427 Death of a Cyclist

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Jeff
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO

427 Death of a Cyclist

#1 Post by Jeff » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:05 pm

Death of a Cyclist

Image

Upper-class geometry professor Juan and his wealthy married mistress Maria José, driving back from a late-night rendezvous, accidentally hit a cyclist, and run. The resulting, exquisitely shot tale of guilt, infidelity, and blackmail reveals the wide gap between the rich and the poor in Spain, and surveys the corrupt ethics of a society seduced by decadence. Juan Antonio Bardem's charged melodrama Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista) was a direct attack on 1950s Spanish society under Franco’s rule. Though it was ultimately affected by the dictates of censorship, the film's sting could never be dulled.

Special Features

• New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Calle Bardem (2005), a documentary on the revolutionary life and career of director Juan Antonio Bardem
• Theatrical trailer
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by scholar Marsha Kinder and a 1955 essay by Bardem on Spanish cinema

Criterionforum.org user rating averages

Last edited by Jeff on Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
LightBulbFilm
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:11 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

#2 Post by LightBulbFilm » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:08 pm

That looks like Marcello Mastroianni...

eez28
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:51 am
Location: Houston

#3 Post by eez28 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:13 pm

I've obviously never seen it before but that's not La Notte is it?

User avatar
Cinephrenic
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:58 pm
Location: Paris, Texas

#4 Post by Cinephrenic » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:16 pm

Death of a Cyclist

User avatar
Cold Bishop
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 9:45 pm
Location: Portland, OR

#5 Post by Cold Bishop » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:18 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:Death of a Cyclist
Yes, it was also what i was thinking.

User avatar
starmanof51
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:28 am
Location: Seattleish
Contact:

#6 Post by starmanof51 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:19 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:Death of a Cyclist
Nailed it.

User avatar
Jeff
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO

#7 Post by Jeff » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:22 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:Death of a Cyclist
We have a winner!

User avatar
El Manchego
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:33 am
Location: The City that Reads

#8 Post by El Manchego » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:25 pm

Finally; I've been waiting for this for ages. Now if only we could get some Luis Garcia Berlanga in the collection!

User avatar
Gigi M.
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:09 pm
Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep

#9 Post by Gigi M. » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:28 pm

El Manchego wrote:Finally; I've been waiting for this for ages. Now if only we could get some Luis Garcia Berlanga in the collection!
Yeah. El Verdugo is probably one of the best I've ever seen.

User avatar
tryavna
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:38 pm
Location: North Carolina

#10 Post by tryavna » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:33 pm

I caught this on TCM when they did their Janus retrospective last year and enjoyed this film a lot. I've heard some reviewers (at IMDb and elsewhere) call it a film noir, but that doesn't really do it justice. There is an overarching sense of fatalism pervading the movie and some beautiful B&W cinematography (note the watered-down road in the image that Jeff posted), but it also has some rather pointed criticisms of Franco's Spain. It would make an interesting companion-piece to Bunuel's The Brute.

User avatar
Cold Bishop
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 9:45 pm
Location: Portland, OR

#11 Post by Cold Bishop » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:42 pm

It really seemed like this and Blast of Silence would be more fitting for Eclipse. Maybe it just how much I would enjoy a Bardem or "Obscure Noir" (who owns Murder by Contract by the way?) box, but I'm quite suprised these two are getting their own spines.

unclehulot
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:09 pm
Location: here and there

#12 Post by unclehulot » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:14 pm

I enjoyed this on TCM last year as well, great to see it released now.

Has anyone else been struck by a similarity of Lucia Bosé's role in this film compared to her's in Antonioni's 1950 Cronaca di un amore?

Jack Phillips
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:33 am

#13 Post by Jack Phillips » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:39 pm

unclehulot wrote:Has anyone else been struck by a similarity of Lucia Bosé's role in this film compared to her's in Antonioni's 1950 Cronaca di un amore?
Well, yeah. In fact, the films themselves are similar. And I prefer Cronaca to Cyclist.

User avatar
denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

#14 Post by denti alligator » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:03 pm


User avatar
Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#15 Post by Matt » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:15 pm

I'm not a fan of the film enough to buy it, but I do want to mention (especially since there is a palpable sense of disappointment on the forum over the recent titles) that a year and a half ago, we were complaining that there were no Spanish language titles in the CC. Since then, we've gotten Bunuel, Erice, Cuaron, a handful of Saura, and now Bardem. There will always be titles we want more than those that are being released, but I think we ought to give a nod to Criterion when they are doing something right.

Now, on the other hand, I don't know how many more "forgotten noirs" we need...

User avatar
Tribe
The Bastard Spawn of Hank Williams
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:59 pm
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Contact:

#16 Post by Tribe » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:17 pm

Matt wrote:Now, on the other hand, I don't know how many more "forgotten noirs" we need...
Ya can't have too many of those, Matt. :wink:

Tribe

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#17 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:16 pm

I think the presentation we got in BLAST simply reaffirms that little pics like that, sans copious extras, belong in KitParker type releases where you pay around 5 bucks a film for "decent" transfers. The obscure packaging & low price correspond better in my opinion.

My two sous.

Although I'll admit, the German edition w the Barron commentary is not cheap either. Though CC has made it a tossup by not making the release "definitive" since it's a brand new (2006 at least) commentary by the still living director.

User avatar
gubbelsj
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: San Diego

#18 Post by gubbelsj » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:25 pm

One of the interesting things about Bardem is how he and Luis Garcia Berlanga both attended the Madrid film school IIEC shortly after it was originally founded in 1947, and how an Italian film week held there in 1951 proved a major influence upon both directors. Many of the "recent" Italian neorealist films shown during this week had been banned in Spain and the presentation was literally the first chance many individuals had to experience any films from the genre. I think it's fair to say there's a healthy neorealist streak in Death of a Cyclist, in addition to the milder noir aspects. I'm eager to see this film again, and would be even more interested in seeing Bardem and Berlanga's 1952 collaboration Bienvenido, Mr. Marshall, a satirical look at one Spanish village reaping the benefits of the Marshall plan. Anybody familiar with this one?

User avatar
El Manchego
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:33 am
Location: The City that Reads

#19 Post by El Manchego » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:26 am

All we get from Kinder is a new essay? I feel like she at least could have supplied a somewhat lengthy video essay if not a commentary. Oh well.
gubbelsj wrote:I think it's fair to say there's a healthy neorealist streak in Death of a Cyclist, in addition to the milder noir aspects.
What I've most frequently read/heard from various people regarding Death of a Cyclist is a combination of neorealism, film noir, and Hitchcock thriller; which sounds like an excellent combination to me.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

#20 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:28 am

and a little sex

TIVOLI
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:58 pm

#21 Post by TIVOLI » Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:09 pm

This is certainly excellent news: I have wanted to see Bardem's film for a long time. I would also love to see his Calle Mayor once again. I watched it on Spanish television many years ago and found both the story compelling and the noirish way it was shot quite memorable.

Stefan Andersson
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am

#22 Post by Stefan Andersson » Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:11 am

OK, I´m up for BLAST OF SILENCE and DEATH OF A CYCLIST. And MURDER BY CONTRACT could be combined in an Eclipse noir box with BABY FACE NELSON, which apparently only exists now in a single print. Don´t know where I read that.

zone_resident
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:33 pm

#23 Post by zone_resident » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:39 am


User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

#24 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:56 pm


User avatar
Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

#25 Post by Lemmy Caution » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:46 am

El Manchego wrote:What I've most frequently read/heard from various people regarding Death of a Cyclist is a combination of neorealism, film noir, and Hitchcock thriller; which sounds like an excellent combination to me.
Don't forget the melodrama.

It did remind me a bit of Bunuel.
Loved the shot of the rain-slicked highway at the end.

Post Reply