Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

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Kino Insider
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Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#1 Post by Kino Insider » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:29 pm

Coming May 21st!

Bitter Moon (1992) with optional English subtitles
• New Interview with star Peter Coyote
• New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Troy Howarth
• Theatrical Trailer

Color 139 Minutes 1.85:1 Rated R
Legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski (Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, Repulsion) explores the sexy side of obsession and the wild side of romance in this outrageous look at the dark side of love. Starring Peter Coyote (Heart of Midnight), Emmanuelle Seigner (Frantic), Hugh Grant (Notting Hill) and Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient). A mild-mannered man (Grant) attempts to rekindle the sexual fire in his marriage while on a cruise, but he develops an irresistible infatuation with an eccentric paraplegic’s wife (Seigner). Offbeat and original, this voyage of wild obsession puts a whole new twist on the concept of marital bliss. Featuring dazzling performances and nasty comic moments, Bitter Moon is a hilarious walk on the wild side. Stunningly shot by Tonino Delli Colli (Once Upon a Time in America) with a beautiful score by Vangelis (Blade Runner). Co-starring Victor Banerjee (A Passage to India).

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hearthesilence
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#2 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:42 pm

Kino Insider wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:29 pm
Coming May 21st!

Bitter Moon (1992) with optional English subtitles
• New Interview with star Peter Coyote
• New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Troy Howarth
• Theatrical Trailer

Color 139 Minutes 1.85:1 Rated R
Legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski (Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, Repulsion) explores the sexy side of obsession and the wild side of romance in this outrageous look at the dark side of love. Starring Peter Coyote (Heart of Midnight), Emmanuelle Seigner (Frantic), Hugh Grant (Notting Hill) and Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient). A mild-mannered man (Grant) attempts to rekindle the sexual fire in his marriage while on a cruise, but he develops an irresistible infatuation with an eccentric paraplegic’s wife (Seigner). Offbeat and original, this voyage of wild obsession puts a whole new twist on the concept of marital bliss. Featuring dazzling performances and nasty comic moments, Bitter Moon is a hilarious walk on the wild side. Stunningly shot by Tonino Delli Colli (Once Upon a Time in America) with a beautiful score by Vangelis (Blade Runner). Co-starring Victor Banerjee (A Passage to India).
Looking forward to this. I think this had a mixed reception from the newspapers/mainstream press back when it first opened. Given the success of Four Weddings and a Funeral I imagine having Grant and Thomas in the cast must have helped sell tickets. Regardless, time seems to have been kind because I often see it held up as one of Polanski's masterpieces with some arguing that it's one of his last great films.

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swo17
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#3 Post by swo17 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:49 pm

Well that's preposterous because his recent films have all been varying degrees of great (haven't seen his last one yet though)

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jazzo
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#4 Post by jazzo » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:54 pm

I saw it at TIFF *(when it was still old school "The Festival of Festivals", yo!) back in '92, and the audience ate it up as the dark comedy it was/is, laughing in all the right places, until
SpoilerShow
it becomes the horror its heart truly is in the last few minutes.
I can't wait. It's not perfect like Rosemary or Chinatown (or the first third of his career, really), but it's pretty great mid-career Polanski.

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jazzo
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#5 Post by jazzo » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:05 pm

swo17 wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:49 pm
Well that's preposterous because his recent films have all been varying degrees of great (haven't seen his last one yet though)
I'd agree.

It's almost criminal how easily he integrates pretty standard genre tropes in something like The Ghost Writer, for example, into a fascinating exercise in dread. I recognize that it has these clichés peppered throughout it, but so does he, and the way he manipulates them, and allows them to walk the line between comedy and terror, but never straying too much into either, is breathtaking to watch.

And the first 45 minutes of The Ninth Gate are astonishing. It all falls apart, but it's worth it for that hypnotic set-up.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#6 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:11 pm

swo17 wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:49 pm
Well that's preposterous because his recent films have all been varying degrees of great (haven't seen his last one yet though)
Well, I haven't seen all of them but as much as I liked Carnage and especially The Pianist, I wouldn't call them one of his great masterpieces, but if you want to be generous, sure.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#7 Post by swo17 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:17 pm

I was thinking particularly of Ghost Writer and Venus in Fur, though I don't really put Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown on the same pedestal as everyone else. I guess I like them all about the same.

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Gregory
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#8 Post by Gregory » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:19 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:42 pm
Given the success of Four Weddings and a Funeral I imagine having Grant and Thomas in the cast must have helped sell tickets.
I believe Bitter Moon had already tanked by the time Four Weddings-mania started.

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Fiery Angel
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#9 Post by Fiery Angel » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:28 pm

Four Weddings didn't come out until early '94, and everybody had forgotten Bitter Moon by then.

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domino harvey
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#10 Post by domino harvey » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:32 pm

Bitter Moon didn’t get US theatrical distribution til Spring of 1994, actually

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:03 pm

Bitter Moon is really good, and quite amusing too. Its structured mostly in flashback through Peter Coyote's Oscar cornering Hugh Grant's uptight character on a boat during a cruise and almost forcing him to listen to stories of his tempestuous relationship with Emmauelle Seigner's Mimi. It is a relationship that involves a kind of masochistic game of oneupmanship and escalating provocation between Oscar and Mimi that contrasts quite starkly against Grant and Kristin Scott Thomas's more buttoned up couple of Nigel and Fiona. But how much is true and how much of his story is Oscar just making up for the pleasure of both himself and his steadily more turned on audience?

Things get even more complicated once Mimi appears in the present and starts contradicting some of Coyote's stories, as well as coming on to Nigel who also seems more than willing to be both intellectually (by Oscar) and physically (by Mimi) seduced by the idea of risky sex. Which all leads to a rather wonderfully complex reunion with Fiona at the end (almost an ironic ending up there with Chinatown).

In Polanski terms it kind of anticipates the chamber drama flashback impacting on present action film Death and the Maiden which immediately follows. The duelling couples who kind of barely tolerate each other as much as they are fascinated and cannot leave each other alone contrast quite nicely to those in Carnage. You could even argue that the British PM in exile dictating his memoirs to his ghost writer is similar to Oscar unburdening himself on Nigel, and tantalising him with all of the extra possible meanings behind his words. And this is another in Emmanuelle Seigner's performances as a kind of inscrutably unknowable and potentially duplicitous femme fatale and/or victim to match the earlier co-opted accomplice in Frantic and the later angel of death in The Ninth Gate.

I have found myself thinking of this film quite often in recent years: if you've seen Gaspar Noe's recent film Love that seems very much in the vein of Bitter Moon, particularly in the central relationship being about angry fights and escalating series of sexual provocations between the main couple, as well as this relationship being framed as a kind of reminiscence from one member of the couple projecting backwards onto events, and maybe weighting them differently in the reminiscing. And I sometimes wonder if it, along with Liv Ullmann's Faithless, at all influenced the framing device of Lars von Trier's Nymph()maniac.

(It also goes without saying that this puts the Fifty Shades series in the shade for portrayal of a sadomasochistic relationship that actually does have the potential to go into dangerous areas regarding which member of the couple (really of either couple) is actually 'using' who)
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#12 Post by ford » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:45 pm

Excited about this. A totally bonkers film about loathsome people that leaves a pretty bitter taste in your mouth and yet: it works.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#13 Post by domino harvey » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:42 pm

In the wake of the Simpsons news, massive props to KL for prob being the only label right now that would release a Polanski film in a new deluxe release

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#14 Post by ianthemovie » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:38 pm

I'll second (or third, or fourth) the praise for Bitter Moon, a delicious black comedy about sex and power. Peter Coyote must be seen to be believed. He'll never get another part that good again, nor will he ever give a performance as good.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#15 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:39 am

While Bitter Moon was the more pressing rescue, at some point it would also be nice to see 1994's Death and the Maiden get retrieved from obscurity, especially since it features one of Sigourney Weaver's most intense performances (at least equal to Ripley in the Alien series or Dianne Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist), unafraid to be dislikable as a character who was brutally raped and tortured under a dictatorial South American regime getting the chance for revenge post-dictatorship when she runs across her former torturer by chance and kidnaps and tortures him in return all whilst her ineffectual (both in the past and the present situations) lawyer husband looks on, wringing his hands over the moral dilemma such actions represent.

Its probably not a film which really chimes with the times, both then and now, as it is morally grey and kind of puts to an extreme test the idea of "truth and reconciliation" being anything more than something imposed on top of a situation from outside (by international governments wanting to 'move on' from a situation, in this case represented by the husband who abandoned Weaver's character when she was most in need of him, and now wants to forget about the past entirely) that ignores the traumas and firsthand experiences of those who actually went through events and their need for justice, whilst also suggesting that revenge sullies the initial victim by forcing them to have to take matters into their own hands. Needless to say, you could also draw many parallels with those kind of ideas with the wider Polanski situation if you so wished.

It also has a devastating final sequence amongst the audience for a classical music concert that I like to feel is in the same vein as the long take shot of Nicole Kidman's character in Birth.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#16 Post by Cremildo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:03 am

ianthemovie wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:38 pm
I'll second (or third, or fourth) the praise for Bitter Moon, a delicious black comedy about sex and power. Peter Coyote must be seen to be believed. He'll never get another part that good again, nor will he ever give a performance as good.
I'll fifth the praise, and go so far as to claim it's one of Polanski's best alongside Chinatown and Macbeth.
Despite the fact that it is regarded as a black comedy, it is nonetheless one of the most uncompromisingly painful and mature films about sex I've ever seen, and one of the few that is aware of the occasional blurring of the line that separates love and hate in intense relationships.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#17 Post by Fiery Angel » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:06 am

domino harvey wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:32 pm
Bitter Moon didn’t get US theatrical distribution til Spring of 1994, actually
Ah, my bad. I saw it at the Toronto festival the previous fall and assumed it got distribution soon after, pre-Four Weddings. Carry on.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#18 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 08, 2019 12:53 am

DVDBeaver (NSFW) -- kind of turns into a flipbook there for a little bit

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#19 Post by bdsweeney » Wed May 08, 2019 4:10 am

domino harvey wrote:DVDBeaver (NSFW) -- kind of turns into a flipbook there for a little bit
Certainly don’t view the screen caps if you don’t want the film’s plot points ruined for yourself.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics Acquisitions

#20 Post by schellenbergk » Wed May 08, 2019 7:28 am

hearthesilence wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:11 pm
swo17 wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:49 pm
Well that's preposterous because his recent films have all been varying degrees of great (haven't seen his last one yet though)
Well, I haven't seen all of them but as much as I liked Carnage and especially The Pianist, I wouldn't call them one of his great masterpieces, but if you want to be generous, sure.
Add Oliver Twist to that list. . .

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#21 Post by colinr0380 » Mon May 13, 2019 4:42 pm

The Mondo Digital review might be better for those who do not wish to be spoiled by the DVD Beaver screen captures!


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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#23 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 28, 2019 3:18 pm

The Insider acknowledged the problem on the Blu-ray.com forum and said they''re looking into it. Listening to the evidence posted, if the clips are accurate, it's very, very noticeable given the familiarity of Hugh Grant's voice

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#24 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 29, 2019 5:01 pm

Update: the Insider went on a Mister Lime-esque rant against complainers on the Blu-ray forum, with him confusingly calling them "wire hanger users" (WTF does that even mean?), though that outburst and several posts by members mocking his response have now been deleted since they were made yesterday... though of course the posts defending KL or calling out members complaining about this disc's error remain. Several sycophantic members are now arguing that checking the new transfer against an older copy (DVD, etc) constitutes unrealistic quality check expectations, though thankfully some reasonable voices are starting to chime in to say, "Uh, actually..."

And KL Insider, I'll spare you the effort: I'm a moderator on this forum and I will not be deleting this post for you

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Bitter Moon

#25 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed May 29, 2019 5:17 pm

He went Joan Crawford on their ass.

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