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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Literature > Paul Bowles – The Complete Outsider

Paul Bowles – The Complete Outsider


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Film: B-



When Bernardo Bertolucci made Paul Bowles’ book The Sheltering Sky into a film, it was not well-received, but eventually gained a following.  At this time, little was known about Bowles and many interested in the film became aware of a new documentary about and with him called Paul Bowles – The Complete Outsider.  Many caught it to find out more about the movie and book, only to hear Bowles say he did not care about the film, would not participate or had anything to say about the matter.


That is typical of his amusing attitude throughout this hour-long look at the man and his work.  When I first saw this in 1993, I remember laughing at the conclusion and was still left wondering about the film and if we were missing some point either Bertolucci or Bowles had.  For what is here, it is a good examination and brief history of his work and that is enough to catch the Catherine Hiller Warnow/Regina Weinreich biography film.


The 1.33 X 1 image is old, second-generation and soft, so who knows where the original master is, but this could look better.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is more like it, with the interview clearly recorded enough, even if it shows its age.  Extras include text bios on Bowles and the filmmakers, plus new interviews with those filmmaker sand Ned Rorem, who has more to say on Bowles.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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