January 24, 2022

DVDs in good shape, for the love of cinema

It’s been a long time since the DVD vs VOD match is folded. The case is heard, discs are no longer a mass medium for watching films, and unless the internet disintegrates, it is not foreseeable that they will again become so. This does not make the support outdated, even if its functions are not what they used to be.

The key word in DVD publishing is indeed “edition”, editorial work, development of a constructed offer, according to a logic comparable to those of (authentic) book publishers.

The choice of titles, the way of assembling them, of presenting them materially, of accompanying them with elements, audiovisual or printed, which help to understand and love them, define this activity more than ever. It opens up possibilities that are not found in the work, different, venues and festivals, or in the offer of platforms, even if some (Univerciné, LaCinetek, Tënk, Mubi … or the Arte site) they also offer fruitful approaches.

Minority, the DVD is nevertheless part of the cinema ecosystem, more exactly of a dynamic of love and intelligence of cinema, which has never been more necessary. And, to anyone with a reader, these are still some great gifts to offer.

“A violent desire for happiness” by Clément Schneider

Difficult to find better illustration of the above than with this double DVD. The film which appears on the cover was released in theaters in 2018 … the day after Christmas, date-trash where are obliged to pile up the “small films” which could not find place on the big screen at a later time. favorable. It went virtually unnoticed and quickly disappeared from screens.

Yet it is an astonishing film of beauty and energy, a love story under the French Revolution in the landscapes of the Southern Alps, full of vigor and emotion. Not discouraged, its distributor, the valiant independent company Shellac, therefore publishes it on DVD.

Better still, she adds a first unpublished film, Studies for a loving landscape, impressive playful seduction, Rohmerian humor and attention to actresses who occupy almost the entire story. And two more short films, as different from each other as the two features, and which finally convince that Clément Schneider is a full-fledged filmmaker, already a signatory of a rich and diverse work.

Edition: Shellac

“The adventures of Antoine Doinel” by François Truffaut

There is obviously no question of revelation. The 400 Blows, Stolen kisses, Marital home are rightly among the best-known and most beloved films of a filmmaker himself, always rightly, well-known and much-loved – the short film Antoine and Colette and Love on the run, less famous, are certainly not discoveries.

The discovery is first and foremost the quality of these reissues, accompanied by a rich set of commentaries – including presentations by Serge Toubiana – and a large number of period television shows with François Truffaut.

But bringing together the five Doinels is also an invitation to better measure the singularity of what Truffaut invented from his first feature film in 1959, in the register today encumbered with the relationship with the intimate, with autofiction.

It is also having access to two fascinating phenomena. Watch the four DVDs (Antoine and Colette and Stolen kisses are on the same), it is to be put back in contact with this simple miracle of the cinematographic device which consists in accompanying the evolution in time of a human being during twenty years, from the exit of childhood to the age adult, this human being inseparably Jean-Pierre Léaud and Antoine Doinel.

And it means having exceptional access to what is played out, shared, questions, shifts, between a filmmaker and his actor, between Truffaut and Léaud, over the years and through the films. It is very moving and very joyful, and infinitely mysterious.

Edition: Carlotta (box set)

Kōji Fukada in five films

The year 2021 will have rightly dedicated the discovery of a great Japanese director, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, the author of the magnificent Drive my Car, an event of the Cannes Film Festival, but also Chance tales and other fantasies, which marked the Berlin Festival, and should be released in 2022. Undoubtedly, this recognition should in no way deprive of the attention of another excellent filmmaker of the same origin, who is also in the process of conquering the visibility he deserves .

The five films brought together by this box set, Hospitality, Goodbye summer, Sayonara, The nurse and The Sigh of the Waves, make accessible – and should help to draw attention to – the universe and the singular style of this author.

These five films, which are also significantly different from one another, highlight Fukada’s very personal way of fusing everyday and fantastic with a gentleness that excludes neither disturbing shadows nor burlesque notes.

Edition: Hanabi (box set)

“The Heroic Lande (the border is burning)” by Nicolas Klotz and Élisabeth Perceval

Until December 19, the Pompidou center will host the work of the two filmmakers as part of an event, “Le cinéma en commun”, which brings together their films, an installation, as well as a set of reflections and inspired debates. through their work. Within it, large-scale deployment of the resources of image, speech and political questioning of dominant codes, The Heroic Moor occupies an exceptional place.

Produced in Calais in the so-called “jungle” then during its destruction, a key stage in the process of making the misery and violence whose effects we are experiencing today, this fresco is a great adventure of vitality, of curiosity, inventiveness at the same time as an uncompromising portrait of the forces of destruction which, there more than elsewhere, ravage, lock up, mistreat, injure and kill.

It is important that this film exists on DVD to help show it, think and take action. It is also important to include it in all the current works of Klotz and Perceval, which allows the presence of the short film. Fugitive where are you running?, an unreleased feature film Saxifrages, four sleepless nights, and the libretto with notably contributions from Jean-Luc Nancy and Robert Bonamy.

Edition: Shellac

“Lullaby on an air of mystery” by Lav Diaz

He is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest living filmmakers. The work of the Filipino director, for many reasons including the duration of most of his films, remains confidential. And this Lullaby eight o’clock, pure splendor, is unheard of in theaters, at least in France.

This shows how precious is the DVD edition of this immense epic poem, sensation of the Berlin Festival 2016, where the history of the Philippine revolution, mythology, investigation of legends and their reverse side are combined, magnified by the splendor of black and white. and sound work of which the filmmaker is a virtuoso.

This publication follows those of Death in the Land of the Encantos and of North, while waiting for the necessary edition in particular of the recent wonders that are The Woman Who Gone, The Devil’s Season, Halt, Genus Pan.

Edition: Clavis Films

«The Pawnbroker» de Sidney Lumet

Another use of the DVD remains to attract attention and to make accessible films which, without being unknown, had unfairly fallen into the shadows, often for questions of rights which have become inaccessible. Video editors, moreover, often do a blessing job to bring these dormant films back to light.

Thus the admirable achievement in 1964 of the future filmmaker ofA doggy afternoon, from Serpico and you Verdict. He forged there a powerful alloy of realism in the description of Harlem and the invention of fantastic forms reflecting the omnipresence of the trauma of the Shoah.

Also with an impressive portrayal of Rod Steiger as a survivor having lost all hope in mankind, this Pawnshop today reissued under its original title certainly deserves to be (re) discovered.

Edition: Potemkin

Resistances 1936-1945, Jorge Amat

Jorge Amat is a director, without being a filmmaker. Television is the destination of his considerable work as a historian in images, a work today assembled in a box set containing ten films devoted to the anti-fascist battles of the mid-twentieth century.e century.

There are several evocations of the war in Spain (Broken memory) and International Brigades (Hope for memory). We discover the contribution of the Spanish Republicans to the French resistance and its consequences (The Guerrillas of the Val d’Aran) and it evokes one of the most active and courageous groups in the anti-Nazi fight, the Manouchian group of the FTP-MOI (The Hunt for the Red Poster). There are portraits of the leader of the resistance in France (The Voice of Jean Moulin) and one of his greatest figures (The Seven Lives of Madeleine Riffaud), until the nightmarish odyssey that tells The Resistance of the Ghost Train.

These montages of documents and interviews, sometimes supplemented by a few replayed scenes, conceal innumerable moments of emotion as well as important descriptive resources of episodes far from being all known. They reflect this spirit which is still and always that of the four actors of this period, who have become witnesses for times to come which really need it, as they appear in The instinct of resistance.

Edition: Doriane Films (box set)

And also…

DVD releases are also a means of catching up with the beautiful films recently released that we stupidly forgot to see, or to find them, to show them to family or friends. On the menu of the year, among others, Drive My Car d’Hamaguchi, Annette of Leos Carax, Benedetta de Paul Verhoeven, Tuoa’s Journal by Miguel Gomes, There will be no more night d’Éléonore Weber, Onoda d’Arthur Harari…