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Three Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin: Eclipse Series 31 (Eclipse from the Criterion Collection)

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Product Details

  • Format: Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Jan. 17 2012
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B005VU9LUE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,452 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin, widely known for his early-seventies collaborations (including Tout va bien) with Jean-Luc Godard in the Dziga Vertov Group, established his singular voice with this trio of accomplished, fascinating, and nontraditional documentaries, made in Southern California after his relocation there. Poto and Cabengo (1978) is a compelling visit with two young San Diego twins who have invented their own language. In Routine Pleasures (1986), Gorin conjoins the story of a group of model train enthusiasts in Del Mar with a meditation on the work of critic and painter Manny Farber. And My Crasy Life (1992) is an expectation-shredding exploration of a Samoan gang in Long Beach. With these three films, Gorin excavates hidden communities that are a part of everyday American life, and shows himself to be a major chronicler of what is eccentric and beautiful in our common culture.


Poto and Cabengo Gracie and Ginny are San Diego twins who speak unlike anyone else. Living largely cut off from the world, the two little girls have created a private form of communication that’s an amalgam of the English and German they hear at home. Jean-Pierre Gorin’s free-form, polyphonic nonfiction investigation into this phenomenon looks at the family from a variety of angles, with the director casting himself as a sociological detective of sorts. It’s a delightful and absorbing study of words and faces, mass media and personal isolation, and America’s odd margins.

1980 • 73 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

Routine Pleasures What do a group of model-train enthusiasts and the legendary film critic and painter Manny Farber have in common? These two lines intersect in cultural inquisitor Jean-Pierre Gorin’s lovely and distinctly American film, which takes as its subject singular passions (the locomotive aficionados’ elaborately designed worlds in miniature; Farber’s teeming canvases) and expands to something richly philosophical, meditative, and surprisingly funny. Routine Pleasures is a masterful tribute to our hobbies and obsessions.

1986 • 79 minutes • Color/Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

My Crasy Life Jean-Pierre Gorin’s gripping and unique film about Samoan street gangs in Long Beach, California, is, like other works by the filmmaker, a probing look at a closed community with its own rules, rituals, and language. Part observational documentary, part fiction invisibly scripted and shaped by the director, My Crasy Life, which won a special jury prize at Sundance, is a resolutely unglamorous yet intensely compassionate examination of violence and dislocation.

1992 • 98 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa8b92540) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8b86a80) out of 5 stars Buyer Beware... One of Criterion's Most Disappointing Releases Jan. 12 2016
By Duncan Dogg - Published on
Three painful films (to sit through)! I usually trust Criterion to choose worthwhile films, but I have been burned a few times by the films they release in their lower-budget cult sets under the Eclipse subsidiary. These three films are the worst set that I have purchased so far. The director utilizes amateur-looking title and comment crawls across the screen in two of the films that lower the level of the work to that of a cheesy Power Point presentation. I made it through all three... But I certainly regret buying this set.
3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8c27b40) out of 5 stars Been wating 16 years Feb. 20 2012
By S. Markey - Published on
Verified Purchase
for the movie "My Crasy Life" to come out on VHS/DVD. Ever since about 95-96 when I heard the Cabaret Voltaire song "Lo Cool" on their album "Plasticity". That song samples a section of this movie and sets it against a stark electronic background. After waiting so long I was afraid of being disappointed, but that fear was unfounded. This is a great docudrama about the life of the Sons of Samoa street gang. I haven't yet viewed the other two films in this set and I might not ever because I really only wanted "My Crasy Life".

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