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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:09 pm 
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Eclipse Series 44: Julien Duvivier in the Thirties

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Remembered primarily for directing the classic crime drama Pépé le moko, Julien Duvivier was one of the finest filmmakers working in France in the 1930s. He made the transition from silents to talkies with ease, thanks to a formidable innate understanding of the cinematic medium, and he married his expressive camera work to a strikingly inventive use of sound with a singular dexterity. His deeply shadowed, fatalistic early sound films David Golder and La tête d'un homme anticipate the poetic realist style that would come to define the decade in French cinema, while the small-town family drama Poil de Carotte and the swooning tale of love and illusion Un carnet de bal showcase his stunning versatility. These four films—all featuring the great stage turned screen actor Harry Baur—are collected here, each evidence of an immense and often overlooked cinematic talent.

David Golder

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The first sound film by Julien Duvivier also marked his first collaboration with the marvelous actor Harry Baur. Together, they brought to life the vivid protagonist of Irène Némirovsky's best-selling first novel, an avaricious, self-interested banker whose family life is as tempestuous as his business dealings. Directed with visual panache, this grim yet arresting tale showcases Duvivier's preternatural cinematic maturity during a transitional phase for the French film industry.

Poil de carotte

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Julien Duvivier remade his own silent adaptation of a popular turn-of-the-twentieth-century novella for the sound era, resulting in one of his most beloved films. In a tremendously moving performance, Robert Lynen plays the neglected young François, mockingly called Poil de Carotte ("Carrottop") by his family for his mop of red hair. Duvivier sensitively charts the rural daily life of a boy desperate to connect with others, especially his distracted father, played by the chameleonic Harry Baur.

La tête d'un homme

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This meticulously crafted adaptation stars Harry Baur as novelist Georges Simenon's indelible creation Inspector Maigret, investigating the odd circumstances surrounding the killing of a wealthy American woman in Paris. Every bit Baur's equal is the Russian émigré actor Valéry Inkijinoff, cast as a nihilistic, reptilian medical student. Julien Duvivier gives the viewer one evocative image after another, constructing a work of sinister beauty.

Un carnet de bal

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A rich widow, nostalgic for the lavish parties of her youth, sets off across Europe to reconnect with the many suitors who once courted her. In doing so, she embarks on a journey of discovery, both of herself and of how greatly the world has changed in two decades. Julien Duvivier's smash hit is a wry, visually inventive tale of romantic pragmatism that deftly combines comedy and drama.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:34 pm 
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I've been hoping for years that someone would release these Duvivier films, but going by recent form I didn't expect them from Criterion.
It doesn't matter that they are DVDs, it's just great to have them. Kudos to Criterion for a change.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:38 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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This is the real exciting release this month


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:40 pm 
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tojoed wrote:
I've been hoping for years that someone would release those Duvivier films, but going by recent form I didn't expect them from Criterion.
It doesn't matter that they are DVDs, it's just great to have them. Kudos to Criterion for a change.

Can't wait to check these out. Pepe le Moko knocked me out and I recently caught his late-era gems Deadlier Than the Male and Chair de Poule. Both were fantastic and left me hungry for more.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:42 pm 

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Really enjoyed the original carotte, so looking forward for this set. More of this please.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:49 pm 
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pzadvance wrote:
Can't wait to check these out. Pepe le Moko knocked me out and I recently caught his late-era gems Deadlier Than the Male and Chair de Poule. Both were fantastic and left me hungry for more.


"Poil de Carotte" is an amazing film, and practically everyone I know has fond memories of "Un Carnet de Bal". I think you'll love this set.
This will give people the chance to see Harry Baur in 3 films and he is one of the greatest actors in film history, in my opinion. His Beethoven performance for Abel Gance has to be seen.
It might seem silly to say this, but I think this is the release of the year.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:54 pm 
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Totally unexpected, and entirely great. Nothing can beat "Apu" as the best CC release of the year, but this also really makes up for a so-so year of Criterion. These films are all already available on dvd in France, if I'm not mistaken, but if you've never seen them: a collection of four masterpieces. Should be a total blind buy for anyone who needs English subs for these films.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:04 pm 
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Excited for this. Loved Pepe and have been eager to see more of his films.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:53 pm 
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I really liked David Golder and Poil de carotte, so I can't wait to re-visit them and see the other two films in this set. Hopefully we see more classic French cinema releases in the future.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:50 pm 
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Only seen two of these but I'd gladly pay retail price for Poil de carotte alone. A lock for my "films about youth" list whenever we get around to that.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:41 pm 
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I'm only familiar with Guitry and Renoir during the '30s so I'm quite keen on this set. I'm glad he's more familiar to some of you because it sounds like I've got some further reading to do!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:16 am 
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what do the three french titles translate as (I think I figured out David Golder ;))?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:39 am 
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Carrot Top
A Man's Head
Carney's Twilight


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:26 am 
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This is amazing news. TCM showed a number of his early films years ago including this incredible one set in Canada that isn't part of the set. This really is just one of their most compelling releases in long while.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:03 am 
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david hare wrote:
Frankly if it were a case of numbers I would have sacrificed Poil for la Belle Equipe. But I suppose I should be grateful. There is so much more of course, given the sheer proficiency of the man. I mean, yes this is a nice start, but we need much more.

David probably no need to fret. There is a Duvivier retro at Lyon's Festival de Lumiere this year including a restored La Belle Equipe, Presumably this means that the gordian knot of inheritance/rights/writs etc has been unravelled somehow. Also they claim to have used the 'pessimistic' ending so have also probably removed the encrusted german subs. So why settle for an Eclipse ( as wonderful as this set's arrival is) when there should be a blu on the horizon.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:30 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am
A good selection.

I don´t suppose Carnet de bal will include the section with Victor Francen as a professor confronted by his students over his anti-death penalty stance. Francen was born in Belgium, and this sequence was apparently exclusive to the Belgian prints of the film. Might have been a good extra. This info is from the French web board DVD Classik. ImdB doesn´t list Francen under Carnet de Bal.

La belle équipe has recently been restored in 4K by Pathé, including the original ending (giving more info would be a spoiler, perhaps), and shown at this year´s Immagine Ritrovata festival in Bologna. Film historian Lenny Borger found a nitrate dupe of a copy (with the original ending) in the Cineteca Nazionale, Rome.
http://festival.ilcinemaritrovato.it/en ... -equipe-2/
http://www.histoire.presse.fr/dossiers/ ... 1995-91417

Panique (1946), based on the Simenon novel later adapted as M. Hire (1989), has been restored in 2K from nitrate materials (the O-neg is lost):
http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en/article/61648.html
http://www.afcinema.com/Projection-Cann ... Hayer.html


Last edited by Stefan Andersson on Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:47 am 
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The best thing about the silent Poil de Carotte is Madame Lepic's mustache. Au Bonheur des Dames is great though, and is my favorite Duvivier so far (I can't make much of an opinion on him. Liked Pépé le Moko, disliked La Bandera...). I haven't seen any title included here, so that's great! I also like the idea of seeing more of Harry Baur, who I discovered with the Raymond Bernard set, like a lot of people I guess.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:18 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
swo17 wrote:
Carrot Top

Somehow I never expected Carrot Top to enter the collection, but he snuck in through the back door.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:33 am
Saturnome wrote:
The best thing about the silent Poil de Carotte is Madame Lepic's mustache. Au Bonheur des Dames is great though, and is my favorite Duvivier so far (I can't make much of an opinion on him. Liked Pépé le Moko, disliked La Bandera...)
Try La fête à Henriette(1952), provided you enjoy meta-narrative fun.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:31 pm 
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swo17 wrote:
Carney's Twilight

A+


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:17 am 
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Thrilling release, I'm very pleased.

The absence of Belle equipe and La fin du jour in this set could and should mean that they're saving something for a potential second set. Since Duvivier is the most versatile and talented of France's 30s directors one can easily fill two Eclipse sets with his films. La charrette fantome is also a fine remake and Golgotha is one of the very best and most interesting Jesus Christ films.

What I don't get is why they are so slow with these Eclipse sets. They must have the rights to lots of films who'll never make the main line so why not release every month a set?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:14 am 
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I don't think they sell very well at all as it is; I can't imagine upping the release rate would help sales rather than hurt them.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:44 am 
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Ribs wrote:
I don't think they sell very well at all as it is; I can't imagine upping the release rate would help sales rather than hurt them.


This is the hypothesis I subscribe to. Especially considering that in the dual-format announcement, they admitted the majority of sales come from BDs.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:11 am 
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Ribs wrote:
I don't think they sell very well at all as it is; I can't imagine upping the release rate would help sales rather than hurt them.

I know I must be in a minority of probably single figures but I actually am more enthusiastic and an immediate buyer of Eclipse sets than most other titles. Having said that I will probably buy all the latest announcements for the latest month which is the first time since about 2007 I think


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:51 am 
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I agree with domino; this is the most exciting release of the November slate.


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