Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Australia's Difficulty With Romance

Breillat's Romance had a bit of a sticky time getting released in Australia ...although they still got it on DVD a good year before we did in the US. But for its intended theatrical run in January 2000, it was banned by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. This ban was appealed and eventually overturned after almost a full year, in December. But the legacy of that banning has been preserved on DVD.

Pictured in the upper left is the Australian DVD, released in 2001 by Madman. For those interested, it's a fine DVD release of the film... uncut, in its original 1.66:1 ratio, and includes the original theatrical trailer, as well as bonus trailers for Breillat's Fat Girl, as well as Betty Blue, Paris, Texas  and Show Me Love. It features the original French audio with forced English subtitles. It's all region, but US fans should note that, like most Australian DVDs, it's PAL.

But it has one more bonus feature unique to this particular disc: The Australian Censorship Controversy. This is a text-only feature, but it's 27 pages long and details the decision of the censors, their subsequent correspondence and contains their full report. As a text-only feature, it may not make the disc worth going to the trouble of importing; but does make for a fun little bonus for the film's Australian fans, who probably still remember the initial banning incident fairly well.

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