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(aka 'Suzanne" or "To Our Loves")

Directed by Maurice Pialat
France 1983

 

A portrait of youth in bloom; a tale of one family’s dissolution; a reflection upon the danger and the mystery in living. Maurice Pialat’s serene, perilous masterwork provides the movie romance a definitive check and eminently deceptive balance — the X scratched on top of the O.


In one of the astonishing film debuts, Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a free spirit and the vessel for an almost BrontŰan choler. She’s 16, and men exist — diverse lovers, an overbearing brother, and the father portrayed by Pialat himself in an unforgettable turn that displays the full magnitude of the cinema giant’s tenderness, force-of-will, and presence of being.


Woven through with indelible images and heart-stopping moments (and culminating in the infamous “dinner party scene”), A nos amours. [To Our Romance. / Here’s to Love.] is a pure creation, a film that will live so long as there’s still either movies or love. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Pialat’s landmark film for the first time on DVD in the UK.

***

With his raw style of filmmaking, Maurice Pialat has been called the John Cassavetes of French cinema, and the scorching └ nos amours is one of his greatest achievements. In a revelatory film debut, the dynamic, fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a fifteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father (played with astonishing magnetism by Pialat himself), ineffectual mother, and brutish brother. A tender character study that can erupt in startling violence, └ nos amours is one of the high-water marks of eighties French cinema.

Poster

Theatrical Release: November 16th, 1983

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DVD Comparison:

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - PAL

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 337 - Region 1 - NTSC Masters of Cinema - Spine # 76 - Region 0 - PAL
The 5 other Masters of Cinema DVD packages of Maurice Pialat films:
Runtime 1:39:18  1:35:06 (4% PAL Speedup)
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.96 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.3 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:

Bitrate:

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  French (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• Video interviews with Catherine Breillat and Jean-Pierre Gorin
• A 2003 interview with actor Sandrine Bonnaire
• The Human Eye, a 1999 documentary on the film
• Archival interview with Pialat on the set
• Actor auditions
• Liner notes booklet featuring essays by critics Molly Haskell and Kent Jones and interviews with Pialat and cinematographer Jacques Loiseleux

DVD Release Date: June 6th, 2006

Double Thick Keep Case
Chapters: 22

Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• 16-minute 2003 interview with star Sandrine Bonnaire, conducted by former Cahiers du cinÚma editor-in-chief, and current director of the CinÚmathŔque Franšaise, Serge Toubiana
• L’Œil humain [The Human Eye], a 55-minute film by director Xavier Giannoli that analyses A nos amours. and features former Cahiers du cinÚma editorial director Jean-Michel Frodon, actors Jacques Fieschi and Sandrine Bonnaire, and other members of the cast and crew
• 14-minute excerpt from a 1983 TV interview with Maurice Pialat from the set of A nos amours., and featuring rushes of scenes that don’t appear in the finished film
• 31 minutes of video screen-tests from 1982 for actors that variously appear and do not appear in the finished film
• Original theatrical trailer for A nos amours., along with trailers for the six other Maurice Pialat films released by The Masters of Cinema Series
• 48-page booklet containing a new essay about the film by writer and filmmaker Dan Sallitt, a two-page image-essay by Craig Keller, and a transcript of the sit-down conversation that took place between Maurice Pialat and Jean-Luc Godard in 1984, appearing for the first time in an English translation

 

DVD Release Date: March 22nd, 2010
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 14

 

Comments:

ADDITION MASTERS OF CINEMA - REGION 0 - PAL - March 2010: I don't see any significant differences visually. Criterion may have a marginal edge in compression as they share the feature disc with only a trailer while the Masters of Cinema has the 16-minute Bonnaire interview on disc 1. To satisfy myself, though, I sampled both transfers on my system, from my usual seat (12 feet back), and could not identify one DVD from the other.

Audio again has no difference that my ears could ascertain and there may be some slight translation variations, but nothing that altered the film in any notable way.

Extras also seem comparable with both having Xavier Giannoli's 55-minute The Human Eye, the 16-minute 2003 interview with star Sandrine Bonnaire, the trailer and the video screen-tests. Criterion adds the interviews with Catherine Breillat and Jean-Pierre Gorin and MoC tacks on the gallery of Pialat trailers. MoC's liner notes offer more (I liked Keller's piece) including the "... transcript of the sit-down conversation that took place between Maurice Pialat and Jean-Luc Godard in 1984, appearing for the first time in an English translation".

Masters of Cinema continue to impress producing packages as good as any in the world for important films like A nos amours. Even with the low-ish US dollar the Masters of Cinema 2-disc package is significantly cheaper (almost 1/2 - $35.99 USD vs. ú11.99 = $18.21 USD) and that is the direction we encourage purchases of this 'perfect' French film...

****

ON THE CRITERION (June 2006): I was very impressed with this transfer. It has the most film-like appearance of any recent Criterion release that I can recall. There is an intangible substance to it that often does not translate through just viewing the screen captures. The colors have a soft pallet buoyancy, detail is excellent and it is very consistent. Nice to see the 1.66 ratio done properly. Really this is a pristine DVD image in my opinion. From the extras I especially enjoyed the interviews of Bonnaire and Breillat but all have something worthwhile to offer. I'm sure many will enjoy The Human Eye documentary. This package is very complete and a the supplements are a valued addition to appreciating this rather complexly motivated piece of cinema.

This film was an excellent choice by Criterion to bring to Region 1 DVD. It is a kind of poetic dissertation of life rhythms... one that the French seem to have cornered the market in. I suppose in its most simplistic terms it boils down to happiness - seeking it and accepting it. I strongly recommend this film and the Criterion DVD is easily the absolute best forum for viewing and understanding its beauty.  

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2)Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT


Disc 2

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT

 

 

 
 

 


Subtitle Sample

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 337 - Region 1 - NTSC Masters of Cinema - Spine # 76 - Region 0 - PAL
The 5 other Masters of Cinema DVD packages of Maurice Pialat films:




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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