7 items from 2013
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 25, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD $39.95
A strong-willed peasant girl (Cat People’s Nastassja Kinski, in a star-making breakthrough performance) is sent by her father to the estate of some local aristocrats to capitalize on a rumor that their families are from the same line. This fateful visit commences an epic narrative of sex, class, betrayal, and revenge, which Polanski unfolds with deliberation and finesse.
With its earthy visual textures, achieved by two world-class cinematographers—Geoffrey Unsworth (Cabaret) and Ghislain Cloquet (Au hasard Balthazar)—Tess is a work of great pastoral beauty and vivid storytelling.
Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of the film includes the following features:
• New 4K digital restoration, »
Jean-Claude Carrière has enjoyed a long and fruitful career as perhaps France's most important screenwriter, with extended collaborations with Buñuel and Pierre Étaix, as well as smaller stints with Milos Forman, Claude Berri, Jacques Deray and Jean-Luc Godard. He has also worked as co-director alongside Étaix, and his one solo job, the short film The Nail Clippers, is a little classic.
But Carrière has also carried on a modest career as an actor, playing small roles in many of the films based on his scenarios. 1971's L'alliance, directed by Christian de Chalonge, seems to be his one real attempt at becoming a movie star.
In a rather Buñuelian scenario, Carrière's Hugues presents himself at a dating agency and announces that he's looking to find a wife with a spacious apartment. It turns out that he's a vet and needs somewhere to both live and practice. He's »
- David Cairns
Patrice Chéreau dead at 68: French director best known for ‘Queen Margot,’ gay-related dramas (photo: Patrice Chéreau; Isabelle Adjani in ‘Queen Margot’) Screenwriter, sometime actor, and stage, opera, and film director Patrice Chéreau, whose clinically cool — some might say sterile — films were arthouse favorites in some quarters, has died of lung cancer in Paris. Chéreau was 68. Born on November 2, 1944, in Lézigné, in France’s Maine-et-Loire department, and raised in Paris, Patrice Chéreau began directing plays in his late teens. In the mid-’60s, he became the director of a theater in Sartrouville, northwest of Paris, where he staged plays with a strong left-wing bent. Later on he moved to Milan’s Piccolo Teatro, and in the ’80s became the director of the Théâtre des Amandiers in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre. His 1976 staging of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth was considered revolutionary. Patrice Chéreau »
- Andre Soares
After a week of stars, filmmakers, and worldwide media coverage on the Croisette, the 2013 Cannes Film Festival came to an end today. The Palme d’Or went to Blue Is The Warmest Color from director Abdellatif Kechiche, best director award went to Amat Escalante for Heli, while the Jury Grand Prix went to the Coen Bros. for Inside Llewyn Davis.
Audrey Tautou hosted Uma Thurman on the stage to award the Palme d’or to the best film among the 20 in Competition. Taking place May 15 – 26, director Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby kicked off the 66th Festival in the Grand Théâtre Lumière of the Palais des Festivals, out of Competition in the Official Selection.
With films such as Inside Llewyn Davis scheduled »
- Michelle McCue
Blue Is the Warmest Color: Oscars? Césars? European Film Awards? (Picture: Léa Seydoux, Abdellatif Kechiche, and Adèle Exarchopoulos at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival awards ceremony) [See previous post: "Lesbian love story Blue Is the Warmest Color wins Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or."] Both Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, director-co-screenwriter Abdellatif Kechiche, and Blue Is the Warmest Color itself are all shoo-ins for the 2014 Césars and near-shoo-ins for the European Film Awards. Kechiche has already won two Best Director / Best Screenplay / Best Film Césars: for Games of Love and Chance (2003) and The Secret of the Grain (2007, produced by Claude Berri). Even so, he has never been shortlisted for the European Film Awards; yet, at the very least one nomination — Best European Film, Best Director, or Best Screenplay — is all but guaranteed later this year. Needless to say, at this stage it’s impossible to know if Blue Is the Warmest Color will be France’s submission for the 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. In case Kechiche’s »
- Andre Soares
Lesbian love story Blue Is the Warmest Color wins Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or (photo: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue Is the Warmest Color) The 2013 Cannes Film Festival came to a close on Sunday evening. Earlier in the day in Paris, an estimated 150,000 bigots took to the streets to protest the legalization of gay marriage a few days ago in France. Somewhat ironically, in the evening in Cannes, to lengthy and enthusiastic applause, the Palme d’Or went to writer-director Abdellatif Kechiche’s three-hour-long lesbian love story Blue Is the Warmest Color / La Vie d’Adèle. Kechiche’s film offers a portrayal of the relationship between a 15-year-old high-school student Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and an Older Woman, Emma (twenty-something Léa Seydoux). Prior to the closing ceremony, it had already taken home the International Film Critics’ Fipresci Prize for a film in the Cannes Film Festival’s Official Competition. »
- Andre Soares
Tune in alert for self-discovery and surprise revelations abound in May with TV5MONDE USA. Daniel Auteuil, Quelques Jours Avec Lui (2012) May 15, 1:05pm Edt / 10:05am Pdt Two-time César award (Girl on the Bridge, Jean de Florette), Cannes Film Festival (The Eighth Day) and BAFTA Film Award (Jean de Florette) winner Daniel Auteuil is the focal point of this documentary about self-discovery. Over his forty-year career, Daniel Auteuil has played a thousand roles, including the under-gifted Bebel, for Claude Zidi; Scapin, for Jean-Pierre Vincent; and Ugolin, for Claude Berri. At age 63, after recognizing all of his success, the actor admits he wants to talk a little bit about himself after spending his life hiding behind characters. »
- April Neale
7 items from 2013
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