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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Could you tell me how long is the book and how much text it contains ? I was slightly disappointed by The Apartment book, which is hefty at 150p but actuqlly only has 60p of text.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:00 pm 
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Haven't seen The Apartment book, but this one is very comparable to the one done for Arrow's Kieslowski Dekalog box, if you know that (same sort of thickness, paper stock and binding). Runs to 120-odd pages, about half text and half stills of film frames (not production stills). The photos are nice looking and nicely chosen (but are padding, in essence). Each film gets a short essay, running to three or four pages and set in narrowish, quite closely-packed type, and there are also three extracts from Nestor Almendros' A Man With A Camera included, where he reminisces about working on Pauline, Marquise Of O and Perceval. On the glossy side, then, but not too insubstantial, and quite smart-looking. Describing it as 'generously packed' was maybe an exaggeration. This edges the Kieslowski one for me, though, for the simple reason that I haven't read A Man With A Camera, whereas I've gone through Kieslowski On Kieslowski a number of times, and so the extracts from that featured in the Dekalog book didn't represent a bonus.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:02 am 
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The word count for the Rohmer book is a whisker under 30,000, or about 5,000 more than the Dekalog book.

And you didn't mention the 2,500-word 1987 interview with Rohmer, which comes between the essays on The Green Ray and My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:48 am 
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Yeah, apologies for not referencing that - hadn't looked closely enough for it to register as an interview (it's not laid out in Q&A form); I'll enjoy going through that. And, to qualify, the essays aren't especially 'short' for an accompanying book of this sort. One nice thing about them is that they're so straight-forwardly organised; the text hasn't been bent to the will of the design lay-out, as it sometimes can be (the illustrations are all full-page, so image and text emphatically demarcate each other). 5,000 is quite an increase on the Kieslowski - the narrower, smaller typeface has fooled me by leading to a physically slimmer book. At any rate, anyone fearing an exercise in style over substance should be assured that that isn't the case; there's a good wodge of solid content. And, to emphasize, the camera stills are really quite sumptuous (in the pre-home cinema boxed-set era, such rich illustrations would've been treasured as precious mementos - how spoiled we've become!). The main quibble for me would be that the majority of the text is laid out in white on dark-toned pages, which can get a bit 'afterimage-y' (on these eyes, anyway).


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm
I am still waiting for this set. I had ordered it on the 28th of September.
If anyone in US still waiting for it, could you please let me know? That way I can determine if it is specifically my issue or a general one.
Arrow offices are closed, so it is difficult to get any response directly from them.
Thank you.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Philadelphia via Chicago
I’m still waiting. I wrote them, and they say there was an issue with my address... For some reason, they won’t be able to ship my set till the 2nd week of January...


Last edited by bearcuborg on Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:17 pm
I got mine today and I was wondering, where do I start? The Aviator's Wife? I bought this box blindly as an extravagant Christmas present for myself and I'm completely new to Rohmer too


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:28 pm 
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That's the best film included and a good example of Rohmer's strengths, so sure, and then come back and tell us what you thought!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:58 pm 
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I'd actually probably rank that on the lower end of the set, but that probably highlights how consistent Rohmer was than anything else.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:35 am 
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The Aviator's Wife is delightful if only for the character who comes in to hijack half the movie.

I recently revisited My Night at Maud's (Christmas season) and I still find it the greatest of the Rohmer works I've seen (16 features and three shorts), and perhaps the most robust introduction to the situational quandaries and intellectual ping-pong that were his metier -- though that's not in this set, apparently, nor are the Four Seasons films, of which I think A Summer's Tale is the best. Looking at this set, Pauline at the Beach strikes me as the pearl, though Full Moon in Paris isn't too far off. Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle feels underrated on the whole -- perhaps known to Rohmerians, but not outside of that; it plays like four episodes of a genteel version of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The Green Ray is a movie that comes down almost entirely to its ending -- which it completely nails.

tl;dr: dive in anywhere!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:18 am 
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Big fan of Reinette and Mirabelle over here


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:59 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:36 pm
Location: ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
Anyone in Australia got theirs yet (from Arrow that is). I was informed mine was sent via Whistl.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:26 am 
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charal wrote:
Anyone in Australia got theirs yet (from Arrow that is). I was informed mine was sent via Whistl.


Yes, but only this afternoon. I live in Perth.

Looking forward to diving into the set.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:13 pm 
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Location: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
phoenix474 wrote:
I got mine today and I was wondering, where do I start? The Aviator's Wife? I bought this box blindly as an extravagant Christmas present for myself and I'm completely new to Rohmer too


I watched and reviewed these films for The Digital Fix in chronological order (apart from Reinette and Mirabelle, which shares a disc with The Tree, The Mayor and the Mediatheque) but that may not be the best way to approach this set if you're a Rohmer newcomer. I have to confess that Rohmer's historical literary adaptations have never been my favourites, and I certainly wouldn't suggest starting with The Marquise of O... and especially not Perceval, though they both have plenty of interest.

The book has the essays/articles on the six Comedies and Proverbs first and then the other four films in chronological order. That's as good a way as any to go, though you can watch the Comedies and Proverbs in any order.

I'd seen all the films before. Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle was the one I'd not revisited for the longest time - I'd seen it at the 1987 London Film Festival and not since, partly because I was waiting for it to get a DVD release and it never had one. I thought it stood up very well.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:06 am 
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swo17 wrote:
Big fan of Reinette and Mirabelle over here
Me too, there's something magical about this movie and it was quite the surprise as I'd never seen it before the Potemkine set.


domino harvey wrote:
That's the best film included and a good example of Rohmer's strengths, so sure, and then come back and tell us what you thought!
I'd agree, but surprised you like this one the best. Care to elaborate or point me towards where you've written about it previously?


Otherwise what's the deal with this set, any reason why I should buy this since I have the Potemkine?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:48 pm 
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Black Hat wrote:
Otherwise what's the deal with this set, any reason why I should buy this since I have the Potemkine?

I have the same question.

It sounds, from first report, that the transfers are somewhat better -- but are they SO MUCH better that it would matter to someone with a mere 50-inch antique plasma TV? ;-)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Probably. The Potemkine titles look filtered though still OK on my 50G20 Panny screen so I suppose thr improvement of having a more natural picture would be visible.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:04 pm 
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I don't think I've written on the Aviator's Wife here, Black Hat, but I actually just ordered this set even though I likewise own the Potemkin box. I'm hoping to revisit all of the films and extras and weigh in here, though! My reason for purchasing is that if it turns out I don't think the extras and transfers are worth the price, I can easily make what I paid back and then some on eBay once it goes OOP


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:27 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
That's the best film included and a good example of Rohmer's strengths, so sure, and then come back and tell us what you thought!

I can't say whether it's the best inclusion or not (Pauline and A Good Marriage are up there, too) but I can't think of a better Rohmer to start with: made in the middle of his long career with him in full-stride, and containing a number of characteristic themes (plans being altered by happenstance or serendipity; the gap that can open between intentions and actions; idealism being reshaped by experience and the flow of life, with the lovely flavour of early 80s Paris suffusing it all. There's always sweet sadness watching it too, remembering that Philippe Marlaud died only a few months after completing the film, and at such a young age. His guileless, frustrated yet resilient Francois is one of Rohmer's most affecting characters, while Anne-Laure Meury's turn is a gem. It's one of Rohmer's best-paced and it's non-draining, lengthwise. You'll know after watching it whether rest of his output is likely to offer up much joy.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:13 pm 
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The Aviator's Wife also bridges the Six Moral Tales and the Comedies and Proverbs series, so it sort of serves as an introduction to Rohmer's two big sequences. It's the only one of the Comedies and Proverbs with a male protagonist/point-of-view character and follows the same basic structure of moral tales (man pursues one woman but gets distracted by another). But it's also one where the actresses are clearly dominating the story and female subjectivity becomes more of a focus rather than an enigma. The other good start might be Pauline, which is probably more readily accessible (because of beach, but also because Marlaud and Riviere arguing in a small apartment at 7:00 am in Aviator's Wife might not be the easiest introduction).

The Green Ray is my favorite and A Good Marriage my least favorite (and my vote for Rohmer's worst film, maybe vying with The Sign of Leo), though they are two sides of the same coin (one about an extrovert pursuing romance and the other about an introvert). My opinion may speak more about how I interact with other people than about the films' objective quality. I love Perceval, but as it is trying to represent medieval poetry on film, it is the definition of idiosyncratic.

I like the Marquise of O quite a bit, which is more of a standard costume drama than Rohmer's later histories, albeit one with a very screwed-up center. Its of handling of sexual politics and gender roles (which are determinedly 19th century) walks on eggshells, particularly now, and while I think it pulls it off, it could very well infuriate everyone else.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Actually I liked A Good Marriage quite a bit (as I did all the films of this "series") -- but my heart belongs to Green Ray (the film that convinced me I _should_ further explore Rohmer's work).


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:37 pm 
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I just got my copy and I'm shocked at how small the set is-- I guess I was picturing non-slimlines and didn't realize they were double features-- it's only about as big as the Yoshida box!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:59 pm 
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Only marginally thicker than The Apartment then!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:07 pm 
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Well, since you didn't ask

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:21 pm 
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La femme de l'aviateur (1981)
I followed my own advice and started my rewatching journey through this box set here. It’s been almost exactly nine years since I first (and last) saw this, and I’m now no longer contemporaries of the characters, age-wise. I wonder how nearly a decade of life lived will alter how I see these films of youth (and all films I revisit for the rest of my days)? It’s interesting to note that in my initial writeup, I chastised Mumblecore films for not taking a page from Rohmer here, as he’s giving the movement a blueprint they almost never follow. It takes skill and practice and aforethought to make a movie feel breezy like this, and it only seem improvisational because the characters are so realistic (even in their bold flights of fancy). I will say that in the interim I’ve seen a few Mumblecore films that are worthwhile, and this reminded me a lot of the underrated black and white gem In Search of a Midnight Kiss in its unexpected detours and examination of how an unforeseen and fleeting encounter can color a day in a whole new way.

Sad to say, though, I think the second act here completely overshadows the rest of the film. Marie Riviere’s Anne is never remotely as appealing as Anne-Laure Meury’s Lucie, which as Jonathan Romney points out in his essay, is kind of the idea— Phillippe Marlaud’s Francois is oblivious to Lucie’s flirtations in the pursuit of Anne, a woman who feels pity for him and is less attracted and more flattered by his attentions, however suffocating. But the film suffers on either side of Lucie’s presence for her absence. Again, intentional, perhaps, but it weakens the rather circular arguments between Anne and Francois, which are hard to be invested in given how both teeter at the edge of a breakup for the entirety of the film. These are characters one date away from saying goodbye to each other forever (a la the pilot) and neither fully acknowledges it, though Anne makes a series of threats that seem less sincere than they probably are.

I read the ending here more optimistically than Romney does, though. Francois ultimately does make a move, however infinitesimal, in mailing rather than discarding the postcard, which indicates for me growth, however slight. But Francois remains a frustrating hangdog/lapdog figure, and it’s hard to feel for the results of his inaction and passivity against two assertive women, both more interesting than the flimsy cipher at the center. When I was younger i saw this as a film about the unexpected opportunities a chance encounter can hold. Now I see it more as an exploration of how those unexpected opportunities can be fumbled and dropped.


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