The Legend of the Holy Drinker

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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The Legend of the Holy Drinker

#1 Post by Ribs » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:11 am

Winner of the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, The Legend of the Holy Drinker is another classic from the great Italian director Ermanno Olmi (Il posto, The Tree of Wooden Clogs).

Adapted from the novella by Joseph Roth, the film tells the story of Andreas Kartack, a homeless man living under the bridges of Paris. Lent 200 francs by an anonymous stranger, he is determined to pay back his debt but circumstances – and his alcoholism – forever intervene.

Working with professional actors for the first time in more than 20 years, Olmi cast Ruger Hauer as Andreas and was rewarded with an astonishing performance of subtlety and depth. Hauer is joined by a superb supporting cast, including Anthony Quayle (Lawrence of Arabia), Sandrine Dumas (The Double Life of Veronique) and Dominique Pinon (Delicatessen).


• Brand-new 4K restoration from the original negative, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of both the English and Italian versions of the film
• 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Stereo 2.0 options for the English presentation with optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Stereo 2.0 audio for the Italian presentation with optional newly translated English subtitles
• Brand-new interview with actor Rutger Hauer, recorded exclusively for this release
• Interview with screenwriter Tullio Kezich
• Theatrical trailer

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: New writing on the film by Helen Chambers, author of Joseph Roth in Retrospect: Co-existent Contradictions


September 25

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Re: The Legend of the Holy Drinker

#2 Post by TMDaines » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:36 am

So what language version was shown at Venice when it won the Golden Lion? Also are either of the Italian or English versions of the film multi-language and the other is clearly a dub for a specific market?

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Re: The Legend of the Holy Drinker

#3 Post by A man stayed-put » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:15 am

Watched this the other night and thought it was quite wonderful. I went in with little context for the film (was unaware of its existence until recently), source material or Olmi (seen Tree of Wooden Clogs years ago and none of his other work- something I’m now keen to remedy) and therefore no real expectations.

Olmi and Dante Spinotti do some lovely things with the look of the film- the colour within a muted palette- filters, neon, Hauer’s eyes- and the floating, flowing movements of the camera match the gentle pace and tone.
The film’s sound design is what really struck me though, the rustle of the notes that Hauer’s Andreas is constantly carefully folding and taking in and out of the old, battered, envelope. Also the wind under the bridge catching the newspapers he sparsely covers himself with. Most memorably the rain beating down on the Bar during that long, wordless night (maybe days) Andreas spends drinking and reminiscing- it’s the standout section of the film and is something that’s stuck with me over the last few days.

I could go on, particularly about Hauer’s touching performance, but would love to hear the thoughts of anyone else who’s seen this.

The Arrow Blu Ray is a real stunner and, although sparse, the extras are enjoyable (I very much enjoyed the Helen Chambers booklet essay).

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