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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/bresson.htm
France 1967

Robert Bresson plumbs great reservoirs of feeling with Mouchette, one of the most searing portraits of human desperation ever put on film. Faced with a dying mother, an absent, alcoholic father, and a baby brother in need of care, the teenage Mouchette seeks solace in nature and daily routine, a respite from her economic and pubescent turmoil. An essential work of French filmmaking, Bresson’s hugely empathetic drama elevates its trapped protagonist into one of the cinema’s great tragic figures.

***

Bresson's use of spare and minimal camera work serves a greater purpose than to merely provide a signature style. From the extreme close-ups of the opening scene, showing only Arsene and Mathieu's (Jean Vimenet) eyes, to the headless shots of people in the bar, Bresson creates a metaphor for the fractured soul. Mouchette is profoundly alone, incomprehensibly searching for connection and acceptance, but is answered with betrayal and violence. Note the analogy of the two animal sequences in the film: illustrating the struggle to live, the crushing of the spirit, and the inevitable surrender to its fate. In essence, we are Mouchette - foundering and incomplete - seeking redemption from the misery of existence, incapable of articulating the pain - resigned to our own private hell.

Excerpt from Aquarello's comments at the Strictly Film School website loacted HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 26th, 1967 - Sweden

Reviews                                                    More Reviews                                                DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Trond Trondsen of Masters of Cinema for the DVD screen captures!

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine # 363 Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC Artificial Eye
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:17:57 (4% PAL speedup) 1:21:36 1:21:16.121
Video 1.62:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.34 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.66:1 Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.35 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size:23,811,667,416 bytes

Feature: 20,573,030,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.91 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Nouveaux

Bitrate:  Criterion

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)  French (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)  LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English (non-removable) English, none English (non-removable)

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Nouveaux Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.62:1

 

Edition Details:

• Bresson Filmography

• Photo Gallery

DVD Release Date:
November 22nd, 2004
Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.66:1

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by renowned film scholar, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
• Au hasard Bresson, a half-hour documentary about the director, including behind-the-scenes footage of Robert Bresson directing Mouchette
• “Traveling,” a segment from the cine-magazine TV series Cinéma, featuring on-set interviews with Bresson and actors Nadine Nortier and Jean-Claude Guilbert
• Original theatrical trailer, cut by Jean-Luc Godard
• Liner notes essay by writer Robert Polito
 

DVD Release Date: January 16th, 2007
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 17

Release Information:
Studio:
Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:  1.66:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size:23,811,667,416 bytes

Feature: 20,573,030,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.91 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Zum Beispiel Bresson (For Instance Bresson) (29:55)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: March 10th, 2014
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Artificial Eye - Region 'B' Blu-ray - March 2014 - This new 1080P transfer of Bresson's brilliant Mouchette looks reasonably solid. It certainly advances over the R2 DVD and seems to have the purer contrast as the Criterion SD. It's a bit brighter, adds some depth and has less in the way of compression artifacts. It is single-layered with a high bitrate in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. There are still a couple of scenes - about 3/4's in - that have full vertical scratches. They are very faint and only last a couple of minutes. There is also some minor flickering but overall it looked quite good in-motion on my system. The higher resolution adds the more noticeable depth, and layered contrast supporting improved detail. There is also some consistent and pleasing texture. This looks very beautiful at times.

The linear PCM 2.0 channel used in original French at 2304 kbps adds depth to the film's important soundstage with rustling trees and shrubs, the Fair's amusement rides, children in the playground, church bells, and Mouchette humming. I'd definitely say this augmented the presentation beyond the simple Dolby of the DVDs. Unfortunately, the Artificial Eye has non-removable English subtitles for those detracted by this. It is, predictably, region 'B'-locked.

AE add Zum Beispiel Bresson aka Au hasard Bresson directed by Theodor Kotulla in 1967. It is the same 30-minute documentary as found on the Criterion DVD about the director, including behind-the-scenes footage of Robert Bresson directing Mouchette. It has German audio, and burned-in English subtitles.

I'm glad I own this Blu-ray, as I have no idea if Criterion will be releasing Mouchette in 1080P anytime soon. Personally, this is a keeper and a film I will continue to revisit for the rest of my life.  

***

ADDITION: Criterion - January 07' - The Criterion is magnificent. Improved in every single area upon the Nouveaux PAL edition. Sharper image, better contrast (blacks and whites), more information in the frame, extras, subtitles (they are optional on the Criterion) etc. etc. For the image differences you can see clearly from the below screen captures. Audio, although still mono on the Criterion, does seem more dynamic and consistent to my ear on the newer NTSC version.

Rayns' commentary is wonderful - as professional, prepared, and adept as any of his others. As the film is relatively short he is moving at quite a clip to get in all the information he is able to share. So far I feel this is easily the best commentary of 2007! I am sure it will be recognized at our next year end poll.

The Criterion also includes some featurettes - Au hasard Bresson is a a half-hour documentary about the director, including behind-the-scenes footage of Robert Bresson directing Mouchette. “Traveling,” is a 7 1/2 minutes segment from the cine-magazine TV series Cinéma, featuring on-set interviews with Bresson and actors Nadine Nortier and Jean-Claude Guilbert. We are also privy to the original theatrical trailer, cut by none other than Jean-Luc Godard - at 1:30. Finally there are 4 pages of liner notes with an essay by Robert Polito entitled Girl, Interrupted.

Debatably one of the most important pieces of film work made in the 20th century, Mouchette is essential cinema and will be added to our listing HERE. Criterion have given us another example of why they are the best DVD production company in the world -important films packaged at the highest available standard. out of

Gary Tooze

***

On the Nouveaux (written in 2004):   After a long, excruciating wait we finally have Mouchette on DVD in a decent transfer. As in the case of the simultaneously released Au hasard Balthazar, this DVD is based on a newly restored print, and the end result is very pleasing: again we have a well-balanced contrast (a tad softer than Balthazar, with some very slight chroma that is virtually unnoticeable when the film is projected at normal speed) and no trace of dust/scratches. The audio is nice and crisp. The subtitles are very good, but switching them "OFF" doesn't actually remove them. A wonderful DVD of a wonderful film. Highly recommended!

 out of   (due to inability to turn subs off)

--Trond Trondsen, mastersofcinema.org


Recommended Reading for Robert Bresson fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

Check out more in "The Library"


Menus


(Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT)

 

 
 

 

Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray

 


Subtitle Sample

 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B'- Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Recommended Reading for Robert Bresson fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

Check out more in "The Library"


 

Box Covers

Distribution Nouveaux Pictures - Region 0 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine # 363 Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC Artificial Eye
Region 'B' - Blu-ray



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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...