Eclipse Series 2: The Documentaries of Louis Malle

Discuss DVDs released in the Eclipse and Essential Art House lines and the films on them.
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hammock
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Eclipse Series 2: The Documentaries of Louis Malle

#1 Post by hammock » Sun Jan 14, 2007 4:11 am

ECLIPSE SERIES 2: THE DOCUMENTARIES OF LOUIS MALLE

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Over the course of a nearly forty-year career, Louis Malle forged a reputation as one of the world's most versatile cinematic storytellers, with such widely acclaimed, and wide-ranging, masterpieces as Elevator to the Gallows, My Dinner with Andre, and Au revoir les enfants. At the same time, however, with less fanfare, Malle was creating a parallel, even more personal body of work as a documentary filmmaker. With the discerning eye of a true artist and the investigatory skills of a great journalist, Malle takes us from his French homeland to India to the United States, in some of the most engaging and fascinating nonfiction films ever made.

Six Disc Set Includes:

Vive Le Tour

Humain, Trop Humain

Place de la Republique


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An energetic evocation of the Tour de France, a meditative investigation of the inner workings of a French automotive plant, and an entertaining snapshot of the comings and goings on one street corner in Paris - Louis Malle's three French-set documentaries reveal, in an eclectic array of ways, the director's eternal fascination with and respect for, the everyday lives of everyday people.

Phantom India

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Malle called his gorgeous and groundbreaking Phantom India the most personal film of his career. And this extraordinary journey to India, originally shown as a miniseries on European television, is infused with his sense of discovery, as well as occasional outrage, intrigue, and joy.

Calcutta

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When he was cutting Phantom India, Malle found that the footage shot in Calcutta was so diverse, intense, and unforgettable that it deserved its own film. The result, released theatrically, is at times shocking - a chaotic portrait of a city engulfed in social and political turmoil, edging ever closer to oblivion.

God's Country

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In 1979, Louis Malle traveled into the heart of Minnesota to capture the everyday lives of the men and women in a prosperous farming community. Six years later, during Ronald Reagan's second term, he returned to find drastic economic decline. Free of stereotypes about America's "heartland," God's Country, commissioned for American public television, is a stunning work of emotional and political clarity.

...And the Pursuit of Happiness

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In 1986, Malle, himself a transplant in the United States, set out to investigate the ever widening range of immigrant experience in America. Interviewing a variety of newcomers (from teachers to astronauts to doctors) in middle-and working-class communities from coast to coast, Malle paints a generous, humane portrait of their individual struggles in an increasingly polyglot nation.


....
hammock wrote:Good news - next box-set announced:
JANUARY 13, 2007

Seen 'em Malle

Jon and I have been wanting to get other voices into the mix, and while we have been promised odes on expense reports and projectionists and the ones that got away, it only made sense to turn to Criterion editor Michael Koresky, that iron man of prose, to hammer out the first guest blog of 2007. Here's what he's been up to:

I just got back from an around-the-world trip to Minnesota, India, and Paris, and I did it all in about seven days. I'm not proud to admit that all of that traveling was actually done from the shabby couch in my Brooklyn apartment, while staring at a 27-inch TV screen. The “vacation in your living room!â€

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#2 Post by kekid » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:51 pm

Is this set going to include "Phantom India"?

If not, the first two sets on Eclipse will exclude the most anticipated films of their respective themes: "Sawdust and Tinsel" from the Early Bergman, and "Phantom India" from the Malle documentaries. I wonder if they are being excluded for a full Criterion treatment?

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#3 Post by CSM126 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:18 pm

Considering the mention of India in the blog post, I would assume Phantom India is going to be in this set.

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Jeff
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#4 Post by Jeff » Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:38 pm

CSM126 wrote:Considering the mention of India in the blog post, I would assume Phantom India is going to be in this set.
You're probably right, but the India reference could just as easily refer to Calcutta.

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#5 Post by CSM126 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:04 pm

True, but Phantom India has been announced as a Criterion acquisition in the past. I'm not aware that the same can be said for Calcutta.

Eh. Either way we'll get PI, I'm sure, whether it be part of the Eclipse set or a CC special edition.

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#6 Post by Buttery Jeb » Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:19 am


kekid
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#7 Post by kekid » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:20 pm

This is wonderful news.

I am predicting that in months to come Eclipse will generate more excitement in this forum than Criterion.

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#8 Post by Cinephrenic » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:40 pm

I wouldn't take it that far, but excitment, yes! :lol:

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#9 Post by LightBulbFilm » Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:00 am

I think I just creamed my pants.... Yup, yeah I did... Sorry guys. But in all serious.... Thank you Jebus...

It's about time more Malle got on DVD.... This has me on a Malle kick now... Where's the Fire Within damnit?!?!?!

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Anthony
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#10 Post by Anthony » Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:19 pm

Does anyone know if Criterion is going to include an informational booklet with this release (or any of the Eclipse box releases for that matter)? It sure would be nice.

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#11 Post by godardslave » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:06 pm

Anthony wrote:Does anyone know if Criterion is going to include an informational booklet with this release (or any of the Eclipse box releases for that matter)? It sure would be nice.
I certainly agree and also hope we will get at least reasonable (16-32 page) booklets.

I know the eclipse sets are extras free, but given the wealth of material on each set, some text is necessary to contextualize all that material.

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#12 Post by kekid » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:06 pm

Criterion has issued virtually its entire catalog in one huge eclipse set, without calling it by that name. They called it "Janus Films". However, if we look at what it is, shorn of all extras, cheap, and comprehensive, it is the eclipse title zero, which will be available for limited time. Some have wondered whether eclipse titles might get a full Criterion treatment later. This box raises the converse question: would Criterion titles be offered in a lower-tier format at a later date?

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#13 Post by justeleblanc » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:11 pm

kekid wrote:This box raises the converse question: would Criterion titles be offered in a lower-tier format at a later date?
nope

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#14 Post by Cinesimilitude » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:59 pm


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#15 Post by andysavestheday » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:17 pm

I am very excited about this eclipse line, this release in particular. I'm a fan of documentaries but I've never seen a Malle film. So this set will be a fairly cheap introduction, which is one of the strengths I can see this series having. It can be a way for Criterion to introduce people to directors or films they normally wouldn't shell out big bucks for. I think this set will be around $60 ($55 on amazon preorder), which is a little less than the price of two "normal" Criterions in stores.

I can remember the only reason I got into Criterion and foreign film in general was because I took a chance and bought the Kurosawa box set from forever ago... best purchase I ever made.

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#16 Post by justeleblanc » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:36 pm

hey andysavestheday, welcome to the forum and to louis malle. other criterion malle's you should check out are ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS and AU REVOIR, LES ENFANTS.

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#17 Post by Cinesimilitude » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:39 pm

justeleblanc wrote:hey andysavestheday, welcome to the forum and to louis malle. other criterion malle's you should check out are ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS and AU REVOIR, LES ENFANTS.
And my favorite is Murmur of the Heart, so I think you'd be safe in springing for the Malle Boxset, Andy. It's great stuff.

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Ovader
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#18 Post by Ovader » Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:07 pm

Cinematheque Ontario is having a Louis Malle documentary retrospect this May called THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: THE DOCUMENTARIES OF LOUIS MALLE.

The following will be screened:

AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
CALCUTTA
GOD'S COUNTRY
HUMAIN, TROP HUMAIN
L'INDE FANTÔME
LE MONDE DU SILENCE
PLACE DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE
VIVE LE TOUR

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#19 Post by TCB » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:42 pm

Does anyone know if Criterion is going to include an informational booklet with this release (or any of the Eclipse box releases for that matter)? It sure would be nice.
As you might have already seen with the Early Bergman set, the slim cases are clear plastic with a short essay on the inside cover. There's one for each film in the Bergman box, so it's reasonable to assume there will most likely be something similar for the Malle Documentaries. I was hoping for a booklet or some such, but the Bergman essays are actually rather nice and serve to lightly contexualize why they were chosen.

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#20 Post by ranaing83 » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:18 pm

A review is up at DVD Beaver.

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#21 Post by colinr0380 » Sat May 05, 2007 11:06 am


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#22 Post by Saarijas » Sun May 20, 2007 6:56 pm

It seems most people on this board aren't nearly as excited about this Eclipse set compared to any of the rest. To be completely honest this has been the set that has excited me the most. I found all the documentaries enthralling, and the still culturally relevant "And The Pursuit of Happiness..." probably the best documentary about immigration, or dealing with the concept of what is "foreign". I am just going to assume that the relatively little activity concerning this set reflects poor sales, and that doesn't keep them away from releasing an eclipse documentary set, which I think would be perfect given how poorly represented documentary film is on DVD.

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#23 Post by arsonfilms » Sun May 20, 2007 8:13 pm

This is actually the set that excited me the most, too. I haven't had a ton of time to go through the whole thing yet, but Phantom India was pretty spectacular and Viva la Tour was surprisingly enthralling (considering its a 20 minute short about a bike race). I was a little surprised by the less enthusiastic response when the fiction boxset came out as well, and I wonder if there isn't some bias against Malle for his lack of consistant style or his range in quality (Bergman never did an Alamo Bay or Crackers, after all).

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domino harvey
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#24 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 20, 2007 8:20 pm

It's not that I'm not excited, it's just that it's still sitting on my shelf with a hundred other movies I haven't seen yet.

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#25 Post by Oedipax » Sun May 20, 2007 10:49 pm

I agree, so far this is also by far my favorite Eclipse set. I've been on a real documentary kick lately and seeing all these films in one place is fantastic.

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