Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Histoire de Marie et Julien" or "Storia di Marie e Julien")

 

directed by Jacques Rivette
France/Italy 2003

 

"In August 1975, after having wrapped shooting on the fantasy film 'Duelle,' number two [of his projected four-film series, 'Scenes of the Parallel Life,' of which 'Marie and Julien' would be the first of the series, though the third one shot], then on number three -- 'Noroît,' the "western" -- Jacques Rivette commenced, in mid-August in Paris, upon shooting 'Marie and Julien,' a love-story that would bring together Leslie Caron and Albert Finney (perhaps in remembrance of Stanley Donen's 'Two for the Road,' where the two actors [Finney and Audrey Hepburn] don't stop reliving, step by step, their own explosive love-story). Eduardo de Gregorio, "scenarist" of 'Marie and Julien' (it's out of several conversations with him and Marilu Parolini that Rivette drafted the project), recalls "a sort of variation on 'Vertigo,' the story of a man who lives alone in remembrance of a woman he loved, and who sees doubling back a woman identical to the other -- sets out on living with her -- and discovers she's of the dead." Along with lead cameraman William Lubtschansky, Gregorio retains the dazzling memory of sophisticated shots carried out in the deserted streets of the XIIIth arrondissement.

" 'But, the next morning...' -- Which is to say, on the third day of shooting -- Jacques Rivette vanished. "A meteor must have passed," commented Claire Denis, first assistant on the film, of the disappearance that ended up lasting two years. And Jacques Rivette himself has never spoken much about this: "Those two shoots had, each in its own way, been exhausting, but I had fallen into my own hole: It was materially impossible to delay production of the third film. For better or for worse, I pretended to do it for two days; on the third day, I left, and the doctor attached to the insurance put an end to the charade." Pretended to do what? Of 'Marie and Julien' there remain to this day only slight traces: a small sheaf of yellowing pages, a unique vestige of the improbable "scenario" of this film-maudit, which lay forgotten in the bottom of a drawer at the home of William Lubtschansky. Here we encounter a "polyglot cat" who hails his master with a resounding "Bonsoir!"; characters whose names change from one page to the next; a "suicide room" evoking Mark Robson's masterpiece 'The Seventh Victim'; and, already present, a mysterious and menacing "Madame X," along with a "forbidden gesture," about which the scenario remarks, without further clarification: "Do not forget." As for the footage shot that August -- it was lost by the laboratory.

" 'Do not forget...' This "almost-dead" film went on living, like a phantom, in the memory of Jacques Rivette. According to Eduardo de Gregorio: "Jacques indeed attempted to resuscitate this film later on, always with Leslie Caron, who was still prepared to be involved with it. I think he first wanted [Michel] Piccoli, then he pursued an absolutely insane, but brilliant, idea: to make the film with Maurice Pialat. But Pialat said no..." "

-from Hélène Frappat's essay, "The Revenant," in Cahiers du cinéma, no. 584, November 2003. Translation by Craig Keller.

==

 

" 'Histoire de Marie et Julien' is a grand film about The Couple, a clairvoyant and profound autopsy (but without Bergman's severity) of the amorous bond and of its unstable metabolism. The conspiracies, the doors that lie open to a world beyond, the hidden letters and the narrative surprises register only as trompe-l'oeil. At its core, the thesis of the film is much simpler: it posits that every story of couples is, in its way, a sort of "ghost story." Balzac declared that "in love, there is always one who suffers, while the other is bored."
In Rivette, the man forgets (Julien's final amnesiac fog), while the woman disappears...."

-from Jean-Marc Lalanne's review, "A Couple," in Cahiers du cinéma, no. 584, November 2003. Translation by Craig Keller.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 12 November 2003 (France)

Reviews       More Reviews         DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL vs. Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg and Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) (Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Koch Lorber Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Arte Video
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 2:24:30 (4% PAL speedup) 2:30:30 (4% PAL speedup) 2:24:30 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1:1.85 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5,26 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.82 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.71 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

Artificial Eye

 

Bitrate:

 

Koch Lorber Films

 

Bitrate:

 

Arte Video

 

Audio DD 2.0 / DD 5.1 French French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

French Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles English and None English, none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.85

Edition Details:
• Interviews:
• Jacques Rivette 40:20 / 4:3
• Emmanuelle Beart 15:37 / 4:3
• Filmographies
• Trailer 1:22

DVD Release Date: 28 /02 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Lorber Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Jacques Rivette (4:3; 40:21; in French with English subtitles)
• Interview with Emmanuelle Béart (4:3; 15:37; in French with English subtitles)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:25; in French with English subtitles)

DVD Release Date: 12 July 2005
Amaray

Chapters 14
 

Release Information:
Studio: Arte Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• DISC TWO:
• Interview with Jacques Rivette (4:3; 40:20)
• Interview with Emmanuelle Béart (4:3; 15:37)
• Selected Scenes Commentary by cinematographer William Lubtchansky (16:9; 40:45)
• Hélène Frappat on the unfinished 1975 version (4:3; 21:28)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:23)
• Jacques Rivette Box Set Video Trailer (4:3; 6:59)
• Arte Video Collection Promo (4:3; 4:39)

 

DVD Release Date: 18 May 2004
Amaray

Chapters 18

 

Comments

ON THE KOCH AND ARTE (March 2010): Koch Lorber's DVD is anamorphic and dual-layer but defies expectations by also being progressive and running at the correct 24fps speed. Unlike the UK and US DVDs, the 2 disc Arte Video edition from France reserves the first disc for the feature only (7.10 GB) and the second for the extras (itself 6.97 GB) whereas the combined film and extras on the US disc is 7.84 GB of which the feature occupies 5.31 GB. While the transfer on the French disc benefits from the added bitrate (especially darker scenes), it does not have any English subtitles.

Both the US and UK DVDs feature the same extras which are taken from the French DVD (which features two other substantial extras: a 40m selected scenes commentary with the cinematographer and an analysis of the film comparing it with the abandoned 1975 version). For the English-friendly editions, the UK disc has the edge in featuring a 5.1 track like the French disc while the US disc features only a stereo downmix.

 - Eric Cotenas

NOTE (Ed.): At the posting of this comparisons the Artificial Eye is less than $7.50 US - cheaper than 1/3 that of the Koch.

***

ON THE ARTIFICIAL EYE DVD: Where the American movies is made with Open Matte, Super 35 etc to fit every screen, now and in the future in the whole universe, the French fellows has a little bit different attitude towards their profession.

Historie de Marie et Julien is made for Cinema distribution, and it's there this film is at the best.

Shot in dark scenes in low light (natural light), the DVD can't capture the atmosphere. Where it should be black, it becomes greenish, and some scenes don't function as well as in a cinema.

I viewed it with a projector and none of the scenes was so dark, that you couldn't spot what is going on in the scene, and the picture is overall extremely sharp. Some edge enchantment can be found in outdoor scenes.

Overall I think this DVD is as good as this kind of film can show.

The sound uses mostly the front speakers, and only occasionally the back speakers have information. Also here the sound is used in an artistically way. It's refreshing to spot that someone has done a sound job, that don't include "as much noise as possible" attitude.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

 


DVD Menus

 

Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL
 


(
Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) (Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

Subtitle sample (no subtitles on French DVD)

 

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) (Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) (Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) (Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) (Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) (Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) (Koch Lorber Films - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arte Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Arte Video

Sound:

Draw (Arte Video/Artifical Eye) for sound; (US and UK for subs)

Extras: Arte Video (US and UK for subbed extras)
Menu: Arte Video
 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Koch Lorber Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Arte Video
Region 2 - PAL



Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!