Jacques Demy on DVD

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#101 Post by Matt » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:09 pm

Knappen wrote:The Pied Piper - the ultimate edition (photographed by me during a spending raid at Gibert Joseph today).
Hey, bonus: new Borsalino special edition!

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Knappen
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:14 am
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Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#102 Post by Knappen » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:40 pm

The Easter egg of the photo!

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#103 Post by Perkins Cobb » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:01 pm

Starting to go through the Intégrale now, in chronological order. Couple of questions for anybody (zedz!) who's done the same:

(1) Am I correct in that Demy's short films Musée Grévin (1958) and La mère et l'enfant (1959) are omitted, rather than buried on some disc I haven't gotten to? And if so, any idea why?

(2) Is Ars (1959) flagged improperly for widescreen TVs, or are the counterintuitive settings on my Sherwood player defeating me again? I can't check it on my reliable old DVD/CRT set-up at the moment.

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

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#104 Post by zedz » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:39 pm

Perkins Cobb wrote:Starting to go through the Intégrale now, in chronological order. Couple of questions for anybody (zedz!) who's done the same:

(1) Am I correct in that Demy's short films Musée Grévin (1958) and La mère et l'enfant (1959) are omitted, rather than buried on some disc I haven't gotten to? And if so, any idea why?
As far as I know they're not on there - are they extant?
(2) Is Ars (1959) flagged improperly for widescreen TVs, or are the counterintuitive settings on my Sherwood player defeating me again? I can't check it on my reliable old DVD/CRT set-up at the moment.
Pass. I watched mine on a reliable old DVD / CRT set-up as well, but I'll check on my new system and see if I can shed any light on it.

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#105 Post by Perkins Cobb » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:04 am

zedz wrote:
Perkins Cobb wrote:(1) Am I correct in that Demy's short films Musée Grévin (1958) and La mère et l'enfant (1959) are omitted, rather than buried on some disc I haven't gotten to? And if so, any idea why?
As far as I know they're not on there - are they extant?
Beats me, but that would be the most logical explanation: That Agnes tried to find them and couldn't.

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J Wilson
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Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#106 Post by J Wilson » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:08 pm

I just received the Arte blu-ray of Demoiselles de Rochefort, and it looks pretty great at first glance. The packaging bills this as a 2010 2K HD restoration, which includes a DTS 2.0 audio track. The film has always been grainy, and here the grain is retained, but the picture looks brighter and more detailed overall. One small example is the piano sheet music during the "Pair of Twins" number; on the DVD, the title ("Meditations") is smeared; on the BR, it's clearly readable. Curiously, the original white opening titles have been replaced by orange ones in a different font. Not sure why the originals had to be omitted, but they aren't there any longer. The disc includes some of the same extras as the integrale set, such as the Varda docu. I don't have any means to take screen grabs, so can't provide any help there. Overall, it looks to be a great improvement over the most recent DVD. English subtitles ARE included on the film, despite my posting originally that there were no subs.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#107 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:06 pm

They're playing this film at BAM today - I was debating whether to go or put the money towards a Blu-Ray purchase, so I did a little research and found this review on Amazon's French site:
Sorry for having to post this in English - you wouldn't want to know from my French - but the "reviewer" below who lambasts this transfer should have his eyes or his TV examined. I was not a fan of Ms. Varda's "restoration", which I saw in the cinema and which was a muddy, ugly mess and looked nothing like the IB Technicolor prints of the film (I owned one), and the DVDs based on that "restoration" looked worse.

So, I'm happy to report that this new blu-ray is spectacular and everything it should be. Whatever their source, they did a brilliant job with the transfer, which is sharp, and with color that actually looks like Technicolor, which is what Mr. Demy intended. Do not hesitate to buy this blu-ray - it is a miracle and if you love the film or even like the film, you will be very happy!
Les Demoiselles de Rochefort [Blu-ray]

Screencaps for the Miramax and BFI DVDs can be seen here, while screencaps for the Blu-Ray are here.. The difference is astounding. If Varda did indeed supervise the color timing on the BFI DVD, it certainly backs up the Amazon.fr reviewer's comments.

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domino harvey
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Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#108 Post by domino harvey » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:01 pm

Well, I need that in my life right now

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fdm
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:25 pm

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#109 Post by fdm » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:33 am

Just watched the blu-ray last night, first time I've seen the film. Looks great, sounds pretty great as well. Hard to go wrong with this. (Couldn't do much with the extras, as my region locked player only presented video for the feature and the trailer.)

Looking forward to checking out more Demy in the future. (Up to this point I'd only caught a bit of Umbrellas on tv once while flipping channels, and have been sitting on the Intégrale for a while, so time to dig in.)

Edit: A year later, finally got around to watching the box set, finishing up with the last film last night (last night being 3 June 2012). What a treat this set is. (The dvd version of Young Girls Of Rochefort was indeed pretty bad, so I just fast forwarded through it to refresh my memory (and watched the DVDs extras for the first time instead). Intend to revisit that blu-ray pretty soon. And even moreso now, look forward to seeing some more of these on blu-ray as well, especially Umbrellas Of Cherboug.)

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mistakaninja
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:15 pm

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#110 Post by mistakaninja » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:47 am

Illeana Douglas tweeted yesterday that she was in a studio recording a commentary for Model Shop. The Twilight Time was only released 18 months ago, so I'm assuming this is for a region B release. Indicator?

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#111 Post by Calvin » Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:52 pm

I was looking for a good release of Lady Oscar, when I stumbled across the Mondo Digital review that rates a Japanese Blu-Ray from a few years back. It's from a 2K restoration of a 6K scan (no, I don't know why either) and looks gorgeous. I'm going to order it tout suite.

I also haven't seen any discussion of the Pathe Blu-Ray release of Trois places pour le 26 that I can vouch for as looking superb and having English subtitles for the feature.

I think that the only Demy films now without a Blu-Ray release somewhere are A Slightly Pregnant Man (no great loss), Parking (ditto though it would benefit from the upgrade), and La Naissance du jour.

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#112 Post by feihong » Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:17 pm

This is really for a completist, right? I'm almost there. I love earlier Demy films, and I love The Rose of Versailles, but...I haven't seen this movie, or The Pied Piper. The scenes in the trailer look so incredibly stilted. It's hard to imagine this movie coming together in an exciting way. And the Mondo Digital review you link to pretty much admits the score is unexceptional, the editing is bad, and basically says the film is not one of Demy's better efforts.

It really looks great in the blu ray trailer––pristine photography of Versailles and some pretty actresses, but...it looks incredibly dull. Just poorly realized in so many of the shots. None of the short bits of fighting looks very intense––it's clearly shot from the telephoto lens of a camera placed very far away. The acting is obviously very stilted...I'm saying all this just because...while I'm a fan of the director AND the source material, I don't really know that I'm a completist for either? And the disc is $55 USD. Not something I'm unwilling to pay––I bought the Zulawski boxset from Japan recently for more than twice that, and I buy the manga compendiums from Udon as they are getting released, each one of them at least $35. But the Zulawski movies are really remarkable, and the Rose of Versailles manga is exciting. It's not that I don't have movies in my collection that I merely like to look at––Blade Runner, Time and Tide, Roar, Susumu Hani's Africa Story––but I paid significantly less for any of them than I would for this Lady Oscar disc. I guess I'm asking if you think it's worth it?

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Dylan
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:28 pm

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#113 Post by Dylan » Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:42 pm

I haven't seen Lady Oscar yet, but I have heard Michel Legrand's score which in my opinion is excellent, so I respectfully disagree with the reviewer on that. For me, the trailer's lovely images and the fact that Catriona MacColl stars (I thought she was great in City of the Living Dead, especially the coffin scene) makes me excited to see it whenever I have the chance.

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Jacques Demy on DVD

#114 Post by feihong » Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:41 am

So...I watched the film...and...saved myself $55 USD? I don't want to dampen the enthusiasm for the blu ray, the trailer for which still looks great. It just wasn't the movie for me.

Perhaps because I've read a good deal of the manga, seen a fair bit of the anime series...that I don't think this adaptation works. I know for sure it chafes against my idea of what I've already read and seen. It's hard to explain, but even though the film condenses the storyline of the massive manga so that whole volumes are given only a single scene, in spite of that the movie seems to move at a very slow pace. So many relationships in the story are sacrificed to move everything along––Marie Antoinette for one is demoted from a co-lead of the story to an eccentric bit-player––and the manga's bracingly feminist sympathy for the monarch does not translate to the movie whatsoever. The cinematography is pretty but very staid, uncharacteristic of Demy; it seems as if the historical settings mean they can only set up their cameras in a limited selection of places. We only see about three rooms of the Jarjayes house, for instance. The manga is very fluid, punctuated on every page by images that punch their way out of the pack. It is a rare manga that subverts and often removes panel borders, allowing full-body figures or close up faces to stand out in the midst of a very active mis en scene. The film doesn't try to evoke this, and as a result it seems somehow less excited by its' own material than the manga. The emphasis from the manga on the feelings of the characters, the blatant melodrama of deep feelings spreading over a large canvas, is not in this movie. Scenes like Oscar's outrage at discovering the suffering of the commoners, and Oscar's daring court behavior to humiliate her wealthy would-be suitor are severely underplayed, when they are, in the course of the manga narrative, key moments of character development, firmly plugged into the manga's principle themes––ones which the movie tries also to invoke, if mostly in the dialogue. They are more interesting perhaps sung as a musical, as in the Takarazuka show of The Rose of Versailles.

But I think the largest failure of imagination in this version of the story is the movie's take on Oscar herself. In the manga Oscar is given a very masculine face and eyes, with a slightly curved chin. Her hair is long, falling in trembling curls from her forehead on past her shoulders, but the style of linework on Oscar's hair is more akin to the male members of the cast than the female ones. She is large and muscular, confronting men mostly of her own size in the various stories. Her attractiveness is couched in her handsomeness; her resemblance to a male. There is far more gender confusion over Oscar during the course of the manga; even after accepting some aspects of womanhood, she continues to be the brash, arrogant soldier. The actress who plays the role in the film is very pretty...maybe too pretty? And quite small. Nothing she does ever convinces one of the appearance of a man. And the male figures she faces off against in the drama all dwarf her and physically dominate her throughout the film. She never moves with the physical conviction the character in the manga does; her decisive physical action never resolves a situation the way it does in the manga or the anime. It doesn't help that for Andre they've chosen a rather glum actor that is more than a head taller than Catriona MacColl––in fact, he's a head taller than almost everyone in the film. And in the manga Andre is nearly as glamorous as Oscar, so their dynamic comes off far more traditionally chauvinist than it does in the manga.

I realize the comparison with he source material can only go so far, and that the film must stand on its own; but thats precisely what doesn't happen here. The film is slavishly devoted to capturing all of the manga's main plotlines in miniature, undeveloped episodes and delivering famous lines in direct replication of the manga. But the film fails to capture the full-throated Japanese-style melodrama of the original; nor does it replicate the riotous gender confusion of the source material with any of the original's exuberance. In live action, something else needs to happen to make this thing work. It needs to be sung, perhaps, as in the Takarazuka rendition. Of course, Demy was possibly the best choice to do that. Though it's a bit fun to imagine Jerome Robbins' or Bob Fosse's Lady Oscar. But I think now, having sat through it, I can be pretty sure of the answer to what I asked before. This really is a film mostly for Demy completists. It doesn't deliver the source manga, and it doesn't create anything beyond it. It's no prize for Maria Antoinette stans; she's featured only in a few scenes, and tremendously overplayed therein. It does look lovely in the restoration footage, but I think it's beauty is very confined within the film to pretty settings, pretty costumes, and pretty colors. But I don't think the feeling is really there behind the film. It feels very stagy, and visually restricted, and the treatment of Oscar is not as complicated nor as generous as in the comic. The score is certainly all right, but it serves mostly as embellishments in scenes. There's very little variance within it from the main theme, which repeats ad nauseum; the emotions in the scenes aren't really deepened by the score because of that lack of variance and facility. So, respectfully to its defenders, I'm going to leave this one to others to enjoy. It just wasn't the movie for me.

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