A while back we reiterated our love of reader feedback electronically or by any other means. Today, you’ll read one of the reasons why we feel this way.
Hello, everybody. Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, today to declare that no, we don’t consider ourselves provincial movie boobs. Rather, we like to picture ourselves as international cinephiles. Although we concentrate on classic Hollywood, good movies that stand the test of time can come from anywhere.
That’s not to say that we are aware of every nuance in acquiring access to foreign movies. For example, Frank received from the British Film Institute a DVD copy of French director Jean Cocteau’s 1950 chestnut, Orpheus. After popping the disc into his player at home, Frank was greeted with a terse message to the effect that — dummy, foreign DVD’s can’t be screened on conventional, domestic DVD players due to various technical factors regarding “compatibility.” Oh, well, nice try.
This gets us to today’s reader letter, received April 3 from Samuel Cochran. He responded to our blog of the day before (The Best Movie Made — Produced By Its Leading Actor) which made reference to director Carl Dreyer’s silent movie classic, The Passion of Joan of Arc starring French actress Maria Falconetti as Joan.
You mentioned Gaumont’s released “The Passion of Joan of Arc.” (Gaumont) still actively releases classic French films. Only their Blu-Ray releases have English subtitles. I recommend three incredible releases on Gaumont Blu-Ray, two you may not have seen:
1) “Antoine et Antoinette,” directed by Jacques Becker, 1947 (That’s Becker pictured above)
2) “Les Amants de Montparnasse” (Montparnasse 19), also directed by Jacques Becker, 1958; and
3) French Cancan, directed by Jean Renoir, 1955 (This one you’ve seen)
You can get them on Amazon.fr I pointed these out to Gary Tooze at DVD Beaver who covers European releases, and he had no idea they existed. I hope you get a chance to see them.
I love your movie site and I enjoy classic Hollywood but I also am passionate for European cinema of the 50s – 60s.
Thanks a lot, Sam. Frankly, we are not familiar with the Becker titles, and have only a hazy recollection of French Cancan. So, we shall track each movie down and take a much over-due look.
Brecker is not exactly a household name in America. Born in Paris in 1906, he was Renoir’s apprentice for many years. He lacked the master’s innate passion for cinema, and he never properly discovered either a style or a subject matter in which he could immerse himself,” writes British author-critic David Thomson.
Be that as it may, we much appreciate hearing about the availability of these titles in the U.S. Maybe this time, Frank’s home player will welcome them with open arms.