(aka 'Lady Chatterley et l'homme des bois')

Directed by Pascale Ferran
France 2006

 

Everyone knows how D.H. Lawrence’s infamous novel was beset by scandal and banned before being hailed as a literary landmark. Few folks seem to understand that its hyperventilating prose was designed to be both titillating and transcendent: the adulterous shtup as a step toward enlightenment. Film versions didn’t help, ignoring sacramental subtext in favor of either Masterpiece Theatrestuffiness or generous helpings of beef and cheesecake. Pascale Ferran, however, has changed all of this in one fell swoop; her long, languid take on Lawrence’s pro-sex parable is less an adaptation than a reclamation. She not only knows the book’s narrative intimately but also bothered to read between its lines, pinpointing every spiritual element to the erotic encounters between the desperate housewife (Hands) and her virile gamekeeper (Coulloc’h). You won’t find a more effective hosanna for the existential healing powers of humping.

Favoring Lawrence’s second of three Chatterley manuscripts and opening in 1921 (when WWI’s industrialized Thanatos still hovered in the air), the film quickly establishes the couple’s Edenic playground as a third character. Liaisons take place within landscapes of lush greenery; the soundtrack often consists of nothing but birds chirping and the distant echo of a babbling brook. Apparently, it’s nice to fool (around) with Mother Nature after all. Even when the director tiptoes into the realm of ridiculous hippie behavior—does anyone put flowers on their lover’s genitals?—Lady Chatterley retains an ability to hypnotize. Tasteful yet ecstatically turned-on, Ferran’s interpretation reworks legendary highbrow “smut” into a textured story of rebirth.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 1st, 2006

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DVD Review: Seville Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Seville Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

Also available on the same date by Kino Video in the US:

           

Runtime 2:40:50 
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.85 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

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

Bitrate:

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

Release Information:
Studio: Seville Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: December 4th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

 

 

Comments:

Well, we've been in the woods before with these simultaneous release date Kino (in US) / Seville (in Canada) offerings. You can bet your bottom dollar that the transfers will be identical (they are in fact sharing it). Typical with both it is a poor in terms of image - interlaced although on a dual-layered DVD. It is quite possible from a PAL source but I have nothing to compare it to verify (sources have the theatrical at 168 minutes, but there is a longer French TV version at 220 minutes). As this is 160 minutes it sounds right to be from a 4% faster PAL source. The picture is rife with digital artifacts, combing and is exceptionally hazy for a modern film. Colors aren't too bad as one positive.  The 2.0 track audio is unremarkable but dialogue is clear enough to discern the French dialogue. There are optional English subtitles.

No supplements which is almost criminal as the film is a masterpiece. It is quite possibly the most affecting rendition of the, often soft-porn'ed, D.H. Lawrence story. What a drag the DVD is so weak but we do recommend seeing the film at any available opportunity. 

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Seville Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

Also available on the same date by Kino Video in the US:

           




 

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