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 Post subject: Coffret Jacques Rozier
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:50 am 
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http://www.amazon.fr/Coffret-Jacques-Ro ... 824&sr=8-1
Spotted this for cheap in Fnac the other day and was intrigued by various quotes on the packaging and the promise of undiscovered New Wave treasures. Still, didn't want to blind buy, so here I am. What do people think of Rozier, specifically the films in this set?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:28 pm 

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I love Rozier, and there are indeed some New Wave (and post-New Wave) treasures here.

Adieu Philippine is young romance & friendship in a loose, freewheeling style, a la early Truffaut (especially the Doinel films); Alfonso Cuaron acknowledged it as a major influence on (i.e., he ripped it off for) Y Tu Mama Tambien.

Du côté d'Orouët is Rozier's masterpiece: almost three hours of playful, awkward, painful, and very authentic male/female flirting & jealousy, as three sexy office girls and their nerdy admirer share a beachfront vacation chateau. The gorgeous, summery photography is Rohmeresque, and so is the chatty screenplay, albeit minus the bourgeois pretensions. Maine-Ocean is uneven, but has some wild, funny sequences.

I should add that I've heard two different (and likely conflicting) rumors about US releases of some Rozier, probably both involving a whole or partial port of the French set. (Not from crappy PAL->NTSC offenders like Facets, Kino, or New Yorker, however.) And both sounding kind of iffy, alas, but it might be worth holding out for a year or so if English subtitles are critical for you.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:31 pm 
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All the films in that Rozier box (including the 2 shorts) have English subtitles. The picture quality is not amazing, but ok, and all the films are great.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:43 am 
Dot Com Dom
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Arn777 wrote:
All the films in that Rozier box (including the 2 shorts) have English subtitles.

Oh wow, I've been wanting to see these forever, that's such great news!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
My local rental (Facets) has this so I was able to watch all the movies. I love Rozier, to me he's like a crazier Rohmer. The films are just fantastic, and I'm tempted to buy, but the video quality is quite poor. The second to last reel on Adieu Phillipine looks like a youtube rip, and the contrast on all the films is garbage. Is there any chance this is still in consideration for an Eclipse set?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:29 am 
Dot Com Dom
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Wow, there is almost no discussion anywhere on the internet about this release. Let me change that. As I work through the set, I'll post screencaps and comment on the films and the transfer.

I did import the box solely on the strength of Adieu Philippine's legacy. One of the key New Wave films and yet woefully unavailable until now, I had read and heard so much about this film that while it is perhaps unavoidably a victim of its own reputation, on first viewing it's very easy to see how this fits in as a key piece within the movement. And for a movement that gave the screen so many "girls as we see them," to quote Truffaut, I think I'm not speaking out of turn by claiming Yveline Céry to be the most beautiful of nouvelle vague starlets-- and while we're here, Jean-Claude Aimini is probably the homeliest male lead! The film doesn't care much for its male lead, though it makes a rather dull effort at the beginning. All the characters are young and flighty and only tenuously grasping at the present, and the musical chairs romance is amusing in as much as the girls seem at all times to be having their would-be paramour on. It's love and sex and affection as it truly is for most eighteen year olds: fleeting and disposable and sneakily painful.

A lot of the picture looks to have been shot on the fly with what seems to be bits and pieces of film-- I loved the tracking shots through the city where the girls keep getting picked up for real by strangers-- so the quality varies at no fault of the source. Overall the transfer is mostly good except for one reel, as mentioned above. The DVD mastering company must have been asleep at the switch as for about twenty minutes the film is rendered in a resolution far below the norm for DVDs. This leads to pixelation that doesn't really show up in its default size (ie how I captured the images below) but the bigger your TV, the worse those twenty minutes are going to be. And they're pivotal twenty minutes too! There's a little EPK-type reflection on the film's Cannes premiere, with Godard introducing the film and Truffaut interviewing the cast, but these are sadly unsubbed.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:13 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:33 am
I watched this film a while back only once, so pardon if my memory is kind of fuzzy. But pretty much same as you I was taken by the love triangle of film, other than the qualities you mentioned it was also this tense rivalrous atmosphere between the two close girl friends slowly being tested. I didn't care much for the male lead and how he tried to win over the women it was how these women were reacting to this sudden wedge into their relationship. Though the qualities you mentioned namely

Quote:
fleeting and disposable and sneakily painful.


That the film leaves you with by the end is what differed this film for me from other French New Waves I've seen. I felt it captured something akin to The Mother and the Whore (in fact I think they'd make a great double bill) that certain emptiness in the milieu, as relationships as you said are quite fleeting and disposable. Another thing that I noticed was that it was the younger generation who had such a talkative and lively nature (they were mostly in the foreground except with the dinner table scene, though I don't think the generations mixed very well with one another as they had such different concerns) the adults if I recall correctly were mostly silent or somewhat out of touch/sentimental and had this deflated atmosphere around them. I don't recall seeing any other French New Wave that handled the alienation between generations as this film did.

Edit: BTW how are the other films in the set, I've only seen this one.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:41 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
I'll let domino handle the official reviewing, because I'm much too lazy, but I still think these transfers have horrible contrast. I feel Du côté d'Orouët is actual stronger than Philippine as "art", and is unencumbered by the New Wave baggage, but all the movies are really enjoyable. The Mother and the Whore reference is an apt one, most of these are kind of like a comedic M&tW.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm
I'm going to scoop domino and jump ahead to The Castaways of Turtle Island, the only one of the features in this set that I hadn't seen on 35mm. It continues Rozier's peculiar fixation on beaches / vacations, this time anticipating Survivor and a generation of stupid yuppies with a story involving a bored travel agent (Pierre Richard) who comes up with the idea of a "Robinson Crusoe" trip package in which vacationers are deposited on a "desert island" and required to rough it. (Well, actually, it's his buddy who comes up with the idea, but never mind.) The rest of the movie depicts Richard's efforts to actually find a deserted island in the Caribbean, and then the disastrous maiden voyage, which introduces a sort of Sancho Panza-ish sidekick (pudgy Francois Villeret, from The Dinner Game) and an ingenue (Caroline Cartier, a cutie and a Rozier regular who, I'm guessing, must've been his lady friend).

This is more of an all-out comedy than any of Rozier's other films, and much of it is genuinely hilarious. The movie is two hours and twenty minutes, and as in Du côté d'Orouët (his masterpiece), the duration is critical. It's actually cannily structured, but as in Rivette's longer films, there are long (improvised?) stretches where nothing much seems to happen but that are critical to drawing you into the universe of the movie. It doesn't quite have the undercurrent of melancholy that makes Orouët so moving, but there are some serious ideas here, too. There are major shifts in tone or direction, and major ellipses in the narrative (was the film cut down from a longer length?), but all of them are positioned brilliantly: look at the casual introduction of a new narrator in the last third of the film, or the economy of the short epilogue.

I love the movie so much that I can even forgive Pierre Richard, who's very funny, for looking a lot like Roberto Benigni. And: there's not a turtle in sight.

I borrowed this from a friend so I can't comment on the other DVDs in the set, but the transfer here is perfectly fine. Yes, it's a little bit contrast-boosted, but it's not as bad as many other French or German DVDs I've seen lately.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:37 pm 
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Just working my way through this set and enjoying it immensely.

Adieu Philippine is a key New Wave work, and it slots in very snugly between various Truffaut and Rohmer films, but with a looser feel than either. Nothing earth-shattering, for me, but a very enjoyable couple of hours in interesting company. The transfer is indifferent, with that big goof towards the end marring the experience further, but the underlying materials look like they're in good shape, so there's hope for another, better attempt in the future.

On paper, Du cote d'Orouet almost seems like Philippine redux, but in the interim Rozier has overhauled his approach and delivers, as others have noted, a shaggy-dog masterpiece, a film that (like The Mother and the Whore, as also noted) is content to just hang out with its characters for extended periods and see what, if anything, happens. So here the reference points seem more like Eustache and Rivette, but Rozier is looser and more improvisatory than either. If you can get with the rhythms of the actors (and those rhythms have a lot to do with the echo-chamber self-amusement of a tight-knit bunch of young women - lots of giggles and shrieks) it grows quite beguiling, but Rozier's shambling structure, or anti-structure, masks some striking insights on group dynamics and self-protection that surface on the occasions when somebody's hurt or insecurity peeks out from beneath the giddy bonhomie.

I've also watched the early shorts, which were great. Rentree des classes must be one of the most gorgeous films of the early New Wave (at least until it turns onto more ordinary comedy in the final stretch) and would make a great partner for Les Mistons.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:27 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Perkins Cobb wrote:
Du côté d'Orouët is Rozier's masterpiece

To put it mildly! I enjoyed Adieu Philippine but was in no way prepared for how good Du côté d'Orouët really is. It takes Rohmer's acute awareness of youth, Rivette's flexibility with narrative space, and arguably outdoes both in what must stand as one of the greatest documents of youth I've ever witnessed. Straddling the lines between narrative, documentary, and travelogue, this giggling, rhythmically-pattered thing goes on for nearly three hours but could have stayed another three without outwearing its welcome. "Beguiling" is certainly the word for the film's charms, as trying to write about the film without instantly marginalizing its achievements proves in the process what Chabrol once said about the inadequacies of words to truly describe the cinema. Distance and introspection will either tempter or bolster my initial reaction, which is that this is one the very best films I have ever seen. Take that hyperbole as you will, folks.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:15 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
Perkins Cobb wrote:
Du côté d'Orouët is Rozier's masterpiece

To put it mildly! I enjoyed Adieu Philippine but was in no way prepared for how good Du côté d'Orouët really is. It takes Rohmer's acute awareness of youth, Rivette's flexibility with narrative space, and arguably outdoes both in what must stand as one of the greatest documents of youth I've ever witnessed. Straddling the lines between narrative, documentary, and travelogue, this giggling, rhythmically-pattered thing goes on for nearly three hours but could have stayed another three without outwearing its welcome. "Beguiling" is certainly the word for the film's charms, as trying to write about the film without instantly marginalizing its achievements proves in the process what Chabrol once said about the inadequacies of words to truly describe the cinema. Distance and introspection will either tempter or bolster my initial reaction, which is that this is one the very best films I have ever seen. Take that hyperbole as you will, folks.

Agreed on all counts, this box is the best completely blind buy I've ever made, Between Du côté d'Orouët and The Castaways of Turtle Island I can't think of a filmmaker who I've read so little about connecting with me so strongly. Du côté d'Orouët rivals the best of Rohmer's work and is one of those films that I can't wait to revisit for years to come.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:00 am 
Dot Com Dom
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Finally finished the rest of the Rozier box, so here's screens. The two shorts are juvenilia (especially Blue Jeans), though of the sort that still fits in well with the early Nouvelle Vague output. While watching I wrongly pegged Rentrée des classes as a Truffaut imitation, but it predates Les mistons by two years! The Castaways of Turtle Island is the weakest feature here and it's still really good. If Du côté d'Orouët wasn't already Rozier's masterpiece, Maine Ocean would be-- I can't remember the last time I saw a film that so utterly captivated me by surprising me every five minutes with where the narrative went (and I've carefully skipped screens for some of the more wonderful pleasant surprises here). I realized while finishing this box that what Rozier does best in his post-Nouvelle Vague work is devote ample screentime to moments other directors would elide. And yet Rozier never falls into the trap of Cassavetes and his mumblecore followers of confusing dull improv for "reality" and instead confines us inside these wonderfully amorphous scenes where people interact in real-time in fascinating fashion. It's the private memory of a weird encounter made available to an audience, over and over. What the hell is wrong with you if you don't own this box already??

Rentree des classes / Back to School (1955)

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Blue Jeans (1958)

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Les naufragés de l'île de la Tortue / the Castaways of Turtle Island (1976)

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Maine Ocean (1984)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:35 am 
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domino harvey wrote:
If Du côté d'Orouët wasn't already Rozier's masterpiece, Maine Ocean would be-- I can't remember the last time I saw a film that so utterly captivated me by surprising me every five minutes with where the narrative went (and I've carefully skipped screens for some of the more wonderful pleasant surprises here).
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I liked rather than loved Maine Ocean for most of its running time, but that final sequence took everything to a completely different level: one of my favourite unexpected conclusions to any film. And the best thing about it (and about much of Rozier's work) is that it isn't unexpected in a 'plot twist' way, but, as you say, in an "I never expected this film to include this material".


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:21 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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I forgot to mention this above, but there's a really funny moment in Maine Ocean where the lawyer goes on and on when addressing the judge, extrapolating an endless series of tangents only to finish by saying she'll address those topics more thoroughly once her introduction begins. A clever bit of self-awareness from Rozier on his own style, and given the judge's swift negative reaction, maybe we answered the question of whether Turtle Island was recut as posed above! The judge did it


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
Always glad to see this thread re-bumped. Definitely the lost shaggy-dog of the new wave, I'm surprised that someone like Luc Moullet is more well known for much less. I agree that the shorts are the only dispensables on the set, and while certainly not worthless, the long-form was obviously always Rozier's calling. Has anyone seen Fifi Martingale?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Domino et al., I just placed an order with Amazon UK for the Jacques Rozier set based on your valuable comments. They sound like my favorite sort of film. I noticed that this is another release with the /agnes b./ glyph in the corner. I now own several but had not investigated /agnes b./ herself. Apologies to all who know this already, but she is a smart Parisian fashionista, easily Googled. Her website has a series of films she has selected for distribution through her boutique, and it is one of the smartest short lists I've ever encountered (heavy on Roeg, Herzog, Andersson, and she seems to have personal relationship with Agnes Varda). Agnes B. + Potemkine = Can't Go Wrong. As the day progressed I realized than several books I own about Shepard Fairey and similar contemporary artists include respectable essays by agnes b. So valuable to learn of this hip, established, Curator at Large.

The search also led me to the films of Hubert Viel, whom I did not know previously. His works look valuable, but I have not taken the plunge. Do you know his films? Only a few titles have made it from Amazon FR to UK, and hardly any representation at the US site.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:34 pm 
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Yes, Agnes B basically teamed up with Potemkine for many releases and it's usually very good stuff. They also teamed up for the french Rohmer set.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:53 pm 
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tenia wrote:
Yes, Agnes B basically teamed up with Potemkine for many releases and it's usually very good stuff. They also teamed up for the french Rohmer set.


The /Coffret Intégral Eric Rohmer/ and the Potemkine /Jean Epstein/ set are my best "big" film purchases of the last few years.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:48 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Never heard of Viel but the trailer for Les Filles au moyen Âge makes it look intriguing!


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