886 L'argent

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swo17
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886 L'argent

#1 Post by swo17 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:07 pm

L'argent

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In his ruthlessly clear-eyed final film, French master Robert Bresson pushed his unique blend of spiritual rumination and formal rigor to a new level of astringency. Transposing a Tolstoy novella to contemporary Paris, L'argent follows a counterfeit bill as it originates as a prop in a schoolboy prank, then circulates like a virus among the corrupt and the virtuous alike before landing with a young truck driver and leading him to incarceration and violence. With brutal economy, Bresson constructs his unforgiving vision of original sin out of starkly perceived details, rooting his characters in a dehumanizing material world that withholds any hope of transcendence.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Press conference from the 1983 Cannes Film Festival
"L'argent," A to Z, a new video essay by film scholar James Quandt
• Trailer
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by critic Adrian Martin and a newly expanded 1983 interview with director Robert Bresson by critic Michel Ciment

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Re: 886 L'argent

#2 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:10 pm

So, they sat on this forever for a film essay and an archival press conference. Glad I never sold my New Yorker DVD, can't believe they didn't enlist Jones to contribute something here

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Re: 886 L'argent

#3 Post by Ribs » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:15 pm

Could be worse - they could have put kogonada's Hands of Bresson on.

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Re: 886 L'argent

#4 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:17 pm

C'est vrai!

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Re: 886 L'argent

#5 Post by ermylaw » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:24 pm

I wish there was a commentary. Those on the other Bresson releases were quite illuminating to me.

Still, I'll buy this release of course.

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Re: 886 L'argent

#6 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:28 pm

Kent Jones does a great one on the New Yorker DVD, if you can find it

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Re: 886 L'argent

#7 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:35 pm

I just realized the Cannes extra was on the NY disc too, so Criterion only added one on-disc supplement while losing the best one (though since NY owned the commentary and is effectively DOA, the failure to license the commentary may be through no fault of their own-- we didn't get the Week End track either a few years back)

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Re: 886 L'argent

#8 Post by swo17 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:37 pm

Guy on the left of the cover: "Take my money!!!"
Guy on the right: "Why won't you let go of it?"

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He axed nicely

#9 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:38 pm

SPOILER!

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Re: 886 L'argent

#10 Post by swo17 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:52 pm

It's a spoiler for those 30 seconds between when you see Criterion is releasing this and when you look at the extras.

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Re: 886 L'argent

#11 Post by AquaNarc » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:36 pm

domino harvey wrote:I just realized the Cannes extra was on the NY disc too, so Criterion only added one on-disc supplement while losing the best one (though since NY owned the commentary and is effectively DOA, the failure to license the commentary may be through no fault of their own-- we didn't get the Week End track either a few years back)
It's almost as if there's another element to this release that you're not mentioning. I can't quite put my finger on it...

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Re: 886 L'argent

#12 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:43 pm

Haha I Kent stop Jonesing for it!

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Re: 886 L'argent

#13 Post by Rayon Vert » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:49 pm

Too bad about the commentary, but after recently watching the New Yorker DVD again, I can't wait to see the picture upgrade.

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Re: 886 L'argent

#14 Post by Cronenfly » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:06 am

The BFI Kent Jones monograph is still floating around, I believe, if like me you missed out on the New Yorker commentary (I am operating under the assumption that there is a good deal of overlap between Jones' book and his audio commentary).

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Re: 886 L'argent

#15 Post by miless » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:57 am

did Criterion get the rights to all of the New Yorker Bresson holdings? I'm excited for the possibility of Lancelot du Lac

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Re: 886 L'argent

#16 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:59 am

Peerpee seemed to think that one was with Olive when it came up a few years back. And yes, the BFI monograph covers much of the same ground

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Re: 886 L'argent

#17 Post by ptatler » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:29 am

This has been one of my most anticipated releases for years (my second-favorite film by my favorite director) so - while I'm grateful to see a Blu finally drop - I'm bummed by the lack of insightful extras. For instance, in my world of Criterion fanfic, I would have loved to see contributions/appreciations from Bresson acolytes (and friends of CC) Paul Schrader, Jean-Pierre Gorin, the Dardennes, and Jim Jarmusch. Oh well. As mentioned above, at least we're not subjected to one of the worst products of a certain video essayest.

That said, I am expecting a lot from the Quandt essay. Quandt's Bresson monograph is essential.

This release also quashes my completely unrealistic fantasy of a Bresson In Color box, containing 4K transfers of his last five films and a reprint of Notes on the Cinematograph as a booklet supplement.

I guess I'd better grow up, manage my expectations, and wait patiently for a bare-bones Trial of Joan of Arc (without Angels of Sin included as a bonus).

I wrote about L'Argent a few years ago after watching it on Hulu's Criterion channel. If I recall, the transfer was better than New Yorker's but still kind of murky.

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Re: 886 L'argent

#18 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:50 am

Speaking of forever forthcoming, what is the deal with Bresson's Jeanne d'Arc still sitting on Criterion's shelf after all these years?

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Re: 886 L'argent

#19 Post by knives » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:40 pm

Maybe they saw the film? I'd assume if they ever do bother with it it won't be for awhile and would be attached to Dreyer's in some fashion like a reissue.

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Re: 886 L'argent

#20 Post by ptatler » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:44 pm

knives wrote:Maybe they saw the film?
Yeah... it's the type of film that would make a perfect "bonus film" supplement to the Blu upgrade of Balthazar or Mouchette.

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Re: 886 L'argent

#21 Post by criterion10 » Wed May 31, 2017 2:54 pm

Beaver

Turns out that Cannes Press Conference was *not* on the New Yorker DVD - and at 30-minutes long, it should be a nice inclusion. And the new feature runs at 50-minutes. So, while appearing light on extras on the surface, and still unfortunately missing the Kent Jones commentary, this actually seems like a better edition than most of us initially thought it would be.

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Re: 886 L'argent

#22 Post by swo17 » Wed May 31, 2017 3:37 pm

I don't know how the footage or content might compare but the two interviews on the New Yorker DVD were "taped at the time of the 1983 Cannes Film Festival."

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Re: 886 L'argent

#23 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:38 am


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Re: 886 L'argent

#24 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:55 am

Quandt's essay only shows clips from other Bresson films Criterion released, but we do get clips of the Devil, Probably. The Olive DVD is OOP...

Another great transfer of a French film bathed in yucky tones, but what else is new. Otherwise looks spectacular, and I enjoyed Quandt's A-Z, even if a few entries ("Q," for starters) are pushing it. The subset of the board that hates analytical readings can safely skip, though Quandt's occasional stretches (the ironic, given the transfer, entry on color) are admittedly sometimes a bit much.

But, I must say, after rewatching the film and exploring the Criterion extras, I popped in the New Yorker disc for the commentary and didn't get very far. Maybe I misremembered my affection from hearing it early on in my film journey or was so taken then by its loose conversational aspects, but Jones' track is obviously half-prepared and a bit tedious, especially in light of Quandt's lengthy yet concise extra. Mea culpa, but Jones' book's still good (...or so I also remember...)

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Re: 886 L'argent

#25 Post by Big Ben » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:08 am

Nice to see the reviews of the Blu-Ray. I have the old Artificial Eye DVD and well that was...well. Anyway I'm quite fond of the film and will definitely pick it up now. I confess I'm confused by the statement about yucky tones however (My inexperience is showing).
domino harvey wrote:Quandt's essay only shows clips from other Bresson films Criterion released, but we do get clips of the Devil, Probably. The Olive DVD is OOP...
I won't be shy about saying that The Devil, Probably is my favorite Bresson. If it comes to Criterion you'll never hear the end of it! Hate on me forum.

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