In the Soup


1h 36m 1992

Brief Synopsis

An aspiring young filmmaker gets involved with an eccentric gangster for the financing of his first film.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
1992
Production Company
Alta Films; Mikado Film; Odessa Films; Pandora Films; Why Not Productions
Distribution Company
Triton Pictures; Fox Lorber Home Video
Location
New York City, New York, USA; New Jersey, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m

Synopsis

An aspiring young filmmaker gets involved with an eccentric gangster for the financing of his first film.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
1992
Production Company
Alta Films; Mikado Film; Odessa Films; Pandora Films; Why Not Productions
Distribution Company
Triton Pictures; Fox Lorber Home Video
Location
New York City, New York, USA; New Jersey, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m

Articles

In the Soup on DVD


In the middle of New York, frustrated filmmaker Adolpho Rollo (Steve Buscemi) nurses a crush on the mysterious Latin beauty next door, Angelica (Jennifer Beals), who's married to an emotionally stunted Frenchman (Stanley Tucci) in a green card scheme gone horribly wrong. Desperate to finance a feature project, Adolpho places an ad to sell his dream project for five hundred dollars, a ploy that brings the eccentric underground criminal Joe (Cassavetes alumnus Seymour Cassel) into his life. Promising hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional raised funding (without even bothering to read the script), Joe flips Adolpho's life upside down with a series of eccentric encounters that leave the young director forever transformed.

A key early 1990s independent film, In the Soup put director Alexandre Rockwell on the map around the same time as contemporaries like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Tom DiCillo. Significantly, all of these directors have made extensive use of Steve Buscemi, who garnered his first real leading role with In the Soup after colorful supporting roles in reputable projects like Parting Glances and Miller's Crossing. He slips into the everyman hero role quite well for what amounts to an updated, comical twist on the Faustian trope in which a wallflower's pact with a tempter results in pandemonium for all concerned. As the trickster, Cassel is an absolute delight and assuredly steals the film from his extremely capable co-stars; right down to the bit parts, everyone is well cast and performs at the peak of their craft. Plum roles also go to a young Sam Rockwell (after his stint in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Elizabeth Bracco, Will Patton, Debi Mazar, and in one scene-stealing bit, Jim Jarmusch and Carol Kane offering Adolpho a particularly demeaning stint for quick cash. Making a solid comeback after a few years doing art films in France, Beals makes a solid love interest and elicits sympathy for her character while the soon-to-be-ubiquitous Tucci scores some great Clouseauvian laughs in his limited but memorable role ("You sink my vife is beautiful?"). Though Rockwell has gone on to other projects, this remains his best-loved feature to date for good reason; anyone curious about the lighter side of the huge idie wave a decade ago would be well advised to start right here.

A success on home video, In the Soup was designed as a black and white film but shot on color stock (a tactic later used for The Man Who Wasn't There). Both versions have circulated on home video, but the monochromatic choice is really the only viable option and is well-served by Fantoma's crystal-clear DVD. The softness and graininess one usually associates with low budget NYC projects is gone here in favor of a beautifully smooth presentation, with each brick and piece of wood paneling perfectly clear. The audio gets a 5.1 overhaul but sounds about the same as it always has: clear enough but nothing to make your home theater cower in fear.

Thanks to participation from just about everyone involved, the disc is also packed with new special features including three commentary tracks that should answer any question possibly associated with the film's projection. Rockwell turns up for a solo track (mostly focused on the film¿s financing, production, and autobiographical aspects) and also serves as ringleader for an actors¿ track featuring Tucci, Buscemi, Bracco, Kane, Fantoma regular Jarmusch, and Steven Randazzo; it's lively fun as they look back and point how representative this film is of New York at a particular time and place that will never be captured again. Buscemi and Rockwell have some funny interplay (including the revelation that Buscemi hated his character's ear dysfunction), so one can only hope they'll collaborate again soon and get together for another commentary in the future. Finally Cassel turns up for a solo track in which he discusses his own approach to perhaps his finest role to date and offers some amusing tidbits about his interplay with his befuddled younger co-star. Other extras include six deleted scenes (mostly extensions and additional bits of character development) including the memorably titled "You Got Eggs?," a lengthy reel of raw behind-the-scenes footage shot by Buscemi during filming, eight amusing outtake bits, a "How to Cha Cha Cha" instructional (carried over to the printed instructions in the DVD insert itself), and a new video interview with Beals (sitting in what looks like New York's Schubert Theater) in which she offers her own reminiscences about the director and cast, interspersed with camcorder footage of her preparing on the set.

For more information about In the Soup, visit Fantoma Films. To order In the Soup, go to TCM Shopping.

by Nathaniel Thompson
In The Soup On Dvd

In the Soup on DVD

In the middle of New York, frustrated filmmaker Adolpho Rollo (Steve Buscemi) nurses a crush on the mysterious Latin beauty next door, Angelica (Jennifer Beals), who's married to an emotionally stunted Frenchman (Stanley Tucci) in a green card scheme gone horribly wrong. Desperate to finance a feature project, Adolpho places an ad to sell his dream project for five hundred dollars, a ploy that brings the eccentric underground criminal Joe (Cassavetes alumnus Seymour Cassel) into his life. Promising hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional raised funding (without even bothering to read the script), Joe flips Adolpho's life upside down with a series of eccentric encounters that leave the young director forever transformed. A key early 1990s independent film, In the Soup put director Alexandre Rockwell on the map around the same time as contemporaries like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Tom DiCillo. Significantly, all of these directors have made extensive use of Steve Buscemi, who garnered his first real leading role with In the Soup after colorful supporting roles in reputable projects like Parting Glances and Miller's Crossing. He slips into the everyman hero role quite well for what amounts to an updated, comical twist on the Faustian trope in which a wallflower's pact with a tempter results in pandemonium for all concerned. As the trickster, Cassel is an absolute delight and assuredly steals the film from his extremely capable co-stars; right down to the bit parts, everyone is well cast and performs at the peak of their craft. Plum roles also go to a young Sam Rockwell (after his stint in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Elizabeth Bracco, Will Patton, Debi Mazar, and in one scene-stealing bit, Jim Jarmusch and Carol Kane offering Adolpho a particularly demeaning stint for quick cash. Making a solid comeback after a few years doing art films in France, Beals makes a solid love interest and elicits sympathy for her character while the soon-to-be-ubiquitous Tucci scores some great Clouseauvian laughs in his limited but memorable role ("You sink my vife is beautiful?"). Though Rockwell has gone on to other projects, this remains his best-loved feature to date for good reason; anyone curious about the lighter side of the huge idie wave a decade ago would be well advised to start right here. A success on home video, In the Soup was designed as a black and white film but shot on color stock (a tactic later used for The Man Who Wasn't There). Both versions have circulated on home video, but the monochromatic choice is really the only viable option and is well-served by Fantoma's crystal-clear DVD. The softness and graininess one usually associates with low budget NYC projects is gone here in favor of a beautifully smooth presentation, with each brick and piece of wood paneling perfectly clear. The audio gets a 5.1 overhaul but sounds about the same as it always has: clear enough but nothing to make your home theater cower in fear. Thanks to participation from just about everyone involved, the disc is also packed with new special features including three commentary tracks that should answer any question possibly associated with the film's projection. Rockwell turns up for a solo track (mostly focused on the film¿s financing, production, and autobiographical aspects) and also serves as ringleader for an actors¿ track featuring Tucci, Buscemi, Bracco, Kane, Fantoma regular Jarmusch, and Steven Randazzo; it's lively fun as they look back and point how representative this film is of New York at a particular time and place that will never be captured again. Buscemi and Rockwell have some funny interplay (including the revelation that Buscemi hated his character's ear dysfunction), so one can only hope they'll collaborate again soon and get together for another commentary in the future. Finally Cassel turns up for a solo track in which he discusses his own approach to perhaps his finest role to date and offers some amusing tidbits about his interplay with his befuddled younger co-star. Other extras include six deleted scenes (mostly extensions and additional bits of character development) including the memorably titled "You Got Eggs?," a lengthy reel of raw behind-the-scenes footage shot by Buscemi during filming, eight amusing outtake bits, a "How to Cha Cha Cha" instructional (carried over to the printed instructions in the DVD insert itself), and a new video interview with Beals (sitting in what looks like New York's Schubert Theater) in which she offers her own reminiscences about the director and cast, interspersed with camcorder footage of her preparing on the set. For more information about In the Soup, visit Fantoma Films. To order In the Soup, go to TCM Shopping. by Nathaniel Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of the 1992 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Released in United States 1992

Released in United States 1998

Released in United States 1999

Released in United States August 18, 1992

Released in United States Fall October 23, 1992

Released in United States January 1992

Released in United States July 26, 1994

Released in United States June 1998

Released in United States November 6, 1992

Released in United States on Video August 11, 1993

Released in United States September 1992

Re-released in United States on Video September 23, 1997

Shown at "First Look" film series in New York City (Tribeca Film Center) August 18, 1992.

Shown at Avignon/New York Film Festival (Rockwell Retrospective) in New York City (French Institute) April 24 - May 3, 1998.

Shown at Cinequest 1999: The San Jose Film Festival (Jennifer Beals Tribute) February 24 - March 3, 1999.

Shown at Deauville Film Festival September 4-13, 1992.

Shown at Florida Film Festival June 12-21, 1998.

Shown at New York Film Festival September 25 - October 11, 1992.

Shown at San Sebastian Film Festival (Open Zone) September 17-27, 1992.

Shown at Sundance Film Festival (in competition) in Park City, Utah, January 16-26, 1992.

Shown at Venice Film Festival (in competition) September 1-12, 1992.

Formerly released in USA on video by Academy Home Entertainment.

Began shooting April 3, 1991.

Released in United States 1992 (Shown at New York Film Festival September 25 - October 11, 1992.)

Released in United States 1998 (Shown at Avignon/New York Film Festival (Rockwell Retrospective) in New York City (French Institute) April 24 - May 3, 1998.)

Released in United States 1999 (Shown at Cinequest 1999: The San Jose Film Festival (Jennifer Beals Tribute) February 24 - March 3, 1999.)

Released in United States January 1992 (Shown at Sundance Film Festival (in competition) in Park City, Utah, January 16-26, 1992.)

Released in United States June 1998 (Shown at Florida Film Festival June 12-21, 1998.)

Released in United States July 26, 1994 (Shown in New York City (Films Charas) July 26, 1994.)

Released in United States on Video August 11, 1993

Completed shooting May 17, 1991.

Released in United States August 18, 1992 (Shown at "First Look" film series in New York City (Tribeca Film Center) August 18, 1992.)

Released in United States September 1992 (Shown at Deauville Film Festival September 4-13, 1992.)

Released in United States September 1992 (Shown at San Sebastian Film Festival (Open Zone) September 17-27, 1992.)

Released in United States September 1992 (Shown at Venice Film Festival (in competition) September 1-12, 1992.)

Re-released in United States on Video September 23, 1997

Released in United States Fall October 23, 1992

Released in United States November 6, 1992 (in b&w theatrical version; Los Angeles)