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Pet Shop Boys: Life in Pop
The DVD A Life In Pop is an expanded version of the Channel 4 Pet Shop Boys documentary with a total running time of 140 minutes, including some amazing extra footage, like the duos first ever TV performance West End Girls filmed on a 1984 show called Hit
PET SHOP BOYS A LIFE IN POP
||Pet Shop Boys|
||Color, Import, PAL|
|Number of Discs:
||EMI Europe Generic|
|DVD Release Date:
||November 21, 2006|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 14 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 14 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 found the following review helpful:
Legends in PopDec 02, 2006
Quite simply, THE definitive documentary spaning the Pet Shop Boys 20 plus year career. This DVD consists of interviews of the boys, both individually and together, footage of perfomances from throughout their career, and some celebrity and music insider commentary on various aspects concerning the PSB. Of particular interest is how gragarious Chris Lowe is during his individual interview, but how he retreats to his more stoic, silent personality when he joins Neil for the interview. Also addressed, the decline of the Pet Shop Boys career in the United States. The music industry is held to account for not playing their records (which is true) because of the sudden surge in popularity of grunge rock (thanks to Nirvana). Also held responsible is the American music buying public, who are not known for being the most tolerant of people "who don't fit in, who follow their instincts and are told they sin". Their loss. No other band or group has ever been able to make me feel as many different emotions while listening to their music as the PSB (and sometimes many emotions within the same song). The Pet Shop Boys are a duo who have been consistently underrated, but maybe not so much anymore. As time goes on, more and more people realize the depth of their songwriting, the poignance of their lyrics, and their innate ability to consistently supply great and addictive pop "hooks". This DVD examines the PSB's career in an honest, sometimes critical, but mostly complimentary way. And why not? They deserve it! Highly recommmended and a must have for any Pet Shop Boys fan (and playable in US DVD players by the way).
9 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Enjoyable and sincere documentaryApr 19, 2007
By John S
Usually I have no patience for documenaries but I enjoyed watching this one, maybe because the content is so relevant - the band, after all, is still making fantastic music. As if to prove that, the DVD bonus features include recent videos along some old rare TV perfomances. One can think the Pet Shop Boys have issued enough DVDs and interviews, but this is actually their first complete biographic documentary which traces their career from school days to Potemkin's premiere.
The narration goes through candid interviews or rather edited monologues of Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant filmed together and separately (watch Lowe walking on the gloomy beach in his hometown, Tennant's silhouette as London is fading away in the twilight behind the window). It's quite intriguing to see them talk about the essence of their distinctive image, music and career nuances. The timeline is supported, throughout the film, by extracts of their videos and various TV footage. Plus, as usually, you have a little variety of guests: Brandon Flowers of The Killers, Robbie Williams, Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters, Trevor Horn and others.
The only inconsistency I find is that after the Behaviour era the documentary speeds up its pace and Bilingual, Nighlife (especially) and Release periods are covered quite superficially.
In a way the DVD audiovisually duplicates 'Pet Shop Boys Catalogue', a massive book by Chris Heath.
11 of 13 found the following review helpful:
for hardcore fans!Dec 01, 2006
By Jeffery Mingo
This work is for hardcore Petheads, not for music lovers vaguely curious about the duo. It picks up where "PopArt" left off because it includes the five videos made after that release. If you want to hear 2.5 hours of the Boys and their musician-fans analyze and praise them, then this is for you.
The Boys are like the Penn and Teller of music where Chris is the mute one. However, he is the first to speak on this DVD. In fact, they say his silence is an act and that he can be chatty. He has that Junior Vasquez or Frankie Knuckles in him where he's a rainbow DJ that wants to get the party started. Chris is butcher than Neil. Neil reasserts his opera/theater vibe that relates him to Cole Porter or Noel Coward. If you love Neil's urbane, polished speech and mannerisms, then he gives it to you in droves here.
I do have to warn people that this work is gushy. Some people wouldn't be able to handle so much praise of the Boys. Some interviewees call Neil's voice "angelic" and "memorable," but critics have called it nasally and whiny before. However, that may be the style of musicians' documentaries. I have seen works on David Bowie and They Might Be Giants that were equally sycophantic. I don't know nothing about no band called Keane, but I loved, just loved, being able to stare at Timothy Rice-Oxley's cleft chin!
Capriciously, 45 minutes into the work, Neil first speaks the word "gay," but then he moves on. This is in contrast to how "camp" was translated as "gay" in the Spanish subtitles, so the word "gay" comes up a lot. While this work does interview people of all sexualities, there are many gay and bisexual people here (Dusty Springfield, Bruce Weber, possibly the Scissor Sisters gay, and I'll include Liza since her mother's death may have spurred the Stonewall Riots). Chris says, "I hated losing at dominoes, but my mate would dance when he won." He doesn't come out and address rumors that his "mate" was his late, Latino lover. As awesome as it is that the Boys are out, it still seems odd how they want to sweep gayness under the rug.
The interviewees admit that the Boys are not as big in the US as they are in Europe, and they imply that homophobia may be one cause. Given this, some American viewers may be left in the dark. "Being Boring" wasn't a single here, so American viewers may lose focus when the interviewees discuss it. Their "Closer to Heaven" musical never ran in the US, as far as I know. I loved that this is one of few documentaries that had foreign language subtitles. Still, since the disc is geared to a European audience, I'm surprised it didn't have German subtitles.
As a Pethead of color, I love how dedicated the Boys are to multiculturalism. There are always people of color in their videos and concerts, even though the UK is not as racially diverse as the US. The Boys are also heavily influenced by Black and Latino musical styles. Surprisingly, no people of color are interviewed in this work. I am sure this was an accident, but it stands out to those who have an eye for it.
10 of 12 found the following review helpful:
The Hong Kong Version is NTSC Region 0 and NOT a bootleg!Dec 06, 2006
By OMD Man
Just to settle the discussion on this item, I know someone who got this and it is NTSC and Region 0 and not a bootleg. Unfortunately some of these were mispressed without the Flamboyant video. The credits on the case don't show the Flamboyant video but it is included on the HK or Hong Kong version. Unfortunately when I ordered this version from Amazon they did not send it to me. They sent me the non-HK version that does not have the Flamboyant video (which is great!) so when you order this make sure that Amazon sends the right one. I am sending mine back for a replacement. The picture of the case is misleading. The HK version does come in a standard US-type DVD case, not a CD case as the cropped picture leads you to believe.
12-14-06 Update: The replacement came and it IS the Hong Kong version however, I have found out that not all Hong Kong discs have the Flamboyant video. The only way to tell is to look at the disc itself and if the code of numbers on the inner rim ends in @1 then it has the video, if it ends in @2 then it does not have Flamboyant. Unfortunately my 2nd copy doesn't have the video and I am sending it back to Amazon as defective and they have been very kind about it. I am asking for a refund and will attempt to get the right copy on ebay as Amazon cannot open an item to check the code for me. Good luck!
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Comprehensive and carefully consideredAug 07, 2007
By D. Recio, SJ
This rich documentary, Pet Shop Boys: Life in Pop (2006), begins with Chris Lowe playing a Wurlitzer organ at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. From this auspicious and somewhat whimsical beginning, we hear about the duo that would eventually become the Pet Shop Boys. Alternating between Chris Lowe's suburban English childhood in Blackpool to Neil Tennant's early adventures in Newcastle, Tennant dreamt of rushing off to London all the while reading and gallivanting with friends at the local Literary and Philosophical Society. Running 140 minutes, this documentary, directed by George Scott, never meanders into pointless discussion.
Scott arranges carefully, the lengthy and ongoing career of these two highly talented pop musicians who would make history with their seminal hit, West End Girls. We are treated to anecdotes concerning their academic aspirations which influenced both of them, their careful and specific focus on their image, and the history behind their wide-ranging songs. Most of all, we get a sense of their enormous creative talent which distinguished them from other musicians because they never ceased "re-inventing" themselves in new ways. As a result, some of their work would be dismissed by critics only to be lauded in hindsight.
In addition to Tennant and Lowe, various interviews include: Brandon Flowers (The Killers), Los Angeles disc-jockey, Richard Blade, Robbie Williams (Take That), and other musicians and critics. There is footage of PSB working closely with Liza Minnelli and some thoughtful reflections from photographer, Bruce Weber, who would eventually direct two of PSB's videos, (e.g. Being Boring). The DVD includes a generous heaping of extras including a complete music clip of "What Have I Done to Deserve This" in concert with the unflappable Dusty Springfield performing with Tennant and Lowe. Life in Pop, given its nearly comprehensive treatment of its subject matter, may be of greater viewing advantage to seasoned Pet Shop Boys fans.
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