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 Post subject: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:41 pm 
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The Last Metro

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Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve star as members of a French theater company living under the German occupation during World War II in François Truffaut’s gripping, humanist character study. Against all odds—a Jewish theater manager in hiding; a leading man who’s in the Resistance; increasingly restrictive Nazi oversight—the troupe believes the show must go on. Equal parts romance, historical tragedy, and even comedy, The Last Metro (Le dernier métro) is Truffaut’s ultimate tribute to art overcoming adversity.


SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer (uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
- Two audio commentaries: one featuring Annette Insdorf, author of François Truffaut, and one with actor Gérard Depardieu, historian Jean-Pierre Azéma, and Truffat biographer Serge Toubiana
- Deleted scene
- French television excerpts of interviews with Truffaut, and actors Catherine Deneuve, Depardieu, and Jean Poiret
- New video interviews with actresses Andréa Ferréol, Sabine Haudepin, and Paulette Dubost, assistant director Alain Tasma, and camera assistants Florent Bazin and Tessa Racine
- A video interview with the celebrated cinematographer Nestor Almendros, detailing his collaborations with Truffaut
- Une histoire d’eau, Truffaut’s 1958 short film co-directed by Jean-Luc Godard
- Theatrical trailer
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A new essay by Armond White

ALSO AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY

DVD:
Criterionforum.org user rating averages



Blu-ray:
Criterionforum.org user rating averages



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 Post subject: Re: The Last Metro
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:09 pm 
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I just hope this isn't it for the Late Truffaut. We need Two English Girls and a Green Room more than this.


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 Post subject: Re: The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:32 am 
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Shrew wrote:
I just hope this isn't it for the Late Truffaut. We need Two English Girls and a Green Room more than this.

As well as Story of Adele H. Last Metro is probably Truffaut's least interesting film.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:49 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:59 pm
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But it was also Truffaut's greatest box office success, which is probably why Criterion wasn't willing to let it go as part of a LATE TRUFFAUT set. I just hope they eventually get round to the other remaining Truffauts, particularly TWO ENGLISH GIRLS.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:45 am 
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As far as I know, The Soft Skin, Two English Girls, and the final two films are the remanining Janus properties and should be coming at some point. I believe that all of those titles appeared on Criterion lasers, and I know that my OOP Lorbers of The Soft Skin and Two English Girls still had Janus logos as of their printing 1999. Adele H is an in-print MGM, and as far as I know, The Green Room has also been released by MGM, but only in Region 2.

As for The Last Metro, the previous post is right-on: this was one of Truffaut's biggest box office hits, and the film swept the Césars in 1981. Is it MOR compared to some of the other unreleased Truffauts? Absolutely. But in marketing terms, it's not a bad place to start in terms of getting more of the remaining Truffaut titles released.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:41 pm 
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Une histoire d’eau?! I had been wondering when this would get a release as an extra. I have heard that it is a truly bizarre piece of work.

. . . and Armond fucking White. At least we will finally get that much-needed critical comparison of this film and Schindler's List. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:23 pm 
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At least they're porting over the Depardieu-Azema commentary from the French MK2 disc for those of us who break out in hives listening to Insdorf.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:32 pm 
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I know he claims the least debt to Truffaut among the New Wave but I wonder; was Tarantino at all inspired by this film for the "German Night in Paris" chapter of Inglorious Basterds?


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:51 pm 
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Tom Hagen wrote:
Une histoire d’eau?! I had been wondering when this would get a release as an extra. I have heard that it is a truly bizarre piece of work.

And this is a pretty bizarre place to put it. In my opinion, it's far more Godard than Truffaut (I think JLG took the footage from an unfinished Truffaut project and created an entirely different film out of it) and, as a non-fan of either, I like it better than most of their canonical features.

I was sure Criterion had released this somewhere. I know I've got it at least twice (once on that great Korean 'Their First Films' set and once - I thought - on a Criterion Godard release).


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:40 pm 
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I just saw it recently and I did like it. It is strange that it was released on a Truffaut disc and not a Godard disc, being that Godard's editing and narration is the whole film. Though maybe -- to speculate -- it means that we'll see A Coquettish Woman or Operation Beton on My Life to Live's DVD, being that Criterion doesn't seem to want to throw more than one short film on a disc. Am I wrong? That is of course if Criterion got their hands on prints of either of the two.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:49 pm 
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Zedz, Une Histoire d'Eau was also featured on Madman's Vivre Sa Vie...


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:11 pm 
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Damn you Criterion. I like Truffaut less and less with very film of his that I see (Mississippi Mermaid and Day for Night being particularly intolerable), but I may just buy this in order to finally get my hands on Une Histoire d'eau ( and in glorious hi-def, no less!).


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:59 pm
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How can anyone who loves movies not enjoy DAY FOR NIGHT?

I am, however, with you on MISSISSIPPI MERMAID. It's the only Truffaut film I dislike.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:54 pm 
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ByMarkClark.com wrote:
How can anyone who loves movies not enjoy DAY FOR NIGHT?

Godard to thread


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:20 pm 
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It is a little difficult for me to put into words what I believe Francois Truffaut’s perspective is in Day for Night. This is not because I have trouble grasping it or understanding it. Quite the opposite, in fact. Instead, my reluctance stems from the fact that I find his viewpoint childish, silly, and clichéd, not to mention incredibly dishonest. Day for Night is a fantasy, a film about filmmaking in which filmmaking is an afterthought, an expensive backdrop (a playground really) against which young people can laugh and quarrel and kiss and fuck. It’s a soap opera with high brow allusions and low brow antics. Truffaut’s world is populated with selfish children, ugly innocents who never think farther ahead then finding someone to warm their bed in the evening. Their sexual rapaciousness is the only thing that sets them apart from their director, a sort of pristine demigod, a holy virgin who gives birth to his creation unsullied by the frantic probings and pettings of the cast and crew. He is a holy vessel, a benign and benevolent nonentity who only exists to forgive his actors and compromise with his producers. The film itself is just an excuse to bring this lovely lot together, at best a momentary distraction from the contents of one’s pants. All this is presented with only the faintest hint of irony, heavily outweighed by sentimentality, nostalgia, and sickeningly paternal affection.

Truffaut’s film is a lie. This is not filmmaking, these are not real people, and, most worryingly, this is not Truffaut. The process of making a film is not some subconscious bodily function whereby one goes about one’s daily business of eating, sleeping and fornicating, only occasionally stepping out of the room to excrete a few reels. It is a deliberate act, and something that is both informed by and capable of informing reality. As a result, sex is naturally a part of cinema. But unlike Fellini’s 8 ½ or Godard’s Contempt, Day for Night has nothing of value to say about the relationship between love and art, art and love. The two simply exist, side by side, but rarely touching. Even when one of the lead actors of the film within the film dies, movie “magic” airbrushes the tragedy from the script. The main reason that this barrier lies between reality and cinema is that the director does not exist. By Truffaut’s own (and worthy) auteur theory, the director is the main creator of a film, but the director of Meet Pamela is an absurdity. Ferrand, as played and written by Truffaut, is a mere fixture, another piece of equipment, no more important than a spotlight or a microphone. He doesn’t love, he doesn’t hate, he is a Greek god who directs mere mortals and only dreams about Citizen Kane. No wonder both the film he makes and the film he is in is so lifeless, pop-up books for overgrown children. Truffaut idealizes himself, and, in doing so, inadvertently reveals his own lack of integrity as a filmmaker.

Admittedly, I'm biased against the film by my familiarity with Godard's criticisms of it (famously outlined in a letter to Truffaut that would permanently end their friendship), but I had a feeling of such extreme revulsion while watching it that I cannot entirely attribute my distaste to my admittedly intense admiration for Godard.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 pm 
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carax09 wrote:
Zedz, Une Histoire d'Eau was also featured on Madman's Vivre Sa Vie...

Aha! I think I'd mentally filed that away as a Criterion disc.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:10 am 
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domino harvey wrote:
ByMarkClark.com wrote:
How can anyone who loves movies not enjoy DAY FOR NIGHT?

Godard to thread

A film that concerns itself with the sex lives of all the participants on the movie set except the director's, right? That's such a great story. I haven't read the Brody book yet, but his article in The New Yorker on Truffaut and Godard's epic falling out was a particularly great retelling. My favorite part is how they fight over Léaud like a couple of parents going through a divorce.

FerdinandGriffon wrote:
Admittedly, I'm biased against the film by my familiarity with Godard's criticisms of it (famously outlined in a letter to Truffaut that would permanently end their friendship), but I had a feeling of such extreme revulsion while watching it that I cannot entirely attribute my distaste to my admittedly intense admiration for Godard.

And, for the record, whatever the substantive validity of his criticism of Day for Night, Godard's behavior/motives throughout the said situation were hardly admirable.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:14 am 
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The best part is of course when Godard wraps up his arguments by asking Truffaut to fund his next film. Godard is nothing if not audacious!


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:20 am 
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And then a few years later Truffaut suggests that he call his next project A Shit is a Shit. Good stuff!


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:14 am 
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FerdinandGriffon wrote:
Truffaut’s film is a lie...

Truffaut's Day For Night is a joyful excursion into the more magical side of filmmaking, the side that brings filmmakers back behind the camera time and time again. To compare it to 8 1/2 or Contempt would be unfair because Day For Night is not heavy and weary like those two (as good as they are). Instead, it is the hopeful spirit every director keeps with them, the sense of collaboration and melodramatics and problem-solving and sex that make the wheels turn to keep the silver screen alive that is presented. While it may not explore the darker side of filmmaking, Day For Night is still a fantastic capturing of the joy of making movies, and for that it is great.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:37 am 
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FerdinandGriffon wrote:
Admittedly, I'm biased against the film by my familiarity with Godard's criticisms of it

Godard wasn't criticizing the film- he was personally attacking Truffaut. It wouldn't have mattered what film Truffaut had just released. Being the socially stunted dick he was, Godard couldn't separate his filmmaking from his personal life. When he turned his back on cinema, he also had to attack all the personal connections to it. Truffaut most of all because Truffaut was the one he worshipped most. That's why Truffaut called him "the Ursula Andress of political militancy." Now that Truffaut is safely dead, Godard worships him again.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:54 am 
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GringoTex wrote:
Godard wasn't criticizing the film- he was personally attacking Truffaut. It wouldn't have mattered what film Truffaut had just released. Being the socially stunted dick he was, Godard couldn't separate his filmmaking from his personal life. When he turned his back on cinema, he also had to attack all the personal connections to it. Truffaut most of all because Truffaut was the one he worshipped most. That's why Truffaut called him "the Ursula Andress of political militancy." Now that Truffaut is safely dead, Godard worships him again.

If you haven't read the letter, it was actually full of very justified, if harsh, criticisms of Day for Night. It wasn't actually until Truffaut's response that the argument descended irretrievably into personal attacks... And while you may call Godard a "socially stunted dick" for being able to separate his filmmaking from his personal life, I'd call Truffaut a "morally-stunted dick" for being able to separate his filmmaking from his personal life in such a dishonest, self-denying way.

Also, Godard has always been Truffaut the critic's biggest fan, but has never had much of anything nice to say for any of Truffaut's films other than the first two or three. He certainly hasn't retracted anything he said about Day for Night, nor, honestly, do I think he should.


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:09 am 
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Why did he make such a dishonest and self-denying film? None of us knew Truffaut and I doubt anyone here knows Godard. This was a private argument that became public when Truffaut's letters were published after his death. I think it's ridiculous to rely on criticisms by Godard when discussing this film. Those letter were both very personal and when read, they give off the feel of years of built up anger and disappointment being spit onto a page. I didn't think what Godard said was a valid criticism in any way, but then again he was speaking from a very personal place. I could see if you didn't like Day For Night for any original reason, but to say "I don't like Day For Night because of what Godard said" is a weak statement. Did you see Day For Night before reading the letters? Or has blind worship for an idol polluted all judgement?


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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:03 pm 

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Oh, lighten up, Ferdinand. You're obviously taking DAY FOR NIGHT much more seriously than Truffaut did, or than he imagined anyone else would. It's a comedy, a frothy romantic one on the same wavelength as STOLEN KISSES or BED AND BOARD. (But you probably hated those, too.)

>>A film that concerns itself with the sex lives of all the participants on the movie set except the director's, right? That's such a great story.<<

I think the idea is that everyone in the film is carrying on a romance. The director's romance is with the film he's making (and that romance doesn't turn out any better than any of the story's other affairs). I have a tough time calling it a dishonest film when many of the incidents it depicts (ie, the incident with the cat) actually happened on pictures Truffaut made; and especially when Truffaut's heartfelt love of filmmaking shines through so clearly. Is it sentimental? Romanticized? Sure. That's the point. It's a love-letter to movie-making, not an existential meditation on the idea.

I have a low tolerance for Godard, personally. I appreciate some of his films on an intellectual level, but can't say I really enjoy many of them. I'll grant that some of Truffaut's pictures can be a bit too sweet and dainty, like a frozen daquiri with a little umbrella in it. But, otoh, Godard's films are like a shot of Robitussin. Nor am I particularly impressed by his criticism (or by Truffaut's either, honestly).

But I digress...


Last edited by ByMarkClark.com on Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 462 The Last Metro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:48 pm 
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I've been googling pretty much all morning, and I can't find a copy of the letter anywhere. Does anyone know where there's a copy on the internets?


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