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directed by Françoise Romand
France 2009

 

Ciné-Romand is a mise-en-abyme of previous films of Francoise Romand. Spectators are invited to discover them at a happening that mixes fiction and reality as domestic theater. Voyeurs are not always who we think they are. Romand takes her inspiration from L’Arroseur arrosé (The Sprinkler Sprinkled), continuing the role of her great-grandfather from La Ciotat, the playful kid who bent the hose to stop the water. After filming the spectators and tenants of the apartments where documentary scenes were improvised, Romand integrated them fictionally into excerpts from previous films, reworked in the editing. Guests/spectators, hosts, angels-guides, actors and technicians - all become characters in this fiction-documentary where Alice’s looking glass reflects a mischievous fantasy with the roles reversed and complementing one another.

 DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Alibi Productions - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

Alibi Productions

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:27:39
Video

4:3 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.1 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 French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Alibi Productions

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 4:3

Edition Details:
• Trailer for Mix-up
• 8-minute Short

DVD Release Date: April 20th, 2009
Slim Cardboard Case

Chapters 11

 

Comments

Although I watched Alibi Film’s “Cine-Romand” shortly after finishing her 1986 film “Appelez-moi Madame”, I had no idea what to expect from this release. Indeed, for the first 20 minutes or so I had no real idea of what I was viewing. As it turns out the film is a rather odd one. It’s a faux documentary about different groups of people invited into what I can only guess is Romand’s Paris apartment over the course of several nights to view her films. As such, the film spends about half of its time (perhaps even more, but I haven’t checked) showing us clips from her various films and then scenes of the viewings. Later all are mixed together in such a way to try and created a narrative going through all of the settings, one which frankly I was never really able to pick up on. While this may not sound like much, and indeed, I really wasn’t into it for the first third or so of the film, after awhile it began to work for me. By the end, I enjoyed the samplings of her films and found myself with a strong desire to seek out the ones shown here.

Both the image quality and size here varies with what’s being shown on screen. The scenes of the audience viewing her films look as if they were shot using digital video, are generally, clear, and are presented in 1.33:1. Romand’s early documentary work here is also full screen, but is generally not as clear as her subsequent work. Most of her fiction work over the last view decades is heavily letter boxed, but is clear and shown in what I appears to be 1.66:1. Overall, there are no discernible instances of damage or manipulation on the print.

Like the disc for “Appelez-moi Madame”, this release begins by offering the choice of viewing the film with or without removable English subtitles. Regardless of which choice you make, the film itself is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, which is consistently clear enough without any unwanted background noise.

The extras here consist of a trailer for her first film, “Mix-Up” and a nearly 8 minute long documentary “Cutting Reflections”. This short piece is quite confounding as it seems to serve no real purpose other than to follow Romand around as she goes through a series of the day’s tasks: cooking, waxing her legs, etc.

While this disc will certainly not be everyone’s cup of tea, I liked it enough to recommend to those interested in learning a bit about a French auteur that they may not have hear of before. Recommended for those so inclined. Oh, and like their other Romand release, don’t forget that Alibi Films has released this as a region free disc!

 - Brian Montgomery

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Alibi Productions

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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