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(aka "Blue Beard" )


directed by Catherine Breillat
France 2009

Two adolescent sisters explore their house's attic and stumble across a copy of Charles Perrault's "Bluebeard" and read it as it is enacted onscreen in Catherine Breillat's latest. In the story itself, sisters Anne (Daphne Baiwir) and Marie-Catherine (Lola Creton) are turned out of school when their father dies and cannot pay tuition (in a nod to the Marquise de Sade's JUSTINE). Local aristocrat Bluebeard (Dominique Thomas) is looking for a bride and does not require a dowry which suits Marie-Catherine just fine despite the fact that Bluebeard's previous wives have vanished into thin air. When Bluebeard goes off on one of his long trips, he gives Marie-Catherine the keys to the castle and only asks that she not open one particular door but we all know what happens... The film's look has been criticized as being an effect of the low budget and the high definition lensing but the film compares wonderfully with the works of Walerian Borowczyk (and perhaps even Eric Rohmer) whose BLANCHE was reportedly a visual inspiration. Some blame may lie with Breillat's academic approach which seeks to highlight all the symbols and signifiers of the tale through not entirely subtle dialogue. If you are a Breillat fan, you should not be put off by this but you won't find any of the taboo-breaking sex scenes one expects from Breillat.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 6 October 2009 (France)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Strand Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:21:45 (4% PAL speedup)

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.87 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.


Audio French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:54)
• Trailers for THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (16:9; 1:43); TOE TO TOE (16:9; 2:17); THE MISSING PERSON
• (4:3; 1:45) and THE WEDDING SONG (16:9; 1:39)

DVD Release Date: 22 June 2010

Chapters 12



Strand Releasing's transfer of this gorgeous high definition video production is anamorphic and single layer but since it's Strand, it's also a PAL-NTSC conversion with burnt-in subtitles and a 2.0 stereo downmix of the Dolby Digital mix.


A U.S. trailer for the film as well as other Strand releases round out the package. While even a barebones PAL release might be the better alternative, Strand's release (apparently the only DVD release of the film out so far) at least allows you to check this one out.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Strand Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC



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