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(aka 'Auf Wiedersehen, Kinder' or 'Goodbye, Children' or Le Nouveau')

Directed by Louis Malle
France 19
87

 

Au revoir les enfants tells a heartbreaking story of friendship and devastating loss between two boys living in Nazi-occupied France. At a provincial Catholic boarding school, the precocious youths enjoy true camaraderie—until a secret is revealed. Based on events from writer-director Malle’s own childhood, the film is a subtle, precisely observed tale of courage, cowardice, and tragic awakening.

***

One of director-producer-writer Malle's most personal projects, Au revoir les enfants can be seen as the completion of a trilogy that began with MURMUR OF THE HEART (1971), a sunny comedy of evolving postwar manners, and continued with a darkly-hued portrait of a teenaged collaborator, LACOMBE LUCIEN (1974). All three films are about maturation during a decade of political upheaval, and each is concerned with choices thrust upon children--choices inevitably compromised by social and familial pressures beyond a child's control. Like the earlier films, AU REVOIR rejects any notion of youthful innocence, making it a bracingly welcome exception to the post-E.T. slew of films romanticizing childhood. Malle is adept at eliciting mature performances from children, and Manesse and Fejto are excellent even by adult standards.

 Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 7th, 1987

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Comparison:

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Also available in the 3 Films by Louis Malle DVD Boxset which includes Murmur of the Heart (1971), Lacombe, Lucien (1974) and Au revoir les enfants (1987) plus a bonus disc of supplements featuring: New interviews with actor and Louis Malle widow Candice Bergen and biographer Pierre Billard, Excerpts from a French TV program featuring the director on the sets of Murmur of the Heart and Lacombe, Lucien, Audio interviews with Malle from 1972, 1980, and 1988 and much more...

          

An overview of the package and supplements disc are briefly examined HERE

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 330 - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 330 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:44:44  1:45:00.335
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.35 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 46,074,646,960 bytes

Feature Size: 29,951,219,712 bytes

Average Bitrate: 33.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 1.0)  LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical Teaser  (16:9 - 1:58) and Trailer

An overview of the package and supplements disc are briefly examined HERE

• 22-page liner notes booklet with color photos and Philip Kemp essay


DVD Release Date: March 28th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 17

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Disc Size: 46,074,646,960 bytes

Feature Size: 29,951,219,712 bytes

Average Bitrate: 33.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Edition Details:

• Video interviews with Louis Malle biographer Pierre Billard (30:42 in 1080i)and actress Candice Bergen, Malle’s widow (13:34 in 1080i)
• Joseph: A Character Study, a profile of the provocative figure from Au revoir les enfants, created by filmmaker Guy Magen in 2005 (5:22 in 1080i)
• The Immigrant, Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 short comedy, featured in the film (25:14 in 1080i)
• Audio excerpts from a 1988 AFI interview with Malle (53:10)
• Original theatrical trailer (2:00 in 1080i) and teaser (:45 in 1080i)
• 24-page booklet featuring essays by film critic Philip Kemp and historian Francis J. Murphy


Blu-ray Release Date: March 15th, 2011
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 16

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' Blu-ray: February 2011: Criterion's 1080P transfer looks very strong - there is some nice grain visible in the 1.66:1 framed image - it advances beyond the SD with more texture, a higher level of detail and colors - like flesh tones - seems more accurate. It is almost flawless excepting for some minor, almost imperceptible noise. It is dual-layered with a high bitrate and easily offers the best home theater presentation of this important classic.

Audio remains faithfully mono but now in a lossless linear PCM track. There are optional English subtitles in a tighter, less bold font than the DVd and the disc is region 'A' - coded.

Supplements mimic the individual release with a 1/2 hour video interview, in 1080i, with Louis Malle biographer Pierre Billard - author of Louis Malle: Le Rebel Solitaire - recorded in 2005 for the Criterion Collection. He discusses the rebellious spirit behind Malle's most controversial films. There is an interview (13:34 in 1080i) with actress Candice Bergen, Malle’s wife for 15 years - until his death in 1995. Joseph: A Character Study, a profile of the provocative figure from Au revoir les enfants, created by filmmaker Guy Magen in 2005 (5:22 in 1080i). In Au Revoir Les Enfants, the boys and their teachers attend a screening of The Immigrant, Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 short comedy. Made in 1917, this two-reeler feature Chaplin's Little Tramp is an immigrant on a ship sailing for the United States. Director Louis Malle chose this particular film because 'it was an evocation of freedom for those Jewish children when they see the Statue of Liberty, America being the promised land." It runs here for 25:14 in 1080i. Included are audio excerpts from a 1988 AFI interview with Malle (53:10) as part of the Harold Lloyd Masters Seminars. There are the original theatrical trailer (2:00 in 1080i) and teaser (:45 in 1080i) plus a 24-page booklet featuring essays by film critic Philip Kemp and historian Francis J. Murphy.

We have another amazing film - in a pristine, state-of-the-art, transfer with stacked extra features. It is especially recommended for those who have not yet seen the film - to those individuals it is recommended s an essential.

***

ON THE DVD: Like "Murmur of the Heart" and "Lacombe, Lucien" the transfer looks remarkable. Colors look fabulous although a shade orangy-red (skin tones) at times indicating there may have been a small bump in black/red levels to bring up sharpness. The image is dark and detail is excellent. Blacks are pitch and contrast is superb. This DVD image is very close to perfect in all areas. The subtitle font, consistent throughout the boxset, is a shade larger than usual. Sound is original one channel but clear and audible.

This individual release of the film on DVD is quite bare-bones with an anamorphic teaser and some excellent liner notes (Philip Kemp essay with many color photos) but here we have one small issue (and one large). When you choose the "Teaser" to play it appears to run the trailer and activating the trailer does nothing but bounce back to the original screen. I suspect this may only be on my screener but anyway an authoring error like this is pretty infinitesimal. The only real issue we have with this DVD is the price - with no commentary and lauded as the gem of the package the individual release is gouging a bit at almost $40 considering there is no commentary or digital extras with substance. Presently it is twice that of the "Murmur of the Heart" and "Lacombe, Lucien" releases with the only justification being the film's reputed 'name' value. I won't say that I prefer "Lacombe, Lucien" but it is equally as good in my mind with "Murmur of the Heart" certainly nor far behind. I expect the exorbitant price is to let people justify the purchase of the entire boxset - which we endorse whole-heartedly regardless. It is a must-own. The film is regarded by many as Malle's masterpiece and I'd be a fool to argue.

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


DVD Box Cover

Also available in the 3 Films by Louis Malle DVD Boxset which includes Murmur of the Heart (1971), Lacombe, Lucien (1974) and Au revoir les enfants (1987) plus a bonus disc of supplements featuring: New interviews with actor and Louis Malle widow Candice Bergen and biographer Pierre Billard, Excerpts from a French TV program featuring the director on the sets of Murmur of the Heart and Lacombe, Lucien, Audio interviews with Malle from 1972, 1980, and 1988 and much more...

          

An overview of the package and supplements disc are briefly examined HERE

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 330 - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 330 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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