Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Alain Robbe-Grillet: Six Films 1963-1974 [Blu-ray]

 

The Immortal One (1963)     Trans-Europ Express (1967)     The Man Who Lies (1968)

 

Eden and After (1970)     N. Rolls the Dice (1971)       Successive Slidings Into Pleasure (1974)

 

 

Perhaps best known as the writer of Alain Resnais' classic cine-conundrum Last Year of Marienbad, Alain Robbe-Grillet was also the director a number of stylish, controversial and erotic films which starred such icons of French cinema as Jean-Louis Trinignant (Haneke's Amour, Bertolucci's The Conformist), Marie-France Pisier (Truffaut's Stolen Kisses and Bed and Board) and Isabelle Huppert (Claire Denis' White Material, Haneke's Amour).

Impossible to see for decades, these enigmatic, sexually-charged films have now been collected together for the very first time, and are made available here in beautifully remastered High Definition presentations, with extra features including video introductions by Catherine Robbe-Grillet, filmed interviews with Alain Robbe-Grillet by Frédéric Taddeï, and newly-recorded, exclusive feature-length commentaries by cult cinema authority Tim Lucas.

 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Subtitles

English, None

Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Edition Details:
(all video extras in 1080P!)


Disc One

The Immortal One
• Audio commentary by Tim Lucas
• Interview with Alain Robb-Grillet and Frédéric Taddeï (32:34)
Trans-Europ Express
• Video introductions by Catherine Robbe-Grille (6:00)

• Audio commentary by Tim Lucas
• Interview with Alain Robb-Grillet and Frédéric Taddeï (31:26)

Theatrical trailer (3:22)
 

Disc Two
The Man Who Lies

• Video introductions by Catherine Robbe-Grille (5:57)

• Audio commentary by Tim Lucas
• Interview with Alain Robb-Grillet and Frédéric Taddeï (33:53)

Theatrical trailer (3:23)

Successive Slidings of Pleasure

• Video introductions by Catherine Robbe-Grille (6:02)

• Audio commentary by Tim Lucas
• Interview with Alain Robb-Grillet and Frédéric Taddeï (32:43)


Disc Three

Eden and After

• Video introductions by Catherine Robbe-Grille (7:13)

• Audio commentary by Tim Lucas
• Interview with Alain Robb-Grillet and Frédéric Taddeï (30:59)

Theatrical trailer (2:37)

N. Took the Dice

None

• Illustrated booklet with extended essay by David Taylor, and full film credits 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 30th, 2014

 

Comments:

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

Firstly, the 6 films are divided on the 3 BFI Blu-ray discs as follows:

Disc 1) The Immortal One and Trans-Europ Express

Disc 2) The Man Who Lies and Successive Slidings of Pleasure

Disc 3) Eden and After and N. Took the Dice

We have already reviewed/compared 4 of the titles, put to Blu-ray by Redemption (Kino) in region 'A' - The Immortal One (L'Immortelle), Trans-Europ Express, The Man Who Lies and Eden and After (N. Took the Dice was an extra on the Kino Eden Blu-ray). I'm afraid I never got around to the U.S. package of Successive Slidings of Pleasure. I'll make some general comments.

Video: Mostly, less robust than the Redemptions (although 2 have a higher bitrate) these are from the same, excellent, restorations. The U.S. transfers usually max out the bitrate and even with the BFI's sharing each of the three dual-layered Blu-rays, they are well supported. The differences between the 1080P renderings may show up in a shade less texture (where smaller file size), but I don't see any artifacts or inconsistencies between the two. Only those with very high end systems will notice any differences between the US and UK transfers which both utilize a strong 1080P MPEG-4 AVC Video. Nothing is cropped and I see no damage. In the color films, the hues match up almost exactly. For more in-depth image reviews, please read the individual Kino review/comparisons where the improvements over the old SDs are very notable.

Audio: Again, very similar to the Kino's with a linear PCM in mono. Trans-Europ Express still sounds a little hollow to me. Georges Delerue (Jules et Jim, The Woman Next Door, The Last Metro, Day For Night) is credited with score on The Immortal One - with Michel Fano + Tahsin Kavalcioglu - which sounds quite nice beside the contemplative visuals. There are some minor effects with depth via the lossless. On Eden and After and The Man Who Lies, its Fano and it seems the biggest beneficiary of the uncompressed rendering. All HD transfers offer optional English subtitles (you can see the slight font difference examples below - the BFI is, marginally, smaller.) The BFI Blu-ray discs are region 'B'-locked.

We get 4 X 6-minute Video introductions (all extras are in 1080P) by Catherine Robbe-Grille (on all but The Immortal One and N. Took the Dice) and 5 excellent commentaries (all but N. Took the Dice) from the encyclopedic knowledge of Tim Lucas - who is starting to become my favorite commentarist! I still have two to finish but they all appear to offer his professional, in-depth level of discussion. Also included are 5 X 1/2 hour interviews with Alain Robb-Grillet by Frédéric Taddeï for all films except N. Took the Dice. These are in French with English subtitles and are a duplicate of the ones found on the specific Kino Blu-rays. There are HD trailers for Trans-Europ Express, The Man Who Lies and Eden and After plus the package has a linera notes illustrated booklet with extended essay by David Taylor, and full film credits.

Pretty sweet to have all 6, in 1080P, of these films in one collection. We get some unique, very artsy, and often very sexy cinema. The films seem to flow and the more I watch them, the more I see in them. Great package from BFI with the Lucas commentaries and interviews - plus the booklet. Fans should be thrilled with this Blu-ray set. Absolutely recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze


 

Sample Menus


 


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

 

 

With his talent for intricate, experimental narratives, and his penchant for sado-masochism as a recurring theme in his work, Robbe-Grillet used film to explore his own sexual desires, resulting in a highly personal and sometimes disturbing body of work that is equally characteristic of European art cinema and the exploitation cinema of the 1960s.

For years, Robbe-Grillet's films have been unavailable in the United States in any form. It is with great pride that Kino Lorber and Redemption Films bring these films to American viewers, in exquisite HD editions, aiding in the rediscovery of one of European cinema's most eclectic and highly original filmmakers.

With its highly stylized camerawork and fragmented narrative structure, Alain Robbe-Grillet's L'IMMORTELLE is a cinematic arabesque that teases the eye with visual delights, yet sadistically confounds the viewer's expectations. Not dissimilar to Alain Resnais's Last Year at Marienbad, which he had written two years earlier, L'IMMORTELLE involves a Frenchman, traveling in Istanbul, who is fascinated by the city's language, architecture, and exotic culture. He soon becomes entranced by a mysterious woman (Françoise Brion) who seems to encourage his attentions but remains, maddeningly, just beyond his reach. His erotic pursuit of her leads him into the criminal underworld...with deadly consequences.

 

 

 

BFI Bitrate:

  REDEMPTION BFI

Runtime:

1:41:35.088

1:41:07.125

Disc Size:

41,114,736,364 bytes

48,771,533,891 bytes

Feature Size:

29,011,774,848 bytes

21,898,307,136 bytes

Video Bitrate:

33.98 Mbps

24.99 Mbps

Chapters:

10

10

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

 

The film begins simply. Writer Alain Robbe-Grillet gets aboard the train with his wife (Catherine Robbe-Grillet, herself the author of the S&M classic L'IMAGE) and a film producer who then suggests they make a film using the train - the Trans-Europ-Express from Paris to Antwerp - as a setting with drug trafficking and rape. Off the top of his head, Robbe-Grillet voices the proposed scenario which features the actor Jean-Louis Trintignant (winking at the camera in his first close-up) as Elias buying a valise with a false bottom and heads to Antwerp to collect a shipment of cocaine. His journey is constantly rewritten and deconstructed by the three on the train who involve him with prostitutes, fake cops, bombs (early on, a rail yard is used to represent the scattered train compartments after an explosion accomplished in an intentionally artificial manner with an comic explosion optical effect). Just when things are moving straightforwards, the plot unravels as writer, producer, and secretary pick it apart. Eva (Marie-France Pisier) goes from being Elias' lover to his accomplice to his victim to a bondage show performer just as spies become undercover cops and Elias' smuggled cocaine appears, disappears, and changes substance. Crisply photographed in black and white by Wally Kurant (Godard's MASCULINE-FEMININE), TRANS-EUROP-EXPRESS has aged well. Its reflexive structure is perhaps not so impenetrable as it might have been to general audiences at the time but the unpredictability of the film's various twists and rewrites keeps things off-kilter and Trintignant is compulsively watchable (as he is in Robbe-Grillet's follow-up THE MAN WHO LIES where he plays a similarly mercurial character). Perhaps even more surprising for the time than the displays of female flesh is the frank though restrained depictions of bondage and sexual violence (in Italy, Robbe-Grillet was called to stand trial for pornography - it didn't help that the Italian distributors retitled the film A PELLE NUDA); fleshy but non-gratuitous elements which continued to infuse his subsequent works like EDEN AND AFTER, PROGRESSIVE SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE, PLAYING WITH FIRE up to GRADIVA.

Eric Cotenas

 

 

 

BFI Bitrate:

  REDEMPTION BFI

Runtime:

1:35:19.463

1:34:53.500

Disc Size:

40,265,018,903 bytes

48,771,533,891 bytes

Feature Size:

28,603,803,072 bytes

24,263,366,016 bytes

Video Bitrate:

35.81 Mbps

30.00 Mbps

Chapters:

12

10

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio Commentary: English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

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

 

 

 

 

BFI Bitrate:

 

  REDEMPTION BFI

Runtime:

1:37:55.702

1:37:17.875

Disc Size:

42,941,880,780 bytes

48,565,627,784 bytes

Feature Size:

30,096,050,112 bytes

21,831,847,488 bytes

Video Bitrate:

36.81 Mbps

25.99 Mbps

Chapters:

10

10

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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

 

 

BFI Bitrate:

 

  REDEMPTION BFI

Runtime:

1:38:37.662

1:38:00.208

Disc Size:

48,359,551,905 bytes

45,560,890,296 bytes

Feature Size:

23,393,354,880 bytes

25,054,252,416 bytes

Video Bitrate:

27.86 Mbps

30.00 Mbps

Chapters:

10

10

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

 

 

Trintignant, in trenchcoat and trilby, investigates a bondage slaying, grilling the heroine in the victim's bedroom which somehow contrives to be also a monastery cell, with trussed-up nuns languishing compliantly in the adjacent sanctum sanctorum. This is Robbe-Grillet amusing himself by scrambling together images and situations out of the overlapping conventions of the murder mystery and the S/M fantasy, taking care never to join the dots to form a coherent narrative and indeed ensuring that no such joining-up can possibly be achieved. This being Robbe-Grillet, none of the characters is permitted anything so crass as everyday sexual congress, though the numerous erotic tableaux should stir even the jaded or disinclined, thanks to the presence of Olga Georges-Picot, playing (but of course!) both victim and defence counsel. Amid all the sleight of hand, the most impressive feat is Trintignant's performance which manages to be simultaneously poker-faced and extravagantly comic. 

Excerpt from Timeout located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:46:28.291

Disc Size:

48,565,627,784 bytes

Feature Size:

23,886,014,016 bytes

Video Bitrate:

25.99 Mbps

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

N. Rolls the Dice (1971) (aka N. a pris les dés...) is a reworking and re-edited version of Robbe-Grillet’s previous film Eden and After (1970), comprising alternate takes and a non-linear timeline seemingly decided by “a throw of the dice.

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:19:00.708

Disc Size:

45,560,890,296 bytes

Feature Size:

18,821,981,568 bytes

Video Bitrate:

27.99 Mbps

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!