881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

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Buttery Jeb
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881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#1 Post by Buttery Jeb » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:35 pm

The Marseille Trilogy

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In the 1930s, Marcel Pagnol, a leading light of the Paris theater, set out for new horizons as a filmmaker in his native Provence. His early masterpieces Marius, Fanny, and César mix theatrical stagecraft with realistic location photography to create an epic love story from the fabric of everyday life. Gruff, sentimental César (music-hall star Raimu) owns a waterfront bar in the old port of Marseille, where his son, Marius (Pierre Fresnay), wipes down tables and dreams of a life at sea. The prosperous, middle-aged sailmaker Panisse (Fernand Charpin), wanting to wed Marius's sweetheart, Fanny (Orane Demazis), sets up a generation-spanning romantic triangle, the story of which unfolds in a series of fateful twists in the films of The Marseille Trilogy, which first earned Pagnol his place in cinema history. "If Pagnol is not the greatest auteur of the sound film," critic André Bazin wrote, "he is in any case something akin to its genius."

Marius

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Adapting his hit play Marius for the screen two years after its stage premiere, Marcel Pagnol turned his inimitable creative energies to the new medium of sound cinema, in a felicitous collaboration with the Hungarian-born director Alexander Korda, soon to be a leading light of British filmmaking. Young Marius and Fanny begin to recognize that their lifelong friendship has blossomed into romance, but their hopes of marriage are left unrealized when Marius cannot overcome his longing to go to sea, against the wishes of his adoring father, César, but with Fanny's selfless encouragement. Pagnol and Korda bring a keening lyricism to this tale of lovers torn between devotion and the restless urge for adventure, a conflict that begins to shape their destinies in ways they could never predict.

Fanny

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The delicate romanticism of The Marseille Trilogy's opening installment encounters harsh reality in this sequel, which picks up moments after Marius has left his would-be wife, Fanny, for a sailor's existence. Soon after his departure, Fanny learns that she is pregnant with his child, to the disappointment of her mother and of Marius's father, César. To secure a better life for her unborn child, she accepts a marriage proposal from the aging widower Honoré Panisse. By turns moving and disarmingly funny, this portrait of heartbreak and its aftermath is buoyed by Pagnol's openheartedness toward his characters, and by director Marc Allégret's vivid and assured depiction of colorful Marseille.

César

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In the final chapter of The Marseille Trilogy, Marcel Pagnol returns his compassionate gaze to his weathered characters as they discover the possibility of reconciliation and the durability of love. Leaping forward twenty years, the trilogy continues with the death of Fanny's husband, Panisse, and the discovery of her secret by her son, Césariot. The young man resolves to track down his biological father, Marius, whose life has been fraught with calamity and poverty. The only film in the trilogy written expressly for the screen and directed by Pagnol, César resolves the protagonists' star-crossed destinies with the garrulous wit and understated naturalism that have made this epic love story a landmark of humanist filmmaking.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 4K digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
• New introduction by filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier
• New interview with Nicolas Pagnol, writer-director Marcel Pagnol's grandson
• Segments of Marcel Pagnol: Morceaux de choisis, a 1973 documentary series on Pagnol's life and work
• Short documentary on the Marseille harbor by Pagnol
• Archival interviews with actors Orane Demazis, Pierre Fresnay, and Robert Vattier
Pagnol's Poetic Realism, a new video essay by scholar Brett Bowles
• French television clip about the restoration of the trilogy
• Theatrical rerelease trailer
• New English subtitle translations
• More!
• PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Atkinson and excerpts from Pagnol's memoirs

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#2 Post by domino harvey » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:04 pm

Buttery Jeb wrote:Don't know if they've been confirmed before, but according to this year's Telluride Film Festival guide, 4K DCP restorations of Marcel Pagnol's Marius, Fanny and Cesar were provided by Janus Films.
HELL YES. I was just talking elsewhere on the forum how I hoped one of the prominent American labels would put these out to get them the visibility they deserve. Such wonderful films, especially the first installment. Glad I put off picking up the French set.

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#3 Post by knives » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:27 pm

I would love it if they could somehow knock out his Le Schpountz too. That's in good need of some release.

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Forthcoming: The Fanny Trilogy

#4 Post by Buttery Jeb » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:49 pm

Following up their screening of the new 4K restorations at Telluride, Janus Films will be exhibiting Pagnol's Trilogy theatrically, starting at New York's Film Forum in January (per their new Repertory Schedule).

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#5 Post by Cinephrenic » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:15 am

Fanny Trilogy confirmation again from Film Forum credited to Janus. Sorry if this was mentioned before.

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Re: Forthcoming: Marseille Trilogy

#6 Post by Minkin » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:41 pm


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Re: Forthcoming: Marseille Trilogy

#7 Post by AK » Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:21 am

Wow, looks very exciting! I've never seen any of the films, but this will be a day one purchase for me. Any recommendations as for useful reading or watching to prep me? I assume this might be a good six months away, so I think I should have ample time to get ready.

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Re: Forthcoming: Marseille Trilogy

#8 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:37 am

I would recommend the Brett Bowles book on Pagnol.

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Re: Forthcoming: Marseille Trilogy

#9 Post by John Shade » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:48 am

I have never seen these films before, but I'm wondering if anyone could share some insight; perhaps some of you had a similar experience or some knowledge about this. In French class in high school we watched Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring--are these films somewhat related to the style of his '30s films? Does Criterion/Janus now possess all of these?

We also watched My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle--early '90s adaptations of his memoirs. I realize Pagnol wrote these, but is the style and tone somewhat similar to his actual movies? Was there in any way an attempt to recreate it in these later films? Are they worth going back to or is my foggy memory of wistful French nostalgia close enough?

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Re: Forthcoming: Marseille Trilogy

#10 Post by teddyleevin » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:16 pm

I watched the first film back in college and thought it was complete charming and I remember being gutted it was over (I didn't have a way of watching the sequels at the time and then it fell on the back burner). If 30s French cinema or Pagnol is of any consequence to you, I think they are simple blind buy!

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Re: Forthcoming: Marseille Trilogy

#11 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:26 pm

I just saw the trailers for the theatrical release of these films at my (preferred) local theater.

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Re: Forthcoming: Marseille Trilogy

#12 Post by artfilmfan » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:23 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:I just saw the trailers for the theatrical release of these films at my (preferred) local theater.
How do they look? How do they look? Let us know.

I hope these films will come to a theater near me.

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Re: Forthcoming: Marseille Trilogy

#13 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:14 pm

artfilmfan wrote:
Michael Kerpan wrote:I just saw the trailers for the theatrical release of these films at my (preferred) local theater.
How do they look? How do they look? Let us know.
These didn't look magically renewed -- but decent enough.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#14 Post by swo17 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:49 pm


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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#15 Post by domino harvey » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:59 pm

So happy this is coming out before the BN sale!

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#16 Post by Ribs » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:14 pm

I'm just curious because the wiki article isn't very clear: so Fanny (1961) is a condensed adaptation of the whole trilogy, or just the two of them? I've not got the best memory of what happened in it other than it being totally alright as far as mid-60's Oscars fare goes, though I'm definitely getting this regardless.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#17 Post by domino harvey » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:16 pm

It's the whole trilogy whittled down to one film, if memory serves. As the old saying goes, don't judge a Pagnol by its Logan!

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#18 Post by knives » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:17 pm

Memory is right. There's even pretty clear chapter breaks with the timeline jumps.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#19 Post by domino harvey » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:39 pm

Would've been nice if they could have included the rare James Whale/Preston Sturges adaptation-- if you thought Logan's Fanny was condensed, that one's the whole trilogy in only 80 minutes!

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#20 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:52 pm

domino harvey wrote:So happy this is coming out before the BN sale!
I was going to say: at that set's MSRP it better be some excellent restoration work.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#21 Post by unclehulot » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:37 pm

I hope that this release doesn't perpetuate the Kino release's redone (and overdone) foley effects! Couldn't stand all those exaggerated footsteps and rustling sounds, and they were not part of the original release.


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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#22 Post by dshooker » Mon May 15, 2017 4:42 pm


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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#23 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:33 pm

Top Amazon review of the set:

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#24 Post by teddyleevin » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:05 pm

I'm in love. I am inspired to make and create a trilogy with him. Call me, Ishmael.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#25 Post by Kauno » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:20 pm

I am only mildly amused by this release. There are so many good films made by good people. But it is good to have this trilogy.

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