Bad Boy Bubby


1h 52m 1993

Brief Synopsis

With his father's intervention, a 38-year-old recluse is finally made to confront the outside world.

Film Details

Release Date
1993
Distribution Company
P&B FILMS
Location
Port Adelaide, Australia

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 52m

Synopsis

With his father's intervention, a 38-year-old recluse is finally made to confront the outside world.

Crew

Mark Abbott

Production Designer

Paul Ammitzboll

Assistant Director

Paul Ammitzboll

Production Manager

Paul Ammitzboll

Production Consultant

Paul Ammitzboll

Cinematographer

John Armstrong

Cinematographer

Steve Arnold

Cinematographer

Suresh Ayyar

Editor

Suresh Ayyar

Sound Editor

Ross Blake

Cinematographer

Brian Bossito

Cinematographer

Richard Boue

Stunt Coordinator

David Burr

Cinematographer

Simon Cardwell

Cinematographer

Julie Chandler

Sound Editor

John Chataway

Cinematographer

Neville Clark

Technical Advisor

Ernie Clarke

Cinematographer

Brigid Costello

Other

James Currie

Sound Editor

James Currie

Sound Design

James Currie

Sound Mixer

James Currie

Sound Recordist

Paul Dalwitz

Cinematographer

Rolf De Heer

Screenplay

Rolf De Heer

Producer

Giorgio Draskovic

Producer

Clive Duncan

Cinematographer

Beverly Freeman

Wardrobe

Beverly Freeman

Makeup

Beverly Freeman

Hair

Beverly Freeman

Costumes

Harry Glynattis

Cinematographer

Tibor Hegedis

Cinematographer

Barry Hellepen

Other

Walter Holt

Cinematographer

Sharon Jackson

Production Manager

Ian Jones

Director Of Photography

Norman Kaye

Song

Geoffrey Knebbs

Assistant Director

Charlie Kroff

Location Manager

Roger Lanser

Cinematographer

Brendan Laville

Cinematographer

Audine Leith

Casting

David Lightfoot

Associate Producer

Rick Martin

Cinematographer

Steve Mcdonald

Cinematographer

Richard Michalak

Cinematographer

Peter Monaghan

Song

Jeff Morgan

Cinematographer

Tim Nicholls

Art Director

Fran O'donaghue

Assistant Director

John Ogden

Cinematographer

Max Pepper

Cinematographer

Gina Ploenges

Production Manager

Gina Ploenges

Production Coordinator

David Popeman

Cinematographer

Domenico Procacci

Producer

Richard Rees-jones

Cinematographer

Geoffrey Simpson

Cinematographer

John Simpson

Foley

Graham Tardif

Music

Gerald Thompson

Cinematographer

Lisa Tomasetti

Cinematographer

Carmel Torcasio

Continuity

Kim Waiteklis

Cinematographer

David Wolfe-barry

Assistant Director

Film Details

Release Date
1993
Distribution Company
P&B FILMS
Location
Port Adelaide, Australia

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 52m

Articles

Bad Boy Bubby on DVD


I first became aware of director Rolf de Heer (who was born in the Netherlands, but moved to Australia at the age of eight) at the 2003 Telluride Film Festival, where they showcased his film, Alexandra's Project. The story involved a housewife going to sadistic extremes to get revenge on her husband; the program notes described it as being "almost unbearably tense from start to finish," and certainly the crowd's reaction would confirm this. Sure, it was controversial, but it was also smart, it was compelling, it had buzz, and it seemed destined to become a memorable theatrical release in the U.S., once a distributor picked it up. What happened was the opposite. It disappeared for a long while and then went straight to dvd. Almost exactly ten years before this, De Heer's film about a developmentally stunted 35-year-old who escapes a harrowing confinement for various changing adventures, Bad Boy Bubby (1993), followed a similar trajectory; it got a rousing reception at several film festivals (winning, among several other awards, the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival), it created a big stir, and then was roundly ignored in the U.S. (but certainly not elsewhere). In the case of Bad Boy Bubby, I blame the cats.

Prospective viewers, especially if they are neurotic cat lovers (and I count myself among them), would do well to recall the "it's only a movie" mantra for several key scenes – especially since one of the biggest censures to threaten the film was over perceived feline abuse. De Heer assures viewers that the cat in question was, in fact, saved from the pound and well rewarded with a nice long life after filming. It's unclear if the same can be said for lead actor Nicholas Hope, whose various humiliations are now forever immortalized – but all to his great credit, for he anchors this stunning and unique film with flawless transitions that careen between a naïve and innocent man-child demeanor and outbursts of autistic and manic intensity that can be either violently destructive or magically productive.

The first half-hour of Bad Boy Bubby is so oppressive and grim that De Heer realized his original idea of presenting these scenes in a cramped aspect ratio would make it unbearably claustrophobic for the viewer, so he opened it up to a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio to let the scenes breathe even as both Bubby and his cat suffocate under the weight of Bubby's oppressive "Mam." In turn, Bubby's mother only leaves the squalid apartment with a gas mask so as to keep Bubby in fear of the outside world and to make sure he won't escape. But escape he does, and so Bubby's journey begins. Aside for being a stranger in what is, for him, a new planet, Bubby also has a talent for mimicry that compulsively informs every scene that follows. Thematically, the cinematic relatives that come to mind are The Wild Child (1970) by Francois Truffat and Being There (1979) by Hal Ashby, but otherwise it's hard to compare both of these traditional films to Bad Boy Bubby if only because De Heer's film is so completely whacked out, crazy, unpredictable, and also quite inspired and totally memorable in its own deranged way.

With most films, should the viewer leave for a quick bathroom break they could easily come back and fill in the gaps as to what they had missed. Not so with Bad Boy Bubby, for even the briefest trip to the lavatory might mean missing an entire segment that you could never have predicted and yet, somehow, plays an instrumental part to the whole. One of the reasons for this comes down to its unique construction as a work that gestated over several years, with De Heer writing down bizarre life moments and then putting them away for later. In some cases he'd revisit scenes that he realized weren't quite as strange anymore, so he'd ratchet them up a bit, thus creating a tapestry of changing encounters that are all amped up in their strangeness and glory, and that range from Bubby joining a rock band to eventually playing a key role in another group that assists people with cerebral palsy. He also kills things with cling wrap, but that's all part of his learning curve.

Adding to the dynamic element of the film is De Heer's decision to shoot each segment with a different cinematographer/director of photography, so that the end credits reveal 32 different names in this capacity. It's a daring venture but the gambit pays off by making each separate scene vibrate with a unique visual signature, and Hope's riveting performance as Bubby helps to anchor the overall flow of the story. Another interesting stylistic feat, which the dvd announces in a foreword, is the use of what De Heer refers to as a binaural sound design that is captured by attaching small transistorized microphones just behind each of Hope's ears. The microphones are hidden behind Bubby's hair, which was relatively easy to do since Bubby always looks like he licked a light socket first thing in the morning. The effect is interesting and just a touch disorienting, which was De Heer's intent as he wanted the viewer to share in Bubby's more immediate and askew way of taking in the world.

The dvd by Blue Underground for Bad Boy Bubby includes an interview with director De Heer that is very informative and will certainly elevate ones respect for the film. Other bonuses include an interview with Actor Nicholas Hope, as well as an earlier short film in which he starred and that helped land him the role in Bad Boy Bubby. A gallery of stills and the original theatrical trailer round out the package.

For more information about Bad Boy Bubby, visit Blue Underground. To order Bad Boy Bubby, go to TCM Shopping.

by Pablo Kjolseth
Bad Boy Bubby On Dvd

Bad Boy Bubby on DVD

I first became aware of director Rolf de Heer (who was born in the Netherlands, but moved to Australia at the age of eight) at the 2003 Telluride Film Festival, where they showcased his film, Alexandra's Project. The story involved a housewife going to sadistic extremes to get revenge on her husband; the program notes described it as being "almost unbearably tense from start to finish," and certainly the crowd's reaction would confirm this. Sure, it was controversial, but it was also smart, it was compelling, it had buzz, and it seemed destined to become a memorable theatrical release in the U.S., once a distributor picked it up. What happened was the opposite. It disappeared for a long while and then went straight to dvd. Almost exactly ten years before this, De Heer's film about a developmentally stunted 35-year-old who escapes a harrowing confinement for various changing adventures, Bad Boy Bubby (1993), followed a similar trajectory; it got a rousing reception at several film festivals (winning, among several other awards, the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival), it created a big stir, and then was roundly ignored in the U.S. (but certainly not elsewhere). In the case of Bad Boy Bubby, I blame the cats. Prospective viewers, especially if they are neurotic cat lovers (and I count myself among them), would do well to recall the "it's only a movie" mantra for several key scenes – especially since one of the biggest censures to threaten the film was over perceived feline abuse. De Heer assures viewers that the cat in question was, in fact, saved from the pound and well rewarded with a nice long life after filming. It's unclear if the same can be said for lead actor Nicholas Hope, whose various humiliations are now forever immortalized – but all to his great credit, for he anchors this stunning and unique film with flawless transitions that careen between a naïve and innocent man-child demeanor and outbursts of autistic and manic intensity that can be either violently destructive or magically productive. The first half-hour of Bad Boy Bubby is so oppressive and grim that De Heer realized his original idea of presenting these scenes in a cramped aspect ratio would make it unbearably claustrophobic for the viewer, so he opened it up to a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio to let the scenes breathe even as both Bubby and his cat suffocate under the weight of Bubby's oppressive "Mam." In turn, Bubby's mother only leaves the squalid apartment with a gas mask so as to keep Bubby in fear of the outside world and to make sure he won't escape. But escape he does, and so Bubby's journey begins. Aside for being a stranger in what is, for him, a new planet, Bubby also has a talent for mimicry that compulsively informs every scene that follows. Thematically, the cinematic relatives that come to mind are The Wild Child (1970) by Francois Truffat and Being There (1979) by Hal Ashby, but otherwise it's hard to compare both of these traditional films to Bad Boy Bubby if only because De Heer's film is so completely whacked out, crazy, unpredictable, and also quite inspired and totally memorable in its own deranged way. With most films, should the viewer leave for a quick bathroom break they could easily come back and fill in the gaps as to what they had missed. Not so with Bad Boy Bubby, for even the briefest trip to the lavatory might mean missing an entire segment that you could never have predicted and yet, somehow, plays an instrumental part to the whole. One of the reasons for this comes down to its unique construction as a work that gestated over several years, with De Heer writing down bizarre life moments and then putting them away for later. In some cases he'd revisit scenes that he realized weren't quite as strange anymore, so he'd ratchet them up a bit, thus creating a tapestry of changing encounters that are all amped up in their strangeness and glory, and that range from Bubby joining a rock band to eventually playing a key role in another group that assists people with cerebral palsy. He also kills things with cling wrap, but that's all part of his learning curve. Adding to the dynamic element of the film is De Heer's decision to shoot each segment with a different cinematographer/director of photography, so that the end credits reveal 32 different names in this capacity. It's a daring venture but the gambit pays off by making each separate scene vibrate with a unique visual signature, and Hope's riveting performance as Bubby helps to anchor the overall flow of the story. Another interesting stylistic feat, which the dvd announces in a foreword, is the use of what De Heer refers to as a binaural sound design that is captured by attaching small transistorized microphones just behind each of Hope's ears. The microphones are hidden behind Bubby's hair, which was relatively easy to do since Bubby always looks like he licked a light socket first thing in the morning. The effect is interesting and just a touch disorienting, which was De Heer's intent as he wanted the viewer to share in Bubby's more immediate and askew way of taking in the world. The dvd by Blue Underground for Bad Boy Bubby includes an interview with director De Heer that is very informative and will certainly elevate ones respect for the film. Other bonuses include an interview with Actor Nicholas Hope, as well as an earlier short film in which he starred and that helped land him the role in Bad Boy Bubby. A gallery of stills and the original theatrical trailer round out the package. For more information about Bad Boy Bubby, visit Blue Underground. To order Bad Boy Bubby, go to TCM Shopping. by Pablo Kjolseth

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Nominated for several 1994 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, including best picture. The film won awards for best director, best original screenplay, best actor (Nicholas Hope), and best editing.

Released in United States 1993

Released in United States 1994

Released in United States 1995

Released in United States Fall November 27, 1997

Released in United States October 1996

Released in United States on Video April 26, 2005

Awarded the jury prize at the 1993 Venice Film Festival.

Shown at Cleveland International Film Festival March 30 - April 9, 1995.

Shown at Seattle International Film Festival May 20 - June 12, 1994.

Shown at Venice Film Festival (in competition) August 31 - September 11, 1993.

In addition to Ian Jones, this film employed some 30 cinematographers.

Released in United States 1993 (Awarded the jury prize at the 1993 Venice Film Festival.)

Released in United States 1993 (Shown at Venice Film Festival (in competition) August 31 - September 11, 1993.)

Released in United States 1994 (Shown at Seattle International Film Festival May 20 - June 12, 1994.)

Released in United States on Video April 26, 2005

Released in United States October 1996 (Shown at AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival October 18-31, 1996.)

Released in United States Fall November 27, 1997

Released in United States 1995 (Shown at Cleveland International Film Festival March 30 - April 9, 1995.)