Sunday, October 16, 2011

Breillat On Blu-Ray

Okay, we've been looking at the work of Catherine Breillat that's available on standard definition DVDs, but what if you're ready to step it up a notch? Breillat is sadly under-represented on Blu-Ray - even her latest releases from Pathfinder and Strand are coming out on SD only - but she's not completely out of the picture.

The Criterion Collection has followed up their definitive release of Fat Girl (A ma soeur) with a new, superior edition on Blu-Ray. Fat Girl's transfer was already pretty state-of-the-art on their regular DVD, so there's no major changes to the image quality, apart, of course, from the increased resolution of this new Blu-Ray disc. But that does still make it, then, easily the best looking Fat Girl available anywhere.

The extras are all carried over from Criterion's standard disc. Nothing added, nothing lost.

And that's pretty much it for any of the films she's written or directed. But, one of the films she (and her sister) has a small role in, Bertolucci's Last Tango In Paris, has also made the leap to Blu-Ray. Like the SD disc before it, it has no extras besides the trailer, but it is a substantial upgrade in resolution/image quality.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Angel Lands

It's arrived! Dirty Like an Angel (Sale comme un ange) is now out on DVD from Pathfinder Pictures, meaning all of the films Catherine Breillat are now available on English language DVD. Of course, that still leaves plenty that she just wrote or co-wrote (one of which, Bilitis, will hopefully also be on its way from Pathfinder), and the 36 Fillette picture on the US DVD is just awful and in serious need of a respectable reissue. But now all of her major works are available on DVD and in English; and that's pretty awesome. Dirty Like an Angel is presented here in a nice, 16x9 widescreen presentation with optional subs - it looks great (click above to see the screenshot at full size). Pathfinder has also topped themselves by including an all new interview with Catherine Breillat, as well as the trailer (plus trailers for other Pathfinder discs, including Night After Night). Considering how rare extras are on Breillat's films (at least outside of France, where they're untranslated), this chance to hear the filmmaker discuss her work is a very welcome addition - especially since Breillat's films are often the sort where many people may feel a little explanation of intent would be a big help.