( aka "The Ladies of the Bois de Boulogne" )

 

directed by Robert Bresson
France 1945

 

This unique, modern love story, based on a novelette by Denis Diderot and with dialogue written by Jean Cocteau, follows the maneuverings of a society lady as she connives to initiate a scandalous affair between her aristocratic ex-lover and a prostitute. With his second feature film, director Robert Bresson was already forging his singularly brilliant filmmaking technique as he created a moving study of the power, revenge and the strength of true love. Bresson's next film after this, was regarded by many as his masterpiece; 'The Diary of a Country Priest'. With subtleties such as hand gestures, strong visuals and inert themes of naiveté in direct contrast to the cultural environment of the times are all tell-tale pre-cursors of Bresson's forthcoming and essential cinematic work.

 

Posters

Reviews    Robert-Bresson.com

DVD Review: Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC 

DVD Box Cover

  

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine #183 - Region 0 - NTSC 
Runtime 1:25:42 
Video 1.37:1.00 Original Aspect ratio 
Average Bitrate: 6.61 mb/s

NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s
Bitrate: Criterion 

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Subtitles English (removable)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Theatrical Release Date: April 3, 1964

Aspect Ratio: Full Screen (Original Aspect Ratio) - 1.37:1

Edition Details:

• New digital transfer, with restored image and sound
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• Still gallery featuring rare behind-the-scenes photos - 18 shots of Poster, Bresson, and cast 
• Essays by Francois Truffaut and David Thomson - 4 pages of linear notes

DVD Release Date:  March 11th, 2003
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters:
16

Comments:

This was a big tell-tale DVD for many film fans. With zero Bresson representation in English sub-titled DVD-land, his fans were hoping for Criterion to grab the bull by the horns and maintain their impeccable quality eventually bringing "Pickpocket", "Diary of a Country Priest" and "A Man Escaped" to DVD. If "Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne" is any indication of what is to come then Criterion has made many people happy ( no, ecstatic might be a better word ). This transfer is a little weak. It looks like a much older film than it is.... dark, grainy, but I will have to wait to comment on the sound.  out of       

Gary W. Tooze



 

Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard Notes on the Cinematographer by Robert Bresson Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni
Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana

 

 

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Gary Tooze