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|Index||20 reviews in total|
I saw half of this film over 20 years ago, and only once -- and still many
scenes are indelibly imprinted in my mind. Moliere's mother picking lice
of his hair...the cavalry attacking student Mardi Gras
beggars eating a horse raw...thick stage makeup flaking off a sweating
actor...and all sorts of other real and surreal details of 17th century
That this compelling and unique film should have disappeared for a quarter century when so much utter CRAP has appeared on tape and DVD is appalling. I hope rumors of its release on DVD are true. And make it available in the USA, please!
I saw this film over 20 years ago in a small art cinema, and would pay almost any price to have it on DVD. After 4 hours, it left me wanting to see more. The story, direction, photography and soundtrack are all outstanding, and (as other reviewers have remarked) many of the images are unforgettable. As a French theater director, Mnouchkine has an unsurpassed insight into both Moliere and the life of the theater. She also gives us a gripping (and historically accurate) portrayal of the precarious position of actors in Moliere's France, especially when they dared to satirize powerful people or institutions. The only other film remotely comparable is Carne's Children of Paradise, which (unlike Mnouchkine's Moliere) subordinates its portrayal of the theater world to the romantic plot. Mikhail Bulgakov, by the way, wrote a wonderful play about Moliere which is similar in tone to Mnouchkine's film.
Molière is one of the greatest French writers of all time, so it was almost inevitable that the cinema takes an interest in the man by devoting him a movie. It's Ariane Mouchkine who made this biography, she's a woman of the theatre and the manager of the theatre company: "the Theatre of the Sun". However, her movie isn't a filmed stage production because she introduces a lot of life and movements in her making. Moreover, there isn't one sole scenerie but a thousand various sceneries! In another hand, the performance of the actors isn't theatrical, except, of course, when they're on stage. The movie, you can guess it, was expensive but it was worthwhile! An important budget enabled a meticulous reconstruction of the seventeenth century: the costumes and sceneries are magnificient and the muddy streets of the towns are very realistic. The movie mainly focuses on the most important events of Molière's life: his childhood, his student years, his beginnings in the theatre and his success in the court of Louis XIV in spite of "Tartuffe"'s scandal . Some of these events will later inspire him for his plays. For example, at the beginning of the movie, Molière's mother dies of a fatal disease and the doctors are powerless to heal her. More serious: they don't hesitate in feasting and eating in Molière's house. This last one understood that doctors are only profiteer charlatans and that medicine is far from being efficient. He'll ridiculise them later in some of his plays. Besides, it's not only Molière's character who interests Mouchkine but all an era: the seventeenth century with all its miseries, its grandeurs and its contradictions. Nevertheless, the end of the movie is a bit disappointing. Molière's life after 1666 and until 1673, date of his death, isn't clearly made. It's during this era that he knew his hour of glory by writing unforgettable plays despite his disease ( he suffered from tuberculosis) . It would have been interesting to see him writing and performing these plays on stage. At last, Philippe Caubère is an excellent Molière and in the end, in spite of its length, "Molière" is simply a beautiful movie.
on eBay, of course. It was in French, and for sale in Canada. I saw this film twice on PBS in the very early 80s and still cannot get it out of my mind. The production is great, and the story absolutely fascinating, and tells the story of Moliere's life from beginning to end. It was shown with subtitles that were done very well in a way that did not distract visually. If it is ever shown again, do not miss it! The last time I contacted PBS, they said they did not have access to it anymore and didn't know when they would. It is hard to believe that this beautiful movie seems to be in obscurity, but I will continue to hunt for it.
I love this movie and have been searching for it without much success. I've been to Theatre Du Soleil's website. I've Google-ed till the cows came home. I've even gone to the French Ebay! With the exception of a few university libraries that will not sell, I found no commercial outlets. I REALLY want a copy for my very own. Does anybody have one? And/or info?
It is amazing how many other people share the same feeling towards this film!!! I felt like a solitaire, since my only connection with this film was my memory. In effect, it was exhibited in my city, Montevideo, Uruguay (South America) as part of a France Film Festival back in 1979. I enjoyed every minute of the four hours the film lasts, so I went twice. I was only 18 y.o. at that time. Since that, I have been trying to find any reference to the film without success. The cinemateca where it was shown did not keep a copy, the same with the France Embassy that brought the film. Nothing on Yahoo. It was not until now that I used Google that I found a clue. And thanks to IMDb found that I am not alone, that many people has memories of this most exquisite film ever. I just followed the advice of a colleague here and bought the film from the amazon.fr site. I hope it arrives in Uruguay, that is possible to play on my multi-zone DVD player, and that has some sub-titles either on Spanish or English, because even my family came from France, I speak it very badly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Finally, after all these years - I've read on a french message board that it will be released on DVD in January next year. Yes! The source was Ariane M. herself. I've looked over and over again for this film ever since I saw it - I was only 12 years old - and I will never forget it. Esp. Philippe Caubere, he was very good. The rest of the cast, also of course - but I will never forget the Death-scene, when they are running to stand still, with the bleeding JB Moliere in their arms. Perhaps Forman was inspired by in when he made the end of "Amadeus"? The music - from Henry Purcell's "King Arthur"... The poet is dead, long live the poet! Faerie in Norway
I saw this wonderful movie around 10 times when I was just in the twenties. No doubt, this film has influenced me for the rest of my life. The sound in the voice of Moliere when he tells the child (whom he marries later): "Manche Douce", when he steals a chair from his father the tapestrymaster Poquelin, or when he learns to behave like a very old man on stage and of course the scene of his dying on the stairs forever running. Oh how I would love to be in this film just once more
It is a disgrace that such a fine film is not yet available to purchase, either on DVD or VHS. Would someone 'out there' do something about this deplorable situation. It is bad enough that there is so much crap for sale as DVDs, but when a superb film comes along, why are film goers to be denied the ability to see it and to purchase a copy? Make this film available. The work speaks for itself!
I have just seen the DVD of Moliere - this is my first time seeing this
film. What a wonderful experience!
I would totally agree with all of the IMDb reviewers - this is an amazing production with some incredible images. Also a very painstaking reconstruction of 17th century France. The humanity of a full life, an engaging storyline, excellent sets and cinematography - its all there.
We recently had the pleasure of Ariane Mnouchkine's Theatre Du Soliel staging a production of "Le Dernier Caravanserail" here in Melbourne. (7 hours long). That was truly amazing as well. They were selling copies of the Moliere DVD at this show so I bought a copy there. It contains the 244 minute theatrical release of the film (not the 300 minute TV version) in French with English, Italian, German and Spanish subtitles. The digital transfer quality is very good, the soundtrack is Dolby Digital mono and wide screen 16 x 9 format. Region 2 only.
There is also a 46 min interview with Ariane (done very recently) in which she talks extensively about the struggle in making the film, the reaction at Cannes, how she structured the story and the ideas behind the death scene amongst others. Great stuff!
I would recommend that any fans of this film make every effort to get this DVD (probably French Amazon or Ebay). For others it is a shining light in French cinema history and well worth tracking down.
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