Showing posts with label natassja kinski. Show all posts
Showing posts with label natassja kinski. Show all posts

18 March 2013

Tess Blu-Ray Review

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Tess was the film Roman Polanski made at the end of quite arguably his great period coming on the tails of The Tenant and Chinatown (his masterpiece). Tess however is a very different kettle of fish to those 2 films, one is homage to film noir and one a rather disturbing psychological thriller. Tess based on novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. He made Tess in part as a tribute to his wife Sharon Tate who of course was brutally murdered by The Manson family. Sharon gave Roman a copy not long before her untimely death saying “it would make a great film”.

Tess is about a young woman naturally called Tess. Her family the Durbeyfields find out they a part of old noble family. They have fallen on very hard times and her father makes her see their “relatives”. Her father is hoping for some kind hand-out or work. Tess arrives and her Alec d'Urberville falls madly for her and tries to seduce her but Tess isn’t interested. Alec in reality just bought the name to seem more important than he is. He rapes her and impregnates hers but the child soon dies after birth. She starts working on a dairy farm and begins working as a milkmaid and falls in love with Angel Clare. They start a relationship and get married but it does not end well for all parties concerned.

The film is probably most noted for it being the film that propelled Klaus Kinski’s beautiful daughter Nastassja Kinski to worldwide stardom and it’s luscious photography. Nastassja’s accent is patchy at times but it’s more adequate. The supporting cast is very disappointing especially compared to Polanski’s previous work with no real standouts. It’s from all accounts very faithful to the original Thomas Hardy novel (I’ve never read it) and it’s shows cause for such a simple tale, it does drag a bit especially with it’s near 3 hour running time. Despite its flaws it’s absolutely gorgeous to look at and Nastassja Kinski has always being a captivating screen presence.

Tess was the centrepiece of a recent retrospective of Roman Polanski’s work at London’s BFI and it’s no wonder they have re-released it on a blu-ray/dvd double pack. Polanski is better at psychological torment which Tess touches on near the end with it’s unfortunate incident but check out his earlier work before you watch Tess.

Ian Schultz


Rating: 12
Directed By
Buy:Tess (DVD & Blu-ray) [1979]