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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • French PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Adrian Martin
  • Theatrical trailer

Les cousins

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Claude Chabrol
Starring: , Jean-Claude Brialy, Juliette Mayniel, Guy Decomble, ,
1959 | 112 Minutes | Licensor: Gaumont

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #581
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: September 20, 2011
Review Date: September 20, 2011

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SYNOPSIS

In Les cousins, Claude Chabrol crafts a sly moral fable about a provincial boy who comes to live with his sophisticated bohemian cousin in Paris. Through these seeming opposites, Chabrol conjures a darkly comic character study that questions notions of good and evil, love and jealousy, and success in the modern world. A mirror image of Le beau Serge, Chabrol's debut, Les cousins recasts that film's stars, Jean-Claude Brialy and Gťrard Blain, in startlingly reversed roles. This dagger-sharp drama won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and was an important early entry in the French New Wave.

Forum members rate this film 8.3/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

Claude Chabrolís second film, Les cousins, has been released on Blu-ray by Criterion alongside his first film, Le beau Serge, in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on a dual-layer disc. The high-definition transfer is presented in 1080p/24hz.

The image we get here is strong and on the same level as Criterionís Le beau Serge. The image is stunning in just how sharp it is with fine details and textures popping off of the screen. Film grain is present and looks natural, contrast looks to be accurate and has some deep blacks and clean whites, and other than some minor shimmering in some of the finer patterns I didnít detect any artifacts.

Thereís a few minor blemishes remaining in the print but overall itís clean. In all another striking, nearly pristine black and white presentation from Criterion.

8/10

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AUDIO

Similar to Le beau Serge, Les cousins presents another adequate if unspectacular linear PCM mono track. Itís clear and clean, and presents no noise or distortion, but again itís fairly flat and lacks fidelity.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Les cousins gets the shaft in comparison to Le beau Serge in the way of supplements but at least its one supplement is a good one.

Adrian Martin provides a fairly engaging and informative audio commentary, which I believe has been lifted from an Australian DVD edition of the film. Itís unfortunately not as good as the track he provided for Godardís 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, one of my favourite tracks in recent memory, he still gives a wonderful analysis of the film and offers a great primer for Chabrolís work. He talks about how the film (and to an extent Le beau Serge) fit into the nouvelle vague, with the two admittedly being quite a bit more straightforward and also talks extensively about Chabrolís work as a whole (and it should be kept in mind this was recorded before Chabrolís death in 2010), his influences, and even other details about the French New Wave. It doesnít fully make up for the lack of anything else on the disc but it is an engaging and entertaining track and far better, or at least more interesting, than Guy Austinís track found on Le beau Serge.

The disc then closes with the filmís theatrical trailer. The included booklet includes an essay on the film by Terrence Rafferty then a wonderful passage from Jean-Claude Brialyís memoir where he talks about Gerard Blain.

In all I wish there was more but I enjoyed the commentary track and the booklet is an excellent (if short) read.

4/10

CLOSING

Itís a shame this one got the shaft in supplements but the commentary is good, if not great, and I enjoyed listening to it. The visual presentation is splendid and makes the edition worth picking up for those fond of the film or Chabrolís work in general.


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