Saffron Hill Films

Milestone, Flicker Alley, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild...they're all here.
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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Saffron Hill Films

#1 Post by zedz » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:06 pm

I couldn't find a thread for this UK label, but they deserve one on the strength of their release of Joachim Lafosse's Our Children.

It's a great film, and seems to be well-served by the HD transfer on this BluRay, but the recommendation really comes for the extras they've supplied on the disc. There's a good, concise interview with Lafosse and two 'bonus shorts' which turn out to be the gorgeous half-hour Before Words (a day in childcare from the perspective of two- or three-year old Cedric) and the hour-plus Private Madness, Lafosse's harrowing first feature. I don't know if a trilogy was ever intended, but this film is very much in the tradition of Private Property and Private Lessons. The trilogy idea kind of collapses when you realize that the original French titles don't share the striking similarity they have in English, but they all deal with ordinary 'natural' relationships that turn toxic when somebody oversteps their boundaries (and the same thing applies to Our Children, really). Private Madness, which is the roughest and rawest of Lafosse's films that I've seen, actually plays a little like a ghost story: a couple with a young child move into an isolated farmhouse, but they find it already inhabited by a malevolent presence. The presence assaults and unnerves the adults, but it soon becomes clear that what it's really after is the son. . . The twist is that the presence isn't some long dead spook, but the woman's ex-husband, who's refused to move out of the house and is becoming increasingly unhinged. The transfer is a solid one of a battered source, but it's great to see the film and great to see Saffron Hill going the extra mile with this release.

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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: Saffron Hill Films

#2 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:36 am

I heartily second zedz's recommendation. All three of these films are great (if mostly harrowing). There really ought to be more films out there like Avant les mots, a totally unassuming, beautifully shot slice of life almost exclusively starring toddlers. If anything, it made me feel a little guilty that I don't spend more time marveling at my young daughter like the camera does here. (I might add that she found it transfixing as well!)

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Saffron Hill Films

#3 Post by zedz » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:51 pm

swo17 wrote:I heartily second zedz's recommendation. All three of these films are great (if mostly harrowing).
You should definitely track down Lafosse's two previous features. They're less harrowing - in the sense that being stabbed in the chest multiple times is less traumatic than having an arm ripped off by a combine harvester.

(The feature of his I haven't seen, Ca rend heureux, is apparently a comedy!)

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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: Saffron Hill Films

#4 Post by swo17 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:39 am

And the Our Children Blu-ray just dropped to £7 on Amazon, the cheapest it's ever been there...

blueyes
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:35 pm

Re: Saffron Hill Films

#5 Post by blueyes » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:31 pm

I wonder if anyone could provide information on the quality of the blu-ray of Embrace of the Serpent, I can't find any reviews online. Thanks in advance!

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