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(aka "A Song of Love" )

 

directed by Jean Genet
France 1950

 

By the time Jean Genet made Un Chant D'Amour in 1950, he was already an infamous poet-pornographer whose novels and plays were banned internationally for their explicit descriptions of romping gay men and gorgeous criminals. Decades later, Genet maintained his antisocial image by writing reverentially about African-American radicals and the P.L.O. Transgression and eroticism remained forever tied in Genet's art, which shouldn't be surprising, since he came of age in an era when homosexuality was against the law, and for many, being a crook inevitably became a turn-on. Once Genet got access to a movie camera, he turned it on a group of rugged actors, playing imprisoned men who literally claw at the walls, overcome with thwarted desire. And when the stars of Un Chant D'Amour aren't scratching their palms against the plaster, they're unbuttoning their pants and stroking themselves.

Excerpt from The Onion A.V. Club located HERE

Theatrical Release: June 1950

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DVD Comparison:

Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas and and Stan Czarnecki for the Screen Caps!

(Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Cult Epics

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI
Region 2 - PAL
Cult Epics
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 25:10 25:27 25:10
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.66 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.71 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.59 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:

 

Cult Epics (Single Disc Release)

 

Bitrate:

 

BFI

 

Bitrate:

 

Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition)

 

Audio Silent

Silent (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Silent

Subtitles None None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Cult Epics

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Jonas Mekas (8:16)
• Audio commentary by Kenneth Anger
• Antoine Bourseiller's 1981 Documentary Genet (51:38)

DVD Release Date: March 31st, 2009
Amaray

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by writer Jane Giles and film-maker Richard Kwietniowski (Love and Death in Long Island)
• Biographies of Jean Genet and Simon Fisher Turner

 

DVD Release Date: June 2nd, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 5

Release Information:
Studio: Cult Epics

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Jonas Mekas (8:16)
• Audio commentary by Kenneth Anger
• Antoine Bourseiller's 1981 Documentary Genet (51:38)
• Bertrand Poirot-Delpech's 1982 Interview Jean Genet (45:00)

 

DVD Release Date: February 27th, 2007
Amaray

Chapters 9

 

Comments

Update: BFI-Region 2-PAL-June 2003: Although the BFI's edition of the short film is the oldest of the three releases, it has the strongest image by far. The region 0 editions are fairly soft, but you might not realize how soft until you compare them to the BFI's image which is much sharper and has a deeper array of colors. The print had some damage, but it was mostly limited to a vertical line that would sometime creep up on the image, and perhaps a couple of scratches. The musical accompaniment on the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack sounded great, and contained no unwanted background noise. The only downside to the BFI edition is that it lacks the extensive extras of the region 0 discs. While it does have a great commentary track and biographies of the director and man who scored their edition, there are some very important sounding extras missing from this edition. I suppose which one you decide to purchase depends on what you want out of the release, but since the BFI's edition is currently going for less than 7.00 on amazon.co.uk, fans may wish to pick up both.

 - Brian Montgomery

ON THE SINGLE DISC CULT EPICS: Cult Epics have reissued UN CHANT D'AMOUR in a single disc edition which retains the GENET documentary by Antoine Bourseiller, introduction by Jonas Mekas, and commentary by Kenneth Anger but unfortunately drops the 45 minute interview from the two disc limited edition. In addition to these two releases, BFI also released a disc with a commentary by film writer Jane Giles and filmmaker Richard Kwietniowski and a music score by Simon Fisher-Turner.

Eric Cotenas

 

ON THE TWO Disc: One doesn't really expect Jean Genet's cine-poem "Un chant d'amour" to be released by a company called Cult Epics, yet I couldn't be more happy with the work they've done.

The image looks acceptable considering the source material. The black and white transfer does have its obvious deficiencies with damage (scratches) and some visible chroma - it is a bit hazy at times, yet that has to do with the film's turbulent past (Jonas Mekas talks about this in his video introduction). Still, we get a very satisfying image, with very good contrast, a nice amount of detail and very film-like grain.

There is no choice of soundtracks, since this film was shot silently and intended by Genet to be watched that way. But we do get an audio commentary by filmmaker Kenneth Anger, who met Genet and was deeply influenced by him. Even though there are some lengthy gaps in Anger's talk, he is still able to tell us interesting things about the film's history as well as its unique style.
.

Also on the first disc is the afore-mentioned introduction by Jonas Mekas. He provides some first-hand information about the production of the film, which he says he got from producer Nikos Papatakis. He also tells a fascinating story of how he smuggled the film into the United States, with the help of playwright Harold Pinter. Eventually, he talks about different interpretations of the film and its significance on cinema.

This amount of attention to supplements for this film is already more than one would expect, yet the real deal actually starts on disc 2. There's a 50-minute documentary called "Genet" by Antoine Bourseiller from 1981 and as well as Bertrand Poirot-Delpech's 1982 interview "Jean Genet" which runs for about 45 minutes. The greatest thing about these two featurettes is obviously Jean Genet's own involvement. He talks intimately about his childhood, past lovers, his time in jail, his view of the world, writing and cinema. The wealth of fascinating information given here is astounding.

Cult Epics' release is not just a great DVD of this important counter-cultural film, but actually a remarkable tribute to Jean Genet, one of the 20th century's greatest artists. For a moderate price you not only get one of cinema's most extraordinary and poetic achievements, but also hours of talk by Jean Genet himself and insight from experts and appreciators. You must realize that I'm clearly urging you to get this disc.
 

- Stan Czarnecki

 



DVD Menus
(Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Cult Epics (Single Disc Release) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

BFI

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Cult Epics (2 Disc Limited Edition)

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Cult Epics

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI
Region 2 - PAL
Cult Epics
Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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