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(aka "Eden and After" or "Oltre L'Eden")

 

directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet
France/Czechoslovakia 1970

 

In the labyrinthine Eden Cafe where ads for Coca-Cola share wall space with living friezes of nude models and slogans like "Drink Blood" a group of French students play games of Russian Roulette, poisoning, and rape. The Dutchman (Pierre Zimmer) enters the scene and demonstrates a "trick" he learned in Africa in which he heals one of the students who he has asked to pick up pieces of broken glass. He gives fear powder (not cocaine because that's already on the menu as a beverage at the Eden Cafe) to Violette (Catherine Jourdan) and she imagines herself in Tunisia in a series of sadomasochistic vignettes with the Dutchman and her fellow students inhabiting various roles (characters playing multiple roles - including themselves as actors - is an element of several Robbe-Grillet films) suffering multiple deaths and Violette even encounters her own double. Like THE MAN WHO LIES before this, EDEN AND AFTER was a French/Czechoslovakian co-production but location shooting is in picturesque Tunisia in color with striking choices of contrasting colors in the set and costume design (as well as that vivid blood which always splashes across bright surfaces). According to Robbe-Grillet, it was partially inspired by De Sade's JUSTINE and Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND. An alternate version played on French TV titled N TOOK THE DICE. The scenes were re-ordered and alternate takes were also utilized with their arrangement being determined by a throw of the dice. Shots from the film appeared in Robbe-Grillet's last film GRADIVA.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 20 April 1970 (France)

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Comparison:

Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL vs. Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the DVD Review!

1) Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Ripley's Home Video

Region 2 - PAL

Redemption

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:33:45 (4% PAL speedup) 1:38:37.662
Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.13 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,359,551,905 bytes

Feature: 23,393,354,880 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles Italian, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Ripley's Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:29)
• Interview with Alain Robbe-Grillet (16:9; 19:42; in French with Italian subtitles)

DVD Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Redemption

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,359,551,905 bytes

Feature: 23,393,354,880 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• 'N Took the Dice' (1:19:07 in 1080P)

• Interview with Alain Robbe-Grillet (30:56 in 1080P)

• Trailers
• 2014 Promo (2:09 in 1080P)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: May 27th, 2014
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

Comments

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (May 2014): Alain Robbe-Grillet's Eden and After comes to Blu-ray from Kino's Redemption label. Colors (and skin tones) are richer than the SD. Also the grain is more prevalent and visible in the 1080P transfer. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate and looks like a solid representation of the original film. Like Robbe-Grillet's The Man Who Lies Blu-ray from Redemption we get the film's audio transferred via a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 2304 kbps in original French. Michel Fano (L'Immortelle) does the score which seems the biggest beneficiary of the uncompressed rendering. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc. Supplements include another worthy 1/2 hour interview with writer/director Robbe-Grillet (In French with English subtitles), as well as trailers and a 2014 Promo. But the big extra is a complete alternate cut of the feature film, entitled N. Throws the Dice - running a hour and 20-minutes. It's more than an abbreviated version and the director's fans should enjoy indulging.

 

I continue to warm to the director's work - and I consider Eden and After a kind of Godard-esque psychological horror. I loved all the creativity in cinematography. Perhaps my favorite by Alain Robbe-Grillet. Recommended!

***

 

ON THE DVD: Perhaps due to the inclusion of the Robbe-Grillet interview and possibly because this is a color film (unlike TRANS-EUROP-EXPRESS), Ripley's Home Video have afforded their HD-mastered transfer of EDEN AND AFTER a dual-layer encoding (the feature takes up 5.59 GB of the disc's 6.86 GB). The image does not seem to have undergone heavy digital manipulation. The grain is consistent and the detail good for a film of this age and budget.

 

The only extras are a French trailer and a 20 minute vintage interview with Robbe-Grillet in French with Italian subtitles. Camera Obscura have picked up the rights to the film and are promising a thoroughly English-friendly special edition (in keeping with their other releases such as TERROR EXPRESS and VASE DE NOCES) in the future which will likely (hopefully) use the same HD master.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


Menus

 

1) Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Covers

 

Distribution

Ripley's Home Video

Region 2 - PAL

Redemption

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 




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