Smithereens

( 1 )

Overview

Susan Seidelman's portrait of one would-be celebrity trying to break into New York's Downtown rock scene was one of the pioneering films of the independent film movement, and Blue Underground has given it a suitably strong presentation on DVD. Smithereens has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.66:1, which is also enhanced for anamorphic play on 16 x 9 monitors. The image is often grainy (thanks largely to its 16mm origins), but the transfer accurately reflects how the ...
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Overview

Susan Seidelman's portrait of one would-be celebrity trying to break into New York's Downtown rock scene was one of the pioneering films of the independent film movement, and Blue Underground has given it a suitably strong presentation on DVD. Smithereens has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.66:1, which is also enhanced for anamorphic play on 16 x 9 monitors. The image is often grainy (thanks largely to its 16mm origins), but the transfer accurately reflects how the film looked in theaters when it was first released, and the colors are potent and well saturated. The film's original audio mix is included in Dolby Digital Mono, and two new multi-channel mixes also appear on this release, in Dolby Digital Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1. No subtitles or multiple language options have been included. This edition includes a bonus documentary on the making of the movie, featuring interviews with stars Susan Berman and Richard Hell, as well as a commentary track from director Seidelman, the film's original trailer, and a gallery of stills and promotional artwork. Blue Underground is to be congratulated for giving an important and underappreciated film the quality DVD presentation it deserves.
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Special Features

Audio commentary with co-writer/director Susan Seidelman; Desperately Seeking Susan & Richard - interviews with stars Susan Berman and Richard Hell; Theatrical trailer; Poster and still gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
Susan Seidelman's independent debut Smithereens marks the filmmaker at her unconventional best. Like a crudely executed retelling of Truffaut's The 400 Blows, the story is a self-analyzing character study of Wren (Susan Berman), a struggling would-be star trying to make a name for herself in New York. With minimal skills and no support structure, Wren lives by her own witty, lighthearted efforts to validate her existence. She spouts off cynical lines that could be in any early-'80s dialogue, but her underlying hopelessness is uniquely presented. In failure after failure, Wren continues to persist in brightly colored fishnets and sneakers, only to meet with an enigmatic freeze-frame ending. The images are too dark and the sound is pretty bad, however, the lack of technical polish doesn't detract from the emotional impact. The New York punk soundtrack, featuring Richard Hell, is especially effective in capturing Wren's bleak desperation combined with her frantic survival. Seidelman creates in Wren a tragic hero, who is both funny and sad in her attempts at self-promotion. After the release of Smithereens, Seidelman would move away from personal drama for a more mainstream and profitable career in comedies.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/16/2004
  • UPC: 827058109192
  • Original Release: 1982
  • Rating:

  • Source: Blue Underground
  • Region Code: 0
  • Time: 1:33:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 28,039

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Susan Berman Wren
Richard Hell Eric
Roger Jett Billy
Nada Despotovich Cecile
Kitty Summerall Blonde
Joel Brooks Xerox Boss
Paul Dunlap Bouncer
Cookie Mueller
Chris Noth
Amos Poe Hustler in Bar
Brad Rijn Paul
Technical Credits
Susan Seidelman Director, Editor, Producer, Screenwriter
Peter Askin Screenwriter
Franz Harland Art Director
Chirine El Khadem Cinematographer
Lilly Kilvert Production Designer
Alison Lances Costumes/Costume Designer
Glenn Mercer Score Composer
Bill Milliion Score Composer
Ron Nyswaner Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Program Start/Main Titles [3:22]
2. Peppermint Lounge [3:43]
3. Not for Sale [2:27]
4. Friday Night [3:09]
5. Barroom Banter [4:05]
6. Upstairs at Eric's [3:47]
7. California Dreaming [3:34]
8. Evicted [4:20]
9. Looking for a Handout [2:54]
10. Friend in Need [2:48]
11. Breaking and Entering [4:36]
12. Unexpected Guests [7:00]
13. Cecile [7:23]
14. Paul's Ultimatum [4:33]
15. Investment Counseling [3:44]
16. Togetherness [3:34]
17. New Hampshire [5:08]
18. The Caper [5:19]
19. Goodbye [6:12]
20. Burned Bridges [5:10]
21. Going Home [3:30]
22. End Credits [2:39]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Chapter Selections
   Extras
      Audio Commentary
         Audio Commentary With Co-Writer/Director Susan Seidelman: On
         Audio Commentary With Co-Writer/Director Susan Seidelman: Off
      Desperately Seeking Susan & Richard - Interviews With Stars Susan Berman and Richard Hell
      Theatrical Trailer
      Poster & Still Gallery
   Audio Setup
      5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
      Dolby Surround 2.0
      Original Mono
   Resume
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Destitution Revisited...

    When this film was first released on VHS years ago, the box featured critic quotes citing it as brilliant comedy. I don't know what movie they were talking about, but this film is without question the Midnight Cowboy of the 1980's, visceral portrait of New York City and all. Incredible direction and ensemble acting. Don't miss it.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews