Showing posts with label Jeanne Moreau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeanne Moreau. Show all posts

23 September 2013

La Notte (The Night) Masters Of Cinema Blu-Ray Review (1961)

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BD/DVD Release Date:
23rd September 2013 (UK)
Eureka Video
Michelangelo Antonioni
Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti
Buy La Notte:
(Blu-ray) / [DVD]

La Notte is a classic slice of Antonioni. It was made in his native Italy before he later came west and made films such as Blow-Up, Zabriskie Point and The Passenger. It was made at the height of the Italian art films of the early with other films such 8 ½, The Leopard and Accattone. These filmmakers were influenced by or either had their start in the Italian neo-realist movement of the 40s and early 50s. The films instead being about social issues become increasing more internalised and dealt with much more existential themes about alienation and men’s role in modern society.

The film is set during the course of one day not unlike Antonioni’s Blow-Up. La Notte is about a upper middle class married couple, the man Giovanni Pontano (Marcello Mastroianni) and his wife Lidia (Jeanne Moreau). Giovanni is a writer and his latest book La stagine (The Season) has been recently published. They film starts with them visiting a friend in hospital who is terminally ill. Lidia is so upset by the state of her friend she leaves early but Giovanni stays on. On his way out he is almost seduced by a crazy young woman but the nurses pull them apart.

During the course of the day the couple head off to the writer’s book launch party. His wife wonders off from the party but they meet up again in their old neighbourhood, they lived there when they were newly wed. They decide to go to a nightclub and later a party. Over the course of the day their marriage and communication is tested to its limits.

The film is noted for its use of landscape that is empty and barren much like the film’s main protagonists. The film’s credits are over an astonishing shot of city of the Milan from a skyscraper as the camera slowing descends. The film is deliberately made so it bores you at times just like how the married couple is bored of each other.

The film boosts 2 outstanding performances from Mastroianni and Moreau who were really at the top of their game. The character Giovanni is too involved in his narcissistic and needs to plan things. Lidia is the opposite she is too involved in the real word cause she just wonders and distracted by things in the sky and so on.

La Notte is well remembered for it’s stunning cinematography by Gianni Di Venanzo who also shoot 8 ½ starring Mastroianni. Gianni shot the majority of Antonioni’s Italian films. La Notte uses lots of high contrast black and white photography especially at the party segment of the film that is simply breaktaking as is the lighting.

The film was a favourite of Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky. All these filmmakers had a similar detached view or even cold aesthetic so it’s no surprise that they found a kindred spirit in Antonioni even though Bergman did have a real love/hate thing with his films. It’s a fascinating film with gorgeous cinematography, great performances and a perfect blend of a passion, emotion but also emotional coldness.


Ian Schultz

5 March 2013

Atonioni's La Notte To Get The Masters Of Cinema Blu-Ray Treatment This April

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Eureka Entertainment have announced that they will be releasing LA NOTTE on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world on 22 April 2013. One of the most famous international films of the 1960s, directed by the master filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni (L'avventura, Red Desert, Blow Up, Il grido, Le amiche, Zabriskie Point), LA NOTTE stars two of the biggest stars of the European cinema: Marcello Mastroianni (La dolce vita, 8-1/2) and Jeanne Moreau (Jules et Jim, Bay of Angels)

One of the masterworks of 1960s cinema, La notte [The Night] marked yet another development in the continuous stylistic evolution of its director, Michelangelo Antonioni — even as it solidified his reputation as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. La notte is Antonioni’s "Twilight of the Gods", but composed in cinematic terms. Examined from a crane-shot, it’s a sprawling study of Italy’s upper middle-class; seen in close-up, it’s an x-ray of modern man’s psychic desolation.

Two of the giants of film-acting come together as a married couple living in crisis: Marcello Mastroianni (La dolce vita, 8-1/2) and Jeanne Moreau (Jules et Jim, Bay of Angels). He is a renowned author and "public intellectual"; she is "the wife". Over the course of one day and the night into which it inevitably bleeds, the pair will come to re-examine their emotional bonds, and grapple with the question of whether love and communication are even possible in a world built out of profligate idylls and sexual hysteria.

Photographed in rapturous black-and-white by the great Gianni di Venanzo (8-1/2, Giulietta degli spiriti), La notte presents the beauty of seduction, then asks: "When did this occur — this seduction of Beauty?" The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Michelangelo Antonioni’s haunted odyssey for the first time ever on Blu-ray.


• New 1080p presentation of the film in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio with previously censored sequences restored for the first time

• New and improved English subtitles

• Original Italian theatrical trailer

• 56-page booklet with an essay by film-critic and scholar Brad Stevens, and the transcript of a lengthy Q&A conducted in 1961 with Antonioni upon the film’s release.

Pre-order / Buy: LA NOTTE [THE NIGHT] (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray)

2 September 2012

Orson Welles The Trial Blu-Ray Review

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Orson Welles’ The Trial was his penultimate feature length film. His last proved to be Falstaff : Chimes at Midnight but there are fragments of unfinished films such Don Quixote floating about.The Trial is a radical adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel which itself was a radical novel, he changes the book’s already fragmented order up and changes the ending. Welles was offered the chance to make any film from a public domain source by the producer Alexander Salkindso and Welles eventually picked The Trial partly due his son’s insistence and after he re-read it. However he later found it wasn’t in public domain at that time (it now is) but the producer and Welles decided to continue with the project.

The plot is relatively simple Josef K. (played brilliantly by Anthony Perkins) is woken in his apartment by some police officers who arrest him for a crime he is accused of committing, however he is never told of his offence. This starts a increasing downward spiral for Josef K. and increasing surreal events.

Anthony Perkins gives a brilliant nervous wreck of a performance at Josef K. It also really shows his really underused acting talent that sadly few films showed Psycho and On The Beach are the only others that come to mind. The film has a extra level of surrealism by the fact Orson Welles dubbed a lot of characters himself (which he also did in some other films) and the blu-ray makes it a lot more obvious with some dubbing noticeably out of synch at times. Orson himself has a supporting role as a strange law advocate and it seems like Welles redubbed his lines in adr. It also stars French star Jeanne Moreau as Josef’s neighbour.

 The film’s cinematography and sets’ are best Welles did since Citizen Kane with the exception of THAT tracking shot in Touch of Evil and that’s saying something! The film was mostly shot in Croatia (not Kafka’s native Czech Republic) and a lot of the sets weren’t sets at all but strange surreal futuristic buildings in the city of Zagreb.

The film’s structure is fragmented which is partly due to the novel’s structure. The film’s pacing is slightly off which is annoying at times but the film’s quality overcomes this. However it could probably loose about 15 minutes off it’s running time. Overall it’s one of the most flawed masterpieces to be made, which was partly because it’s financial limitations. However Welles’ inventiveness makes a it’s one of his most fascinating films in a career of fascination. It also boosts a stunning performance from Anthony Perkins who deserved a lot more juicy parts in his career. It is also worth noting that Welles believed Josef was guilty but you can make your own mind u[.

Ian Schultz

Blu Ray Release Date: 10th September 2012 (UK)
Directed by:Orson Welles
Cast:Anthony Perkins, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Elsa Martinelli, Orson Welles