(aka "Gauguin, le loup dans le soleil" or "Oviri")

directed by Henning Carlsen
Denmark / France 1986

 

"In 1893, Paul Gauguin arrived back in France from Tahiti with 66 canvases and 4 francs in his pocket. He was confident enough to suppose that his new paintings would take the art world by storm and transform his career. He held an exhibition at the Durand-Ruell Gallery in Paris. It was a fiasco, received with contempt, which succeeded only in plunging him in debt. For the next 18 months, he tried desperately to accumulate enough money to escape once again from the narrow-mindedness and northern chill of Europe, this time for good. OVIRI tells the story of this period in Gauguin's life and of the four women with whom he was involved."

- Christopher Hampton, the screenwriter of OVIRI

Theatrical Release: September 5th, 1985

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DVD Review: SF Films -  Region 0 - PAL

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Distribution SF Films / DFI  Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:36:41
Video 1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
 
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 
Subtitles Danish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: SF Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.66:1 (non-anamorphic)

DVD Release Date: May, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 13

Edition Details:


• Director Interview

• Flemming Friborg, walks among the oeuvres
• Hans Edvard Nørregård-Nielsen discusses Gauguin
• Demonstration of the Danish Gauguin collection

 

Comments:

This is a fine, non-anamorphic 1.66:1 transfer, with optional English subtitles *on everything*, supervised by the director Henning Carlsen. Made in 2003 - in co-operation with New Carlsberg Glyptotek (the art museum which owns the biggest Gauguin collection in the world) - this DVD was released on the occasion of the centenary of the death of Gauguin.

 

OVIRI (Tahitian for "the savage one") is a curious biopic, a rare international combination of talent which doesn't always gel. Donald Sutherland is interesting to watch (and who can resist seeing Max von Sydow as August Strindberg?) but apparently, Buñuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière's original script was abandoned and rewritten at short notice by Christopher Hampton. This was because Donald Sutherland balked at the amount of sex in the Carrière version just a few weeks before filming was to begin. I can't help wondering that Carrière's script might have had better dialogue, and Carlsen mentions in his interview on the disc that he envisioned it being slightly more earthier than how it turned out.

 

The extras are absolutely superb. The manager of The Glyptotek, Flemming Friborg, walks among the oeuvres, talking about them as he goes. Danish writer and art historian, Hans Edvard Nørregård-Nielsen, who also is the director of New Carlsberg Foundation, talks about Gauguin and Copenhagen; and the director Henning Carlsen is interviewed about the creation of the film, as he is in the recent SULT DVD which was also released recently and reviewed here.

 

Finally there is a complete demonstration of the Danish Gauguin collection - available as a selection of stills of ceramics, reliefs, paintings, etc - and also as a moving gallery with Bach aural accompaniment.

 

This disc is not available in other territories, and the English subtitles *on everything* make it a very satisfying disc for English speakers. Clearly a labour of love for the director, this disc is highly recommended for anyone remotely interested in Gauguin.

Nick Wrigley of Masters of Cinema





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