6 February 2013

BFI to release Roman Polanski's Tess (1979) on DVD & Blu-ray This March


On 18 March the BFI will release Tess, the triple Oscar-winning 1979 adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, directed by Roman Polanski (Chinatown, The Pianist). This beautiful-looking film, mastered from a stunning 4K ultra high resolution digital restoration, is presented in a Dual Format Edition, bringing it to Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. Special features include three documentaries covering the adaptation, the technical challenges and the filming experience.

Nastassia Kinski (Cat People, Paris, Texas) gives a career-defining performance as the ill-fated peasant girl of noble origin, whose beauty is both her fortune and her undoing and has strong support from Peter Firth (Equus, The Hunt for Red October, Spooks) and Leigh Lawson (Being Julia, Casanova, Silent Witness).

Reportedly the most expensive film ever made in France at the time, both the long shoot and post-production work had their problems. Original cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth died suddenly during filming and was replaced by Ghislain Cloquet. The Wessex setting needed to be authentically recreated in France, right down to a replica Stonehenge. The film was the first in France to use Dolby Stereo and with an initial cut of over three hours, months more work was needed to reduce it by 20 minutes.

The film went on to win Oscars for Art Direction, Cinematography and Costume Design, the latter won by Anthony Powell, whose original designs are seen here in a short film, a BAFTA for Cinematography and a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.

Hardy’s enduring 1891 novel continues to sell strongly and last year booksellers reported a huge spike in sales after its appearance and significance in the 4 million-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.



Special Features:
• New 4K digital restoration
• Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
• Tess: From Novel to Screen (Laurent Bouzereau, 2004, 29 minutes, DVD only): Polanski on the adaptation of Hardy's classic novel with contributions from Hardy scholars and cast and crew
• Filming Tess (Laurent Bouzereau, 2004, 26 mins, DVD only): cast and crew discuss the technical challenges they faced
• Tess: The Experience (Laurent Bouzereau, 2004, 20 mins, DVD only): those who worked on Tess discuss their experiences
• Costume Designs (2013, 2 mins): Anthony Powell's award-winning designs
• Original theatrical trailer
• Illustrated booklet with essays and credits

Pre-order / Buy:Tess (DVD & Blu-ray) [1979]


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