Page 1 of 1

129 Lilith

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:57 am
by MichaelB
(Robert Rossen, 1964)
Release date: 22 April 2019
Limited Blu-ray Edition (World Blu-ray premiere)

Pre-order here.

The final film by the great, yet underrated Robert Rossen (All the King’s Men, The Hustler) is a compelling tale of love, madness, and forbidden desire. Warren Beatty (Mickey One, The Fortune) stars as a young war veteran who takes a job as on orderly in a local asylum and falls under the spell of beautiful schizophrenic, Lilith (Jean Seberg – A Bout de souffle, Bonjour Tristesse).

Boasting a superb supporting cast that includes Peter Fonda, Jessica Walter, Gene Hackman and Kim Hunter, Rossen’s delicate and powerful film is one of the most under-appreciated American films of the 1960s.


• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• The Guardian Interview with Warren Beatty (1990): archival audio recording of the celebrated actor in conversation with Christopher Cook at London’s National Film Theatre
• The Suffering Screen (2019): a visual essay by journalist and author Amy Simmons which explores cinema’s enduring fascination with female madness
• The Many Faces of Jean Seberg (2019): critic and film historian Pamela Hutchinson explores the career of the famed actor
• Theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by lecturer and broadcaster Richard Combs, an overview of contemporary critical responses, archival articles, and film credits
• UK premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies
• All extras subject to change

BBFC cert: 12
EAN: 5037899071854

Re: 129 Lilith

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:02 am
by domino harvey
A great film. Rossen was taken from us at the height of his powers. Plus now I can finally ditch the double feature Blu-ray with Ship of Fools and it already feels great to not have to own that anymore

Re: 129 Lilith

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:25 am
by MichaelB
Final specs:


Re: 129 Lilith

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:38 pm
by MichaelB

Re: 129 Lilith

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 1:25 am
by swo17
Just realized that Gene Hackman's wife in this is a very young Jessica Walter from Arrested Development in a meaty role that was also her film debut!

Re: 129 Lilith

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 9:41 am
by DavyGallagher
| listened to the Guardian Lecture with Beatty last night and it's very, very interesting. I had worried that he'd be more focused on talking about Dick Tracy than anything else but he seems quite engaged in talking about his earlier works. Having read a lot about him and the films, it's perhaps not the most reliable information he gives (particularly about the cast morale making Reds) but it's HIS side nonetheless.

Amy Simmons piece is also very indormative and really throws light on depictions on female madness and how it's portrayed so differently from men going insane. On they have an issue with modern pieces "judging" old films (witness a page of moaning about the Weird Science bluray from Arrow having a doc about gender issues) but I think showing differences can help us appreciate other people's vantage points and where we have often taken things like gender for granted

Re: 129 Lilith

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:03 pm
by MichaelB
Cinema Scope (Jonathan Rosenbaum).

Re: 129 Lilith

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:22 pm
by ando
I really like Beatty in this one. Can't be easy to convey intense inner life turmoil without indicating psychosis, on one hand, or appearing insolent (looking sexy but ultimately boring the audience) on the other. He walks that edge admirably. I've long felt it is one of his best performances. (ICurrently streaming on APrimeVideo, btw.)

Re: 129 Lilith

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:35 am
by M Sanderson
Is this the same source used by Mill Creek stateside but with a better encode?

Re: 129 Lilith

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:10 pm
by therewillbeblus
Full disclosure: I wasn’t crazy about this the first time I watched it years ago because at the time it seemed to follow the Short Term 12 syndrome of a near-perfect representation of the milieu of residential treatment with exaggerated dramatics that left a bitter taste in my mouth. While that modern film continues to frustrates me, a revisit of this one was a monumental improvement. Once I was able to get on its wavelength the dynamics rang true in placing the very real countertransference between clinical worker and patient into a cinematic dramatic narrative without losing the authenticity of the issue being explored.

The performances and script meditate on details that provide magnetizing curiosity, psychologically drawing us to Seberg and the other patients, as well as Beatty who strikes me as a traumatized man craving connection but presenting as disconnected, a state that a part of him is fighting. The emotionally charged vicarious selfish justice that Larson commits in the 2012 film is so direct in belly-flopping into the artificiality of the movies that it feels out of step with the otherwise compelling narrative, while Beatty and Seberg’s relationship grows naturally, and the photography and sound design plant us intimately close with them, admiring the quirks and subtle attractions, reminding us of something honest and real without a power differential - which is key to respecting what this film is doing.

The film casts a light on Beatty as the primary character study of dysfunctional behavior and thought patterns, and Rossen has the audacity to dictate the fine line between the hospitalized patients and the “normal” people on the outside, who have just a few more skills to cope with their brokenness in socially appropriate ways. Lilith arguably has more self-regulation skills to remain feeling free as she’s trapped in an institution, while Beatty requires co-regulation from his role in a job being told what to do, other people to latch onto, and escapism into suppression. The argument that those in these settings have more resilience than those on the outside has only recently been theorized and this film is way ahead of its time on professing that view. The conversation about insanity and unhappiness as synonymous is interesting and Beatty’s defensive stance only cements his inability to cope with insight while the patients can.

The raw emotionally-driven interactions carry an internal logic that is also extraordinarily bold for the time. The way Walter offers herself to Beatty through the reason that she’s married but to another man is so bizarre and yet the performances elicit a desperate clawing at how to express the need to connect and make sense of ineffable drives. Her standing over his avoidant slumped flat affect makes her seem like the caretaker for his patient, though even in this physical and communication power differential, both are crushed. As Beatty finds the one place where he can exert such power by blending into a professional role, he continues to divert from his own development of growth. Lilith asks him early on why he does this for a job when he could do anything, a question he doesn’t have an answer to, but nobody goes into the human services field without a very personal reason, conscious or not, and Rossen swarms us in a field of questions via dizzied atmosphere of role fluidity, which is the right way to approach this subject.

I’m so glad I revisited this one- it’s made a complete reverse and ascended in my esteem to being one of Indicator’s best releases, and one of my favorite films on the subject of institutional psychological treatment, because of the fearlessness in tackling taboo realities while cautiously disengaging from offensively overcooking the dramatics into a faulty attempt at catharsis via self-gratifying indulgence as so many lesser films have done.