schizopolis in an interesting perspective within Soderbergh's career trajectory, and offers some amusing and insightful interpretations of the director's wild vision. Furthermore, those adventurous few who remove the cover art for the slip sleeve are in for a wordy and eye straining treat. The first commentary, in which Soderbergh takes on the daunting task of interviewing himself, is certainly in keeping with the irreverent and surreal tone of the film but not entirely without some interesting factual information. Though the commentary track featuring producer John Hardy, acting and casting director David Jensen, actor Mike Malone, and production sound mixer Paul Landford may be more traditional (though not much more) in terms of presentation, both tracks have their merit and both are actually fun and involving to take in. The "Maximum Busy Muscle" featurette is sure to crack up viewers with a sequence of cut footage and various oddities, and an original theatrical trailer gives viewers a hint at what they're in for when they sit down to take in Schizopolis.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; New high-definition digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions; Two audio commentaries: The first features Steven Soderbergh interviewing himself; the second includes producer John Hardy, actor and casting director David Jensen, actor Mike Malone, and production sound mixer Paul Ledford; "Maximum Busy Muscle"; Original theatrical trailer; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
After the fractured, misanthropic neo-noir of his little-seen 1995 effort The Underneath, director Steven Soderbergh reaffirmed his artistic vitality with this self-produced absurdist comedy. To call Schizopolis offbeat would be a gross understatement; trafficking in multiple identities, made-up languages, and hilarious non sequiturs, the movie has a bizarre, syncopated rhythm rarely seen since the days of Dada. The film shows the hallmarks of 1960s prankster Richard Lester or even the more austere stylings of Alain Resnais, but it has a controlled, oddball spirit all its own. Soderbergh's quintuple-lutz as director, producer, cinematographer, editor, and star underlines his passion for the homegrown project; beneath all its anarchic trappings, Schizopolis is an ode to communication, romantic commitment, and the beguiling monotony of everyday life. Combined with his other fiercely independent 1996 project -- the kinetic Spalding Gray monologue picture Gray's Anatomy -- the film would broaden Soderbergh's cinematic vision and prepare him for a string of artistically challenging narrative films, including Out of Sight (1998) and The Limey (1999).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/28/2003
  • UPC: 715515014328
  • Original Release: 1996
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:36:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,114

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steven Soderbergh Munson
Betsy Brantley Wife
David Jensen Elmo
Mike Malone
Technical Credits
Steven Soderbergh Director, Cinematographer, Screenwriter
John Hardy Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Prologue [1:55]
2. Eventualism [:36]
3. Part 1: "The Trouble Begins" [3:33]
4. Lester Richards Dies [5:17]
5. Man Being Interviewed #2 [:35]
6. Elmo Oxygen/Toothache [3:04]
7. "A Spy and a Mole" [1:29]
8. Elmo Seduced; Munson Promoted [2:40]
9. Munson at Home [2:38]
10. Man Being Interviewed #3 [:16]
11. Munson Engages in Tasks at Hand [2:55]
12. News Flash #1: On Racehorses [:35]
13. Funeral #1 [1:26]
14. "A Fear Is This" [1:52]
15. "Idea Missing" [2:09]
16. A New Gig for Elmo [1:55]
17. Like No Way Out [1:41]
18. Dentist Recommendation [1:04]
19. Man Being Interviewed #4 [:26]
20. Nameless Numberhead Man Quits [4:18]
21. Explorations 1-6 [1:50]
22. "You're Incredibly Attractive" [:58]
23. Doppelgänger [3:30]
24. Part 2: "An Affair With My Wife" [3:38]
25. News Flash #2: Havarti Comet [:25]
26. Elmo's New Movie Sequence #1 [:17]
27. Fortuneteller [:50]
28. Dr. Korchek at the Office [3:17]
29. Attractive Woman #2 [2:37]
30. Elmo's New Movie Sequence #2 [:18]
31. Meetings Outside the Office [1:35]
32. "You Worm!" [3:02]
33. News Flash #3: Rhode Island for Sale [:25]
34. Ransom [1:11]
35. Elmo's New Movie Sequence #3 [:26]
36. Another Day at the Office [1:16]
37. "A Spiritual Element Is Missing" [1:43]
38. Trouble x2 (With Man Being Interviewed #5) [3:20]
39. Part 3: Female Perspectives [1:12]
40. The Affair: Her View [4:20]
41. Funeral #2 [:35]
42. Moving Out & In + Pick-Me-Up [6:05]
43. Munson Finishes the Speech [2:01]
44. News Flash #4: Bald Men & Ponytails [:21]
45. Assassination Attempt [4:48]
46. Off to Costa Rica [:52]
47. Interrogation/Recuperation [2:16]
48. Home & Mall [1:44]
49. Epilogue [1:37]
1. Project Origins [1:55]
2. A High Point in the Director's Career [:36]
3. A Tailor-Made Role/Selecting Actors [3:33]
4. Out on a Limb/Painfully Unfunny [5:17]
5. An Externalization of the Artist's Critical Inner Voice [:35]
6. Same as Above + Owning People [3:04]
7. The Most Important Thing Anyone Can Do [1:29]
8. See Above + Hair & Wardrobe [2:40]
9. Other Artistic Aspirations [2:38]
10. Too Many Ideas [:16]
11. Giving Back/"Good for the Family" [2:55]
12. More on the Family [:35]
13. ."..Especially My Daughter" [1:26]
14. "What Is It About Me?" [1:52]
15. The First Feature Photographed by the Director [2:09]
16. A Unique Film in the History of Cinematography [1:55]
17. Beyond the Fourth Wall [1:41]
18. Vertical Ascension [1:04]
19. Ocean's Twelve [:26]
20. "I'm About Taking Risks"/The Cannes Film Festival [4:18]
21. An Homage to Cecil B. DeMille [1:50]
22. See 21 [:58]
23. Creating a Comfortable Environment [3:30]
24. Korchek's Wardrobe [3:38]
25. A Question About Non Sequiturs [:25]
26. The Director Begins to Respond [:17]
27. "Referencing Their Referencing to Me" [:50]
28. More of Above + an Interest in Dentistry [3:17]
29. Braces & Other Dental Work [2:37]
30. See 29 [:18]
31. "The Mouth I Need..." [1:35]
32. Korchek Is an Artist [3:02]
33. Interviewer Comment & Question [:25]
34. The Importance of Being in a Soderbergh Movie [1:11]
35. See 34 [:26]
36. The Director Is Questioned About Distribution [1:16]
37. The Director Responds [1:43]
38. The Distribution Plan Is Explained [3:20]
39. Creating an Underground Movement [1:12]
40. Does Watching the Film Under the Influence Help? [4:20]
41. A New Category for the Academy [:35]
42. Fear of People; Distaste for Critics [6:05]
43. The Film's Original Third Section [2:01]
44. See 43 [:21]
45. No Justification Necessary/Predetermined Outcomes [4:48]
46. See 45 [:52]
47. "In the Zone" [2:16]
48. An Out-of-Body Experience [1:44]
49. "Watch Me" [1:37]
1. A New Opening [1:55]
2. Home Movies [:36]
3. Homage to Richard Lester [3:33]
4. Cast IDs/The Idea to Make the Film [5:17]
5. Shooting Details [:35]
6. "A Pall in the Audience" [3:04]
7. LSU Theater Crowd/Michael McCallum [1:29]
8. McCallum's Lessons [2:40]
9. Generic Speak/Real Family [2:38]
10. Jesse, the Dog [:16]
11. "We Follow"/Not Scientology [2:55]
12. End of the First Day [:35]
13. A Fulcrum [1:26]
14. Steven's Directing Style [1:52]
15. "A Rubik's Cube" [2:09]
16. An Editor at Heart [1:55]
17. Paul Replaced/Phones [1:41]
18. Intellectual Curiosity [1:04]
19. "Let's Shoot C.C. Today" [:26]
20. Short Ends/Lunch [4:18]
21. Deleted Scenes [1:50]
22. Using People at Hand [:58]
23. Good Instincts/Jeff Korchek [3:30]
24. Dental Cues/Shooting Love Scenes [3:38]
25. End of the Second Day [:25]
26. Necessary Plot Explanation [:17]
27. A Historical Map of the Neighborhood [:50]
28. Steven's Silly Side [3:17]
29. Dental Problems [2:37]
30. King of the Hill [:18]
31. Funding [1:35]
32. Steven's Resuscitation [3:02]
33. Biggest Laugh [:25]
34. Making It Work [1:11]
35. John as a Camera Operator [:26]
36. Sharing a Similar Spirit [1:16]
37. No Right to Be There [1:43]
38. Father's Influence/Worthwhile Purchases [3:20]
39. Time Distortion [1:12]
40. Derailing the Audience [4:20]
41. Complete Control [:35]
42. Reactions to the Film [6:05]
43. Rear Projection [2:01]
44. .406 Ltd. [:21]
45. Paring Down/Stolen Shots [4:48]
46. "The City That Forgot to Care" [:52]
47. A Fleshed-Out Scene/Fans [2:16]
48. A Back-Breaking Shot [1:44]
49. The Credits [1:37]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Commentaries
      Director Commentary
      Cast & Crew Commentary
      Commentaries Off
      Director Index
      Cast & Crew Index
   Maximum Busy Muscle!
   Trailer
   Set-Up
      Audio Options
         Dolby Digital 1.0
         Director Commentary
         Cast & Crew Commentary
      Color Bars
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Customer Reviews

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