Eric Rohmer Blu-ray Collection
Eric Rohmer Blu-ray Collection
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: Established fans will deem this essential while newcomers will find many rich treasures to mine.
Cut from the same cloth of the likes of French New Wave icons Godard and Truffaut, Eric Rohmer's career blossomed a little later than those trailblazers of European cinema. The result is a more sedate and mature style that seemed more preoccupied with characterisation instead of form.
With a long career of consistent quality, Rohmer never felt like a flavour of the month or tied to a particular movement. Put simply, he made pictures and very good ones at that. This new collection from Arrow Academy brings 10 of his finest to Blu-ray in one very limited set so be sure to get those orders in early.
'The Aviator's Wife' (1981) is a psychological study of jealousy and infidelity, following a student who discovers that his girlfriend is cheating on him and who then decides to spy on her.
In 'A Good Marriage' (1982), promiscuous Sabine (Béatrice Romand) decides to stop having affairs and find herself a decent husband after she meets her best friend's cousin.
'Pauline at the Beach' (1983) is a subtle comedy about holiday romance and the complexity of human relationships. Marion (Arielle Dombasle) decides to spend the last few weeks of summer at the family beach house in Normandy. She takes along her fifteen-year-old cousin Pauline (Amanda Langlet), a sensitive and fragile girl on the verge of womanhood. At the beach the two meet up with Pierre (Pascal Greggory), Marion's humourless and obsessive ex-lover. Marion soon falls for Henri, despite Pierre declaring his love for her, while Pauline discovers a holiday romance of her own.
'Full Moon in Paris' (1984) is a low-key study of a young woman who finds it impossible to settle down, flitting between her boyfriend in the country and a new potential love in Paris.
'The Green Ray' (1986) follows Delphine (Marie Riviere), a lonely young secretary who sets off on numerous trips abroad in an attempt to find a lover, with no success, and then has a chance meeting with someone on the platform at Biarritz station on the way home.
'My Girlfriend's Boyfriend' (1987) is a lighthearted comedy of manners, about two young women who meet and become friends, until each one falls for the other's boyfriend.
'Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle' (1987) combines four episodes in the relationship of two young women, Reinette, a country girl, and Mirabelle, a Parisian: city girl and country girl. The first is entitled 'The Blue Hour' and recounts their meeting. The second centers on a café and a waiter, a difficult man 'with attitude.' In the third they interact with and discuss their different views on society's 'margins': beggars, thieves, swindlers. And in the fourth, on a bet, Reinette, an art student, and Mirabelle succeed in selling one of Reinette's paintings to an art dealer while Reinette pretends to be mute and Mirabelle, who effects not to know her, does all the talking.
'Perceval' (1978) is a dignified and stylized film, set in the Middle Ages, that follows the exploits of Sir Perceval, a legendary exemplar of knightly chivalry and one of the champions of King Arthur's Round Table. The story is based on the verse tale Perceval ou le Conte del Graal. as recounted by the 12th-century French novelist Chrétien de Troyes.
In 'The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque' (1993), the socialist mayor of a small village in France dreams of building an arts center but he runs up against some opposition.
Finally, 'The Marquise of O' (1976) is a period drama set during the Franco-Prussian war, about a young woman who becomes pregnant even though she has not slept with a man since her husband's death two years previously.
Complemented by numerous bonus features, this limited edition Blu-ray set provides both a welcome opportunity for the newcomer to explore the work of a great director as well as a must-have collection for the die-hard Rohmer fan.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
- Limited edition Blu-ray boxed-set (2,000 copies)
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of ten Éric Rohmer features: The Aviator's Wife, A Good Marriage, Pauline at the Beach, Full Moon in Paris, The Green Ray, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, The Marquise of O..., and exclusive to this collection only: Perceval, Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle and The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Introductions to The Aviator s Wife, A Good Marriage, Pauline at the Beach, Full Moon in Paris and The Green Ray by Éric Rohmer
- Brand-new appreciation of Rohmer by filmmaker and actor Richard Ayoade, recorded exclusively for this release
- Nestor Almendros: Director of Photography, an hour-long French television documentary profile of Perceval, The Marquise of O... and Pauline at the Beach s cinematographer
- Two full-length episodes of the French television series Ciné regards devoted to the making and release of Perceval
- Effraction: Tchéky Karyo, an hour-long French television documentary profile of the Full Moon in Paris actor
- On-set report from the making of My Girlfriend s Boyfriend
- Archive interview with Bruno Ganz on The Marquise of O...
- Archive interview with André Dussollier on The Aviator s Wife
- Archive interview with Claude-Jean Philippe and Caroline Champetier on Pauline at the Beach
- Archive interview with Arielle Dombasle on Pauline at the Beach
- Archive interview with Pascale Ogier on Full Moon in Paris
- Archive interview with Marie RiviÈre on The Green Ray
- Archive interview with Joëlle Miquel on Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle
- Audio interview with Rohmer
- Changing Landscapes, a 1964 documentary short directed by Rohmer
- Trailers for The Aviator s Wife, A Good Marriage, Pauline at the Beach, Full Moon in Paris, The Green Ray and My Girlfriend s Boyfriend
- Newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
- Limited edition book containing new writing on the film by Jonathan Romney, Geoff Andrew, Philip Lopate, Geoffrey Macnab, David Jenkins, Tara Judah, Sophie Monks Kaufman, Justine Smith, Andy Miller and Brad Stevens