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(aka "The Man Who Lies" or "L'homme qui ment" or "L'uomo che mente")

 

directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet
France/Czechoslovakia 1968

 

First seen running from soldiers and being shot, Boris Varessa (Jean-Louis Trintignant) arrives in a small French village (the film was shot in Czechoslovakia) where the local hero is one Jean Robin who was supposedly taken prisoner and killed by the occupying troops during the war a few years before. Boris infiltrates the chateau occupied by the dead man's elderly father along with his widow, sister, and a maid. He says he is a friend of Jean's who collaborated with him during the war. He seduces each of the women with a different story about Jean that portray him (and himself) alternately as a hero and traitor (as well as his possible murderer). Soon another man arrives in the village who may be the real Jean Robin. Trintignant is great as always and manages to make you believe that he is making up Robbe-Grillet's carefully scripted dialogue on-the-spot (whereas he enacted the narrative of TRANS-EUROPE-EXPRESS through its many revisions, here he creates and performs the narrative himself taking great risks reciting the various permutations to different characters who possess sometimes contradictory knowledge of the other Jean Robin). As with Robbe-Grillet's other French/Czech co-production EDEN AND AFTER, MAN WHO LIES features the distinct contributions of Robbe-Grillet regulars sound designer/composer Michel Fano and editor Bob Wade while wife Catherine Robbie-Grillet makes another brief appearance.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 27 March 1968 (France)

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DVD Review: Ripley's Home Video - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Ripley's Home Video

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:33:06 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.71 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 mono; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles Italian, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Ripley's Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 3:14)
• Interview with Alain Robbe-Grillet (4:3; 5:04)

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Although the cover cites a 16:9-enhanced 1.66:1 aspect ratio, the HD mastered transfer has been rendered in 1.33:1 full frame but it does not seem to be cropped (my only comparison sources are a DVD-R of a transfer of a 16mm English subtitled Evergreen Films print - several generations removed - and a recording of a French TV broadcast which were both fullscreen as well). The image does not seem to have been heavily digitally-manipulated but the low bitrate is not always up to the encoding demands (there is pixellation under the title card as Trintignant runs through the brush).

 

Italian subtitles are forced on the French track (but can be disabled on some hardware players and likely on most software players). There is a brief authoring error where late in the film where the image snaps to 16:9 for a few frames before going back to 4:3. A fullscreen trailer is also provided along with a 2001 TV interview with Robbe-Grillet - probably an excerpt from the same interview excerpted on Ripley's DVD of EDEN AND AFTER - in French with Italian subtitles.

  - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Ripley's Home Video

Region 2 - PAL

 

 




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