Maurice Pialat

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Cinephrenic
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#26 Post by Cinephrenic » Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:46 pm

Has anyone seen L'Enfance nue (a.k.a. Me)? Criterion contender?

fred
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#27 Post by fred » Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:40 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:Has anyone seen L'Enfance nue (a.k.a. Me)? Criterion contender?
Like almost every Pialat film, a total masterpiece. If Criterion had any sense they would have released a pair of Pialat boxsets in the Eclipse line yesterday. Thank G-d for the Gaumont boxes.

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#28 Post by mattkc » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:37 pm

fred wrote:If Criterion had any sense they would have released a pair of Pialat boxsets in the Eclipse line yesterday.
Let's hope they do soon. It would definitely be THE dvd release of the year.
Like almost every Pialat film, a total masterpiece.
I can't wait to see this. Which one of his films isn't? I've only seen six of them, but "total masterpiece" would certainly fit them all. Maybe the shorts?

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zedz
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#29 Post by zedz » Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:13 am

Cinephrenic wrote:Has anyone seen L'Enfance nue (a.k.a. Me)? Criterion contender?
In my opinion, it's the greatest French film of the sixties. Les 400 coups might have come first, but this one is much more nuanced and cuts much deeper.

Any Pialat should be a Criterion contender, and there's a wealth of supporting material and fine transfers there for the taking on the Gaumont sets. Meanwhile, the English-speaking world just has to twiddle its thumbs.

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#30 Post by fred » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:47 am

mattkc wrote:Which one of his films isn't? I've only seen six of them, but "total masterpiece" would certainly fit them all.
I think Loulou is relatively weak. Many people seem to have trouble with Police and/or Le Garcu, but I think they're both major films, if not precisely at the level of, well, everything else.

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jesus the mexican boi
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#31 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:43 pm

Thoughts on Under the Sun of Satan:

Unfamiliar as I am with the Bernanos source material, the "Mouchette" of Under the Sun of Satan cannot be Bresson's Mouchette. But there are, of course, affinities with her and the Curé de Campagne of whom Depardieu seems the heartier brother. Still, Depardieu conveys the affirmities of the mind and spirit in physical terms--his castigating self-flagellation, his hurried breath and troubled brow, his broken words failing to complete sentences. It's perhaps the most nuanced performance I've seen from Depardieu, who too often gets short shrift in the annals of acting, but is often quite compelling when the part is well-written and he can simply inhabit it. "I did not teach you to blaspheme," chides Depardieu's confessor, to which the troubled priest replies, "I do not blaspheme." There's a depth in this quest that goes beyond Bresson, I think, beyond the Catholic, even shades of Bunuel's Nazarin as the unwillingly sainted Depardieu is beset by women seeking his blessing. Time, too, seems held in suspension, as the agitated confessions of small spaces become the fevered reveries of the open road on Depardieu's near-anachronistic dark night of the soul. It's quite the heady mix, and I'd like to revisit it after seeing more Pialat. What a way to get one's feet wet.

And the blurb on the back of the VHS box reads:
"An overwhelming experience. No moviegoer should so much as think of missing it." - David Ehrenstein, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner

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#32 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:24 pm

jesus the mexican boi wrote:Unfamiliar as I am with the Bernanos source material, the "Mouchette" of Under the Sun of Satan cannot be Bresson's Mouchette.
Bernanos' novel Under the Sun of Satan consists of three parts, where the first part is concerned with Mouchette. I read the book quite a long time ago, and I have not seen Pialat's film, but I recall that this first segment struck me as extremely brutal. Like you, I was familiar with Bresson's film, and therefore not a little puzzled by the character of Mouchette.

Some time later I found out that a couple of years after Under the Sun of Satan, Bernanos wrote a short novel entitled Nouvelle Histoire de Mouchette (or, simply Mouchette in the English translation). This was the book that Bresson adapted. In the author's note to the book, he has this to say:

"From the very first pages of this story the familiar name of Mouchette impressed itself on my consciousness far too deeply to be altered.
The Mouchette of Nouvelle Histoire de Mouchette resembles the Mouchette of Sous le Soleil de Satan in nothing except the tragic solitude in which I watched both of them live and die.
May God have mercy on the one and on the other!"

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#33 Post by zedz » Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:43 am

I find Under the Sun of Satan one of Pialat's least characteristic works, and I'm not entirely convinced by Depardieu's casting (especially compared to his career-best performances in his other three Pialats), but it's extremely powerful. Bonnaire is hair-raising, and the night sequence in the middle of the film where Depardieu has his mysterious encounter is bravura filmmaking in which the mood is almost palpable and it's hard to read what's real and what isn't. I recall this taking place in near-darkness, so I hope it didn't lose too much on the VHS.

From here, I'd suggest going on to his third period masterpiece, Van Gogh. I wish I could point you to a subtitled source for his first, La maison du bois!

As for Loulou, I think it's great, though I wouldn't place it in the top, say, five. The scene in the middle with Huppert and Depardieu in bed is a masterclass in screen acting (and, presumably, in directing). Both actors have got chops galore, and they're great together, but something here pushes it into an extra dimension. The dinner party at the end is an excellent scene as well, but it has a lot of competition in Pialat's other films. Maybe Loulou is his most characteristic film.

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#34 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:51 pm

By the way, if there's anyone who hasn't seen Under the Sun of Satan, I'd be happy to lend out my VHS ex-rental, since it's not otherwise easily available. PM if interested.

Got a taker. Thanks.
zedz wrote:
Cinephrenic wrote:Has anyone seen L'Enfance nue (a.k.a. Me)? Criterion contender?
In my opinion, it's the greatest French film of the sixties. Les 400 coups might have come first, but this one is much more nuanced and cuts much deeper.

Any Pialat should be a Criterion contender, and there's a wealth of supporting material and fine transfers there for the taking on the Gaumont sets. Meanwhile, the English-speaking world just has to twiddle its thumbs.
Looks like this is getting a French DVD with some cool extras this month. Can a Criterion edition be far behind?

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#35 Post by Kinsayder » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:22 pm

That's the same 2005 Gaumont set that zedz was referring to. The December reference is just the restocking date.

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jesus the mexican boi
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#36 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:06 pm

Kinsayder wrote:That's the same 2005 Gaumont set that zedz was referring to. The December reference is just the restocking date.
(wiping the oeuf from my visage) -- Sorry about that. I was just all giddy upon stumbling on that "news" moments after hacking my $25 DVD player to play region-free.

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zedz
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#37 Post by zedz » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:39 pm

jesus the mexican boi wrote:(wiping the oeuf from my visage) -- Sorry about that. I was just all giddy upon stumbling on that "news" moments after hacking my $25 DVD player to play region-free.
If you're fluent in French, those sets are a godsend; if not, they're hugely frustrating, so your earlier point about the missing Criterion editions is well put. It doesn't have to be Criterion, of course - the material is all ready and just waiting to be subbed.

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#38 Post by Macintosh » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:33 pm

jesus the mexican boi wrote:By the way, if there's anyone who hasn't seen Under the Sun of Satan, I'd be happy to lend out my VHS ex-rental, since it's not otherwise easily available. PM if interested.

EDIT: Got a taker. Thanks.
Hey, i still have yr VHS (thanks again, btw) but i plan on shipping it back to you tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.


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Re:

#40 Post by tartarlamb » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:25 pm

zedz wrote:I find Under the Sun of Satan one of Pialat's least characteristic works, and I'm not entirely convinced by Depardieu's casting (especially compared to his career-best performances in his other three Pialats), but it's extremely powerful. Bonnaire is hair-raising, and the night sequence in the middle of the film where Depardieu has his mysterious encounter is bravura filmmaking in which the mood is almost palpable and it's hard to read what's real and what isn't.
I like Depardieu unapologetically, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I was surprised at how he took control of a role that seems so patently unsuited for him. I could only compare him to the positively consumptive Claude Laydu playing a similarly fragile Bernarnos priest and marvel at how such counter-intuitive casting could end up making this picture. Its in part because the performance is so physical. Depardieu is usually such a robust and lively figure, but he turns that expectation on its head and uses his lumbering frame to work for him. He's a tottering giant that seems completely incapable of controlling his own mass.

Combine that with the oppressive and atmospheric mis-en-scene, and what could have been a very lousy picture becomes a very impressive piece of direction. Pialat took this film far outside of the dimensions of the script. Few others could have taken such a dense, chatty script and turned the film into something so material. I found myself not even bothering to read the subtitles.

Its not Pialat's best, and yeah, its not a very characteristic work. But it succeeds in the most unlikely places. And Sandrine Bonnaire is, well, Sandrine Bonnaire. Praise would be redundant.

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Re: Maurice Pialat

#41 Post by charulata » Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:57 pm

And Sandra Bonnaire is, well,
...Sandrine Bonnaire.
Sandra maybe slightly undermines her je ne sais quoi.

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Re: Maurice Pialat

#42 Post by tartarlamb » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:08 pm

Haha, how ironic. I guess Sandrine Bonnaire actually isn't Sandra Bonnaire after all. Oops!

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Hopscotch
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Re: Maurice Pialat

#43 Post by Hopscotch » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:45 am

Has anyone located fan subs for Gaumont's release of La maison des bois?

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Re: Maurice Pialat

#44 Post by rumblefish » Sat May 17, 2014 12:16 pm

According to the Gaumont website, the Pialat Coffret 1 has subtitles for the HoH, Pialat Coffret 2 not. These two were released in March 2008 according to Amazon.

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Hopscotch
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Re: Maurice Pialat

#45 Post by Hopscotch » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:40 pm

Just wanted to pop in over three years later and say La Maidon des bois has quietly appeared on YouTube with passable English subs.

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