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directed by Maurice Pialat
France 1985

 

Maurice Pialat's Police delivers on the raw promise of its title, insofar as much of its action qualifies as an insistently 'procedural' descent into the Paris drugs underworld. But the hyper-real route that the film takes to arrive there, before veering into a zone of dangerous emotional play, contributes to a disorienting, adventurous, and ultimately tremendously exciting experience unlike any 'police-thriller' ever before conceived. The iconic Gérard Depardieu (who also collaborated with Pialat on Loulou, Sous le soleil de Satan, and Le Garçu) plays Mangin, a cop whose brutal method of investigation finds its obsessive outlet in an attempt to crack a Tunisian narcotics ring. It is when Mangin enters into close acquaintance with the defiant Noria (expertly played by Sophie Marceau in one of her first screen roles) that the film proceeds to chart an unexpected, emotionally ambiguous course and the lines between 'right' and 'wrong', and 'power' and 'freedom', terminally blur. Written with Catherine Breillat (director of The Last Mistress, Anatomy of Hell, Fat Girl), but relying in equal measure upon Pialat's improvisatory control (directing, among others, his star-actress from A nos amours, Sandrine Bonnaire), Police is a genre-defying excursion rivaled only by John Cassavetes' The Killing of a Chinese Bookie in the pantheon of cinema's most idiosyncratic thrillers. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Maurice Pialat's daring 1985 film in a magnificent, digitally restored transfer for the first time on DVD in the UK. SPECIAL 2-DISC EDITION including: Gorgeous new anamorphic transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio -- New and improved English subtitle translations -- 2003 video interview with director and Police co-screenwriter Catherine Breillat, conducted by former Cahiers du cinéma editor-in-chief, and current director of the Cinémathèque Française, Serge Toubiana -- ZOOM SUR POLICE [ZOOM ONTO POLICE] (2002) 34-minute documentary by Virginie Apiou about the production of the film -- Vintage screen-tests featuring Maurice Pialat and C. Galmiche, the inspiration for the character of Lambert -- Excerpt from a 1985 episode of Cinéma Cinémas shot during the course of the 17th day of production on Police -- 23-minute video discussion with Yann Dedet, the editor of Police -- The film's original trailer, along with trailers for other Maurice Pialat films to be released by The Masters of Cinema Series -- 40-page booklet containing a new essay by filmmaker and critic Dan Sallitt, and newly translated interviews with Maurice Pialat.

Poster

Theatrical Release: 4 September 1985 (France)

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DVD Comparison:

Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Olive Films Screen Caps!

(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Eureka Video

Region 2 - PAL

Olive Films
Region 1 - NTSC
The 5 other Masters of Cinema DVD packages of Maurice Pialat films:
Runtime 1:48:4 (4% PAL speedup) 1:48:48 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.61:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.44 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.69:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.0 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:

 

Olive Films

 

Audio French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles English, optional English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.61:1

Edition Details:
• DISC ONE:
• Interview with Catherine Breillat (16:9; 15:00)
• DISC TWO:
• French Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:31)
• Outtakes (16:9; 23:00)
• Pialat: 17th Day of Shooting (4:3; 12:00)
• Screentests with C. Galmiche (4:3; 4:00)
• Zoom into POLICE (4:3; 35:00)
• Six Pialat Trailers
• 40-page booklet containing a new essay by filmmaker and critic Dan Sallitt, and newly translated
• interview with Pialat

DVD Release Date: 22 September 2008
Amaray

Chapters 22

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.69:1

Edition Details:
• none

 

DVD Release Date: 18 September 2012
Amaray

Chapters 8

 

Comments

Olive Film's barely dual-layer (4.83 GB) DVD features a serviceable but rather disappointing PAL-NTSC conversion made all the more disappointing by the total lack of extras compared to the 2-disc Masters of Cinema edition. It appears that Olive had access to a different master which occasionally reveals more picture info on the left side, but the disc's deficits outweigh this one advantage. The English subtitles are burnt-in and feature a slightly different translation from the UK disc. Okay for a rental, but Pialat fans will want the MoC edition.

- Eric Cotenas

ON THE MoC: Henry Kedger on the Eureka Masters of Cinema edition: This is another in MoC's line of two-disc packages of Pialat films, with five more to come -- we are truly blessed. POLICE is yet more evidence that Pialat is one of the major talents in all of movies -- his hard-edged sensibility, mastery over eliciting electrifying performances from his actors, and painterly genius (for POLICE, think Gerhard Richter) are unparalleled. POLICE is a challenging piece of work, and it left me thinking about the sudden shift in plot and tone (and the haunting, ambiguous ending) for days afterward. I've returned to it four times over the last two weeks. This is as adventurous as cinema gets.

As with
L'ENFANCE-NUE, MoC have made use of the HD restoration from the French release -- it's presented here in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio, anamorphically encoded and progressive, and with a pristine transfer. I'd point out too the excellent subtitling done here, especially for such "slangy" dialogue (as is the case with much of Pialat's work). As for the supplements: all around excellent. There's a 34-minute documentary from 2002 interviewing Catherine Breillat, Jacques Fieschi and others about the production; a 2003 interview with Catherine Breillat that runs 15 minutes; a 23-minute interview with editor Yann Dedet discussing the film, which also presents fully edited sequences taken out before Pialat made his final cut; a 12-minute excerpt from "Cinéma Cinémas" showing Pialat directing and interacting with his cast on POLICE; a 4-minute piece of screen-test footage, with Pialat conversing with and directing the actor who inspired the lawyer in the film; and if that weren't enough, the original trailer, along with those for the other six Pialat titles MoC are releasing. Absolutely fascinating.

The booklet does not disappoint -- as is always the case with MoC, it's at least every bit as good as the on-disc 'extras', and carries a "personal touch" that no other DVD company really approaches. This particular outing gives us a magnificent new essay by critic and filmmaker Dan Sallitt that really digs into the workings of the film, and discusses not just Pialat's but also Catherine Breillat's methods at length. We also get a lengthy interview with Pialat from 1985 -- more evidence that he was one of the great interviewees in all of cinema: it's funny, outrageous, unsparing, and brilliant. Essential stuff -- I give my highest recommendation for this release!

Henry Kedger

 


DVD Menus
(
Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

Masters of Cinema - Disc 2


 

Screen Captures

(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
Subtitle sample


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Eureka Video (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Eureka

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Eureka
Menu: Draw

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Eureka Video

Region 2 - PAL

Olive Films
Region 1 - NTSC
The 5 other Masters of Cinema DVD packages of Maurice Pialat films:

 




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