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(aka "The Girl From Paris" or "Une hirondelle a fait le printemps" or "One Swallow Brought Spring" or "Eine Schwalbe macht den Sommer" or "Una rondine fa primavera" )

 

directed by Christian Carion
France 2001

 

Literature is full of stories of ambitious young people who flee the countryside to seek their fortunes in the city. "The Girl From Paris," which opens today in Manhattan, tells such a story in reverse. Its heroine, Sandrine Dumez (Mathilde Seigner), a disaffected urbanite drifting toward 30, abruptly decides to embrace the rural life and become a farmer....

"The Girl From Paris," which was directed by Christian Carion, is a quiet, slow-moving tale, very much in tune with the gradual rhythms of traditional agricultural life. It could easily have been dull and anecdotal, but Mr. Carion relates his simple story with relaxed precision. He regards the staggering beauty of the landscape, with its golden hay and craggy escarpments, with the matter-of-fact appreciation of a native.

Ms. Seigner and Mr. Serrault bring fresh, unforced naturalism to their characters, each of whom grows deeper and more complicated as the months pass. (Jean-Paul Roussillon, as Adrien's roly-poly best friend, adds a grace note of gentle buffoonery.)

As Adrien reveals the tragedies and setbacks he has suffered in his struggle to remain on the land, a wider social background comes into view, and you, along with Sandrine, come to a profound and remarkably unsentimental appreciation of country life.

Excerpt of review from A. O. Scott located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 5th, 2001 (France)

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:38:48
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.69 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

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• 'Retour aux Sources' documentary
• Theatrical trailer
• Production notes
• Filmographies

DVD Release Date: January 27th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 20

 

Comments

First, off I'd like to extend a big thanks to Artificial Eye for releasing this film. I had never heard of it before picking it up as a blind buy, but it turned out to be a wonderful purchase. Going into the viewing, I was worried that it would be another typical fish out of water comedy that relied on the same tired tropes of the genre. Instead, the film is much more original and nuanced than I could have predicted. In fact the film was really quite a pleasure, with splendid performances by its leads.

The image of the release looks very good, indeed much better than one would expect from film with an average bitrate of 4.69. The print itself is quite strong with no signs of damage and the film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 anamorphic wide screen, but there is an occasional softness or muting of the image that occurs. While I suspect that this is due to the low bitrate, it is very rarely a problem and on the whole the image looks pretty good for standard DVD.

The stereo track on the disc is as one would expect from a release of a film made in the last decade. While not spectacular, the sound is always acceptable with the dialogue and music constantly crisp, and no interference from background noise. My only complaint here is that the production company chose a very odd and unattractive looking subtitle font (see capture 1). This is the only release from Artificial Eye that I've come across featuring this font, and I'm glad to see that they've likely retired it.

The film comes with the typical special features that we might expect from Artificial Eye. Of course we get the usual cast & crew biographies / filmogrpahies, and a trailer, but they've also included the wonderful 'Retour aux Sources' documentary, featuring Carion's return to the film's shooting locale. Here not only does Carion discus the making of the film, but we're also introduced to some of the real life farmers whose lives were changed by the shooting of the film a few years back.

This is a wonderful film with some truly beautiful images (and some absolutely gruesome ones when a pair of farm animals meet their end), wonderful acting, and a moving story. It's an easy recommendation.

 - Brian Montgomery

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

 

 




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