Saturday, December 13, 2008
Notably, she's featured on one of the extras for Criterion's DVD of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Specifically she's one of several interview subjects (all speaking English) in the 23 minute documentary, Fade To Black (pictured above), which is included on the second disc. Everyone's given pretty equal time, so she gets to speak for a few minutes at different points, mostly about the sexuality and controversy of Salò. This extra is only available on the second release of Salò that Criterion put out. Their first, now out of print release does not include Fade To Black, or any of the other extras. It should also be pointed out that the actual print of Salò used for this rerelease, like their first attempt, is cut: missing a scene during the wedding sequence; so serious Pasolini fans will have to stick with the region 2 disc from BFI (pictured, right). But this new set from Criterion is worth at least renting for the extras (especially if you're a Breillat completist, of course!).
Catherine Breillat has also cooperated with Criterion in writing an essay entitled Awakening for the booklet packaged with their DVD of Ingmar Bergman's Sawdust and Tinsel. She's not featured on the DVD at all, though; only in the booklet.
Finally, Catherine Breillat is featured in one segment of the IFC's four-part documentary, Indie Sex. Specifically, she's in part 2, Indie Sex: Teens. This film was originally made for the IFC channel on which it aired and features a whole ton of filmmakers and others reminiscing on sex in cinema in a sort of light-hearted Remember the 80's kind of way. It's nothing amazing, but enjoyable as a fun, casual fluff piece. Breillat appears (subtitled) specifically in a section about Fat Girl... including film clips, her own comments, and commentary by three film critics; you get just about 4 minutes worth of material. Breillat fans won't learn anything new, but it's nice to see her work getting spotlighted for people who haven't been introduced to it yet. There are also some extras on the second disc: a short look at stag films, and a decent amount of bonus interview footage; but Catherine Breillat isn't featured in any of that. She's only featured in Teens on disc 1.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Unfortunately, since it's made for television, we may be waiting a very long time for an English translation; but at least we know it exists so there's a chance.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
At least one website (http://www.mixup.com.mx/) does claim it also has English subtitles, however. I'm trying to find out (I've just sent an e-mail to Film House), but if anybody knows or can beat me to the punch in finding out, please let me know!
Update 11/28/08: No word back from Film House, but I talked to someone who sells these discs online and he assures me there are no English subs. Oh well. :(
Monday, November 17, 2008
The story is about Vivian Parker, a glamorous film actress who meets Louis at a film festival. On a whim, she gives him her phone number and they wind up in a passioniate and destructive love affair.
In one interview, with Brightlightsfilm.com (click the link to read the whole thing), she explains that the film is "going to be in English, but not like the French directors who want to make an American film... I'm going to make the film in France. Only the beginning will be set in Toronto. I want Niagara Falls. But otherwise, I want to be in my country, in my home, to make a film. Artisanal again." She also talks about the film in this interview with Telegraph.co.uk.
They're looking for a 2009 release.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
There's still been no announcement of a US DVD release date; but now... who cares? ;)
Update 12/18/08: According to this review at exclaim.ca, this DVD has "no extras to speak of," so you're definitely best off with the region 2 disc at this point. That's possibly just as well, since this version seems to be a bit hard to find...
By the way, Asia Argento is amazing in this. She's really grown as an actress since her early roles.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
It's PAL, region 2, boasts of a "gorgeous new anamorphic transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio" (that's 1.66:1) with "New and improved English subtitle translations." What more could you ask for? Well, how about the extras ported over from France's G.C.T.H.V. edition? They've done that, too! The second disc will feature a 2003 video interview with Pialat and, yes, Breillat. The 35 minute documentary is also included, as well as screen-tests with Maurice Pialat and C. Galmiche, an excerpt from a 1985 episode of Cinéma Cinémas focussing on the production of Police, an interview with the editor, the theatrical trailer, and a 40-page(!) booklet. It seems like the only thing they've left out are the deleted scenes, but it's hard to complain about a DVD presentation like this.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
This is the first English language DVD of this film, but not the first DVD... see my previous post for info on the French language disc.
Update 7/9/8: Extras confirmed: the theatrical trailer (plus trailers for California Dreamin' (Endless), You, the Living and Terror's Advocate), deleted scenes with commentary by Breillat, and a 24-minute making of documentary... all the same as the French disc, but subtitled.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Breillat cowrote the story with Cédric Anger and director Xavier Beauvois, in which Benoît Magimel plays Matthieu, a factory worker who works with his father in Normandy, until his father is fired for smoking on the job. While Matthieu fights to get his job back for him, his father dies in a car crash. But Matthieu thinks it was a suicide and decides to exact revenge on his boss by having an affair with his wife (Nathalie Baye).
Selon Matthieu is available on DVD, but not with English subtitles. There's a nice, French DVD (R2, PAL) with an anamorphic, widescreen print. This is also available in France as a 2-disc set with another of Beauvois' films, Le Petit lieutenant - the Selon Matthieu disc is the same as the one that's sold seperately. There's a healthy number of extras included in the set, but they're all for the Le Petit lieutenant, not Selon Matthieu.
Oh, and there's an anamorphic, widescreen Spanish DVD, as well. It's Region 2 and PAL encoded, with optional Spanish subtitles and a Spanish dub. But, yeah. Nothing for us English speakers.
In 1984, she wrote L'Araignée de satin (The Satin Spider) with director Jacques Baratier. Set in the 1920's, Catherine Jourdan plays a ballet instructor who returns to teach at the all-girl boarding school where she grew up, only to discover the girl she'd been sexually intimate with as a teen (Ingrid Caven) is now teaching there, too. There's no DVD of this film, but it was released as an untranslated, PAL VHS in France and even an English subtitled PAL VHS in the UK.
In 1993, Breillat and Pascal Bonitzer wrote Couples et amants (roughly translated: Couples and Lovers) with director John Lvoff. Allmovie gives us this slightly awkward synopsis, "Seemingly, Paul (Jacques Bonaffee) and Isabelle (Marie Brunel) have a wonderful, harmonious marriage. Yet Isabelle is not averse to having a little side action with another man in the afternoon, and Paul is really getting into his romance with one of his ophthalmic patients, a young woman who pursues him more than he pursued her. Even those little affairs might not indicate that there is much wrong with the marriage, but when Paul find's out about Isabelle's little affair, he behaves like a thug rather than the sensitive, easygoing man he has appeared to be. By contrast, the constant bickering of a couple they both know seems to indicate real intimacy between them, despite the fact that they are on the verge of divorce." There is no DVD, but this was released on video in Canada (untranslated, NTSC).
She co-wrote the screenplay for Aventure de Catherine C., about a French actress who moves to Austria, with Jean-Pierre Kremer and director Pierre Beuchot in 1990. It's based on the two Adventure Catherine Crachat novels of Pierre Jean Jouve (which have since been published as one): 1928's Hécate and Vagadu, written in 1931. It was never released on DVD, but did come out as an untranslated, PAL VHS tape in France.
Finally (for this post, there's still a bit more to come), Breillat co-wrote Milan noir (Black Milan) with three other writers, including director Ronald Chammah in 1987. It's a thriller starring Isabelle Huppert who plays, as Allmovies.com tells us, "Sarah, a woman who has settled into a more or less normal life in Milan after her lover, a much-wanted terrorist, left the scene. Her life becomes complicated indeed when she becomes aware that he is about to return. The difficulty is that not only is she aware of this, but the police and various underworld groups are also. How is she to protect her own life under the circumstances, much less keep her lover from falling prey to the various traps that are being set for him?"
Do any of these sound interesting? Well, then go get a job at a DVD studio and get them to put them out, please. Because Breillat's films are seriously under-represented on DVD. :(
Le Secret d'Elissa Rhaïs (again, no English title, but it translates to The Secret of Elissa Rhais) is an adaptation of Paul Tabet's book by Breillat and four other writers, including director Jacques Otmezguine. It's a true story about a celebrated Algerian author, Elissa Rhais, who became quite famous in France during the 20's and 30's... until it was discovered that she was actually an illiterate whose semi-autobiographical works were ghost written by Raoul Tabet (Paul's father).
Lastly, in 1990, Breillat adapted Raymond Radiguet's novel Le diable au corps (Devil In the Flesh) with director Gérard Vergez. This had been made into films twice before: once in France by Claude Autant-Lara in 1947, and more recently (1986) in Italy by Marco Bellocchio who - as you may remember from my last post - Breillat worked with on Gli Occhi, la bocca. It's about a high school student who falls in love with an older woman after her husband is sent away to the frontlines of World War 1.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Bilitis is available on a lot of cheap DVDs... they mainly all seem to be VHS rips. Jef Films put it out in both the US and the UK. They're fullscreen, low quality and missing at least one scene. Jef has also put out a boxed set of three of Hamilton's films, including their Bilitis disc, as well as fullscreen copies of Laura, Shadows of Summer and A Summer In Saint Tropez.
There's also a Chinese disc from Castaway with English language options that's pretty widely available, which is essentially the same as the Jef discs.
I realize a message board post is pretty flimsy evidence, but a lot of surfing seems to confirm (from what very little information is available online - not a lot of people seem interested in detailing the finer points of budget DVDs) that this PAL disc is the best (albeit still pretty crappy), and seems to be the only version that's uncut as well. At any rate, it ain't much, but it's the best there is for now. Hamilton has a following, though... so hope eventually someone will capitalize on that and put out a beautiful, restored DVD.
Police is available as a marvelous, 2-disc special edition in France from G.C.T.H.V. (that's Gaumont Columbia Tristar Home Video to you). Disc one features a beautiful anamorphic print of the film (in its original 1.66:1), "presented" (which means, I suppose, a video introduction) by Catherine Breillat. Then, on disc two, there's an interview with Breillat, a 35 minute documentary, deleted scenes, a featurette and some other stuff. What it does not feature, however, are English subtitles.
This is also available in the first volume (there's a volume 2 with other films) of a Maurice Pialat boxed set - it's 9 discs all told, including both discs of Police, which are the same as the ones sold separately.
There is no US DVD (or UK, or from anywhere else) so we English speakers are left to make do with the old, fullscreen VHS that was released by New Yorker video back in the 90's.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Finally (for this post... there are many others which will be covered in future posts), we come to the 1989 film, Zanzibar, which she co-wrote with Robert Boner and director Christine Pascal. Allmovies.com writes it up as an "'inside look' at French filmmaking, Marechal (Francis Girod) - who is a has-been director - a producer, Vito Catene (Andre Marcon) and Camile Dor (Fabienne Babe), a big-name actress, have agreed to make a film about drugs, but don't have a story, financing, or any of the other elements needed to make it. This doesn't stop them; they cobble together the financing and begin shooting anyway. The producer is very fond of the leading actress, and when she gets hooked on drugs for real in the course of shooting what he feels to be a farcical imitation of a film, he gives up his shares in the film and heads off for the back of beyond (Zanzibar) to lick his wounds. To add insult to injury, the film winds up being a critical and commercial success." As with a lot of Breillat's films, it's only ever been released as an untranslated, French PAL VHS.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Biostars.com describes the film as, "[a] crude film, of an intense, moon-like beauty, a sexual film with a series of cutting-edge scenes on carnal relationships, a tale of love and desire in their raw state, the story of the implacable and destructive passion of a young woman, Solange, played by Dominique Laffin, to whom Catherine Breillat gave her best role ever. The film was banned to anyone under 18 and its failure in theatres distanced the filmmaker from film sets."
Breillat herself has said of the film, "[t]his is a film about desire and seduction. The heroine keeps going to the limits of her desires. She repeatedly seeks new experiences, because desire soon fades." But I wouldn't know about all of that, because it's never been distributed on DVD in any region - it's only been released on VHS as an untranslated, French PAL VHS. >:[ Somebody really needs to get on this, pronto!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
She and her sister both appear in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1972 classic, The Last Tango In Paris. MGM has put this film out uncut in a nice anamorphic widescreen transfer in almost every market. The discs are all essentially the same, though different regions are apparently framed slightly differently: the UK disc is framed at the standard UK ratio of 1.78:1, as opposed to the US which is in 1.66:1, while the French, German, Australian (and probably others I haven't bothered to research) are all in the more generic 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
The French DVD from Fox Pathé Europa is not only uncut and 2.35:1, it features a slew of extras including interviews, the making-of featurette missing from the US disc, a short film by Berri titled Le Poulet (his first film, which won the Oscar for best short subject in 1966) and a commentary... but of course there are no English language options. This DVD is also available as part of a 17(!) DVD boxed set of Claude Berri's films - definitely one for us prisoners of the English language to drool over in envy.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
This was released in the US by Criterion in 1999. It's a pretty solid, widescreen transfer, albeit non-anamorphic and with no extras (except for a nice, little 6-page booklet).
The film was rereleased, this time for the British market, in 2006 by Infinity. In some ways their transfer is better - brighter and more vibrant; but it's misframed at 1.66:1 (as opposed to 1.85:1, thus cropping the sides of the image) and also non-anamorphic. They do, however, include a second disc with a hefty collection of extras: an hour-long documentary called Fellini: a Self Portrait (released in the US as an extra on Criterion's La Strada DVD) and two half-hour episodes of a television series on Fellini. Infinity also included 2-disc set as part of a larger boxed set, simply titled Fellini, with two of his other films, Ginger and Fred and Orchestra Rehearsal, and the rest of that Fellini TV series.
So, in the end, it's up to you. Both choices are non-anamorphic... I'd have to go with the Criterion because it's framed correctly. But the UK disc comes in at a close second, and does have a nice collection of bonus material (although none of it's really specific to this film or relates much to Breillat). You might just go with whichever is easier for you: the PAL European disc or the NTSC Criterion here in the states.
As much as double-dips generally annoy me, an updated disc from Criterion might be nice - a prettier, anamorphic transfer and some new extras (including a Breillat interview, of course!) would be pretty sweet.