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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Carrol, Mar 6, 2003.
Thanks, Carrol. I just wrote New Yorker a long email yesterday asking why they didn't seem to be promoting this release (street date 4/1/03; MSRP $29.95; can be had for as little as $14.38 at Deep Discount.com).
For those unfamiliar with this, it is a story of newlyweds living on a river barge in the Seine, and was Jean Vigo's only feature length film (he fell ill during production, and died at age 29 of leukemia, or complications of tuberculosis--depending on what source you read). His other major film, Zero for Conduct/Zero de conduite (not yet available on DVD) strongly influenced Truffaut's 400 Blows. The wife is played by Dita Parlo, whom many will recognize from Renoir's Grand Ilusion.
L'Atalante has long been considered a masterpiece (in the Sight + Sound poll, it was #6 in 1992 and #15 in 2002). This is its first appearance on DVD in Region 1.
New Yorker has distribution rights to a number of great foreign films (including Kieslowski's Decalogue, which they plan to re-release soon), so I have my fingers crossed that we'll see more DVDs from them in the future.
This is indeed good news. Any idea of the transfer quality?
This has been on my "want list" longer than any other announced DVD, and it very nearly slipped under my radar!
At any rate, it's a fantastic film, and I can only hope the DVD will do it justice.
There is a wonderful article on Jean Vigo at Senses of Cinema .
I hope New Yorker is using the same restored elements used by Gaumont for their French box set in 2001. I have not seen this DVD, but they reportedly did a good job.
L'Atalante was originally 89 minutes, but was recut (against Vigo's wishes) to 67 minutes prior to release at the request of theatre owners. The original version was found in 1990 & meticulously restored (though it is not in mint condition by any means).
DvdPlanet lists the following extras:
Vintage poster gallery;
Behind the scenes photo gallery;
Jean Vigo filmography;
Not seen it yet, the "may be the greatest film ever made" comment does seem a bit pretentious, but perhaps I'll get it....
This movie has some of the best cinematography I've seen in a B&W movie, the sky is particular is very nice. I hope the transfer will do the movie justice. As for being one of the best movies of all time, can't say I agree, the story is too simple and straightforward for my taste, but on a style basis it's very good and I'm buying it for sure, can't wait for the release.