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(aka 'Wild Grass')

Directed by Alain Resnais
USA 2008

 

At first glance, Wild Grass may appear frivolous compared to 1959's Hiroshima mon amour or landmark documentary, Night and Fog, but Resnais has displayed great variety of storytelling throughout his expansive career and proven over and over again that not all of his films need be as experimental or as serious as Last Year at Marienbad. (Have you watched his fun period musical Not on the Lips?) Based on Christian Gailly's novel, The Incident, from a faithful screenplay by Laurent Herbiet and Alex Reval, Wild Grass treats its fascinating, complex, adult characters with warmth, respect and also intelligence. Still, there's no denying the great humor throughout the film.

Resnais continues to work with a regular team of actors and their intimate knowledge of what works best for one another shows throughout the film. André Dussollier puts his magnificent, velvety voice to great use as the somewhat mysterious André. Mathieu Amalric provides some of the film's funniest scenes as an annoying police officer. The best performance belongs to Sabine Azéma (Resnais' real-life companion) who brings the lovely Marguerite to life.

Digital photography from cameraman Eric Gautier brings the film a modern look, and production designer Jacques Saulnier makes striking use of bold color in many of the film's scenes. More importantly, Resnais' storytelling is in top form. Turning 88 this June, he's an inspiration to us all.

Excerpt from Box Office Magazine located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release:  May 20th, 2009 - Cannes Film Festival

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DVD Review: Sony - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Sony - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:43:52 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.27 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 5.1) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Portrait of Production Designer Jacques Saulnier (6:29)
• Theatrical trailer (2:32)

DVD Release Date: October 26th, 2010

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Chapters: 28

 

Comments:

This is a lovely film from Resnais. It touches on the melancholy, as well as humor, and life's fatal circumstances. It speaks volumes while meandering around the characters, often comedic, lives. It's improper to call it typical Resnais as the director has such range it seems invalid but one could spot signatures in this work. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The DVD transfer from Sony is anamorphic, dual-layered and progressive. It's a little thick, a bit hazy and not exporting remarkable detail. But it is consistent and quite possibly a decent representation of the theatrical. It is, predictably, very clean and still gave me an enjoyable presentation.

Audio is unremarkable but close, I'll wager, to the way it was produced with virtually no separations necessary for the 5.1 track to support. There are optional English subtitles for the French dialogue-driven film. The disc is region 1 in the NTSC standard. 

Not extras of note with only a trailer and 6-minute 'Portrait of Production Designer Jacques Saulnier' praising the set designs. I recommend this film - I see it is coming out in the PAL format in November from New Wave Films in the UK HERE. Definitely give this a spin if you get the opportunity. 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Distribution Sony - Region 1 - NTSC



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