Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

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Ribs
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Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#1 Post by Ribs » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:24 am

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Four Films 1936-1938 brings together a quartet of 1930s features by Sacha Guitry, the celebrated French filmmaker, playwright and actor of the stage and screen, each based on his earlier works.
Indiscretions (Le Nouveau testament) follows a holier-than-though physician who is scuppered by his own hypocrisy. My Father Was Right (Mon père avait raison) tells off a man who, after being left by his wife for another man, raises his son to be wary of women. Let’s Dream (Faisons un rêve…) is another story of mistrust, between husband, wife and lovers. And the history of one of France’s most famous streets is retold in Up the Champs-Élysées (Remontons les Champs-Élysées), featuring multiple performances from Guitry himself.
Available for the first time on Blu-ray this set presents some of Guitry’s earliest and most enjoyable works.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
• Limited Edition Dual Format Collection [2000 copies]
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original French mono audio (uncompressed LPCM on the Blu-ray)
• Optional English subtitles
• Two French television documentaries: Cinéastes de notre temps: Sacha Guitry (1965) and Thèmes et variations du cinéma: Guitry (1967)
• An interview with Guitry from the 1959 television series Magazine du théâtre
• 60-page limited edition book featuring new writing on the films

November 13
Last edited by Ribs on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#2 Post by Ribs » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:27 am

I'm greatly intrigued that this is four films from Guitry from the exact same period as the Criterion Eclipse set but of four different films with no overlap at all. (It's a dual-territory release, but makes me wonder if Arrow might be planning to essentially do the Eclipse set but in the UK only as Criterion's got all the rights for in the US).

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#3 Post by knives » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:02 am

Are people really clamouring for more Guitry? I haven't heard anyone give him positives from the english speaking world despite the ration of new releases that have come in the last five years.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#4 Post by Apperson » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:10 am

One recalls the very negative impressions of La Poison when Criterion announced their edition 3 months ago.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#5 Post by Ribs » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:13 am

But if you look at the thread for the Eclipse release, the people who did post after its release were generally positive.

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domino harvey
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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#6 Post by domino harvey » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:17 am

I have the French set that replicates the Eclipse and I believe these titles as well, but haven't been eager to dip my toe in after seeing La poison

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#7 Post by What A Disgrace » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:18 am

I think La Poison, Pearls of the Crown and Story of a Cheat are all among the best films of their respective decades, and I'm thrilled about this release.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#8 Post by TMDaines » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:22 am

I'm looking forward to these and judging them on their own merit.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#9 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:34 am

domino harvey wrote:I have the French set that replicates the Eclipse and I believe these titles as well, but haven't been eager to dip my toe in after seeing La poison
Roll up them trousers and wade away. Cheat and Dream for example are very very different to Poison and if you like high farce you'll be wiggling yer tootsies

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#10 Post by Rayon Vert » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:09 pm

I didn't care all that much for 3 of the Eclipse films, but Cheat is such a delight that I'll take my chances with these.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#11 Post by Ribs » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:51 pm

Delayed to 5 March

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Ashirg
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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#12 Post by Ashirg » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:25 pm

March 26/27 now -
Sacha Guitry has been referred to as the Gallic Noël Coward - a celebrated polymath who worked as a stage actor, film actor, director, screenwriter, and as an acclaimed playwright. Four Films 1936-1938 brings together a quartet of 1930s features by Guitry, each based on his own, earlier works for the theatre.

The New Testament (Le Nouveau testament) follows a holier-than-though physician who is scuppered by his own hypocrisy. My Father Was Right (Mon père avait raison) tells of a man who, after being left by his wife for another man, raises his son to be wary of women. Let’s Make a Dream… (Faisons un rêve...) is another story of mistrust, between husband, wife and their lovers. And the history of one of France’s most famous streets is retold in Let’s Go Up the Champs-Élysées (Remontons les Champs-Élysées), featuring multiple performances from Guitry himself.

This set presents some of Guitry’s most enjoyable works for the first time on Blu-ray, with each film amply displaying the versatile talents of this unique performer and artist.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
• Limited Edition Dual Format Collection [2000 copies]
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original French mono soundtracks on all films (uncompressed LPCM on Blu-ray)
• Optional English language subtitles
• Newly filmed introduction to the films of Sacha Guitry by French cinema expert and academic Ginette Vincendeau
• Selected scene commentaries by Ginette Vincendeau
• Four video essays on different Guitry themes by critic Philippe Durant
• Interviews about Guitry with writer and director Francis Veber, and filmmaker Pascal Thomas
Let’s Make a Dream… sound tests
Let’s Make a Dream… theatrical trailer
• Reversible sleeves featuring newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow for all films
• Limited edition 60-page book illustrated with original stills, featuring new writing by Craig Keller and Sabrina Marques; and credits for all films [Limited Edition Exclusive]

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Ashirg
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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#13 Post by Ashirg » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:27 pm

So neither Criterion nor Arrow Academy releasing his short Le mot de Cambronne that's on Gaumont set?

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#14 Post by Ashirg » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:33 pm

And all television extras from 1960's is now gone...

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#15 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:52 pm

knives wrote:Are people really clamouring for more Guitry? I haven't heard anyone give him positives from the english speaking world despite the ration of new releases that have come in the last five years.
I thought the Eclipse set was amazing, so, yes, more Guitry from the '30s.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#16 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:58 pm

Ashirg wrote:And all television extras from 1960's is now gone...
Damn, I was really anticipating those!

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#17 Post by swo17 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:01 pm

But that cover art

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domino harvey
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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#18 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:23 pm

Dipped into the Gaumont set with Le Nouveau testament and it is now apparent that I may hate Guitry as a creative entity. This film abhors basic and fundamental cinematic pleasures. When people describe a talky movie as stagebound, they’re being hyperbolic unless they’re talking about this movie (and perhaps "moribund" would be even more apt), in which characters talk at each other for unrelenting lengths of time as the camera just sits there. The film even starts promisingly, with a joke predicated on literally the only physical movement in the movie, followed by an extended sequence in which a new servant prolongs his introduction with his employer. This scene is funnier out of context, before everyone else in the film exerts the same obnoxious garrulousness for no reason. There is no differentiation in voice or tone, and what’s here isn’t clever in a way that would excuse it. What a hilarious notion that this film needs to be seen on Blu-ray. If one understands French, it isn’t necessary to see anything on screen at all. And, of course, ultimately it isn’t worth experiencing in any fashion. You know the feeling of trying to escape a conversation with someone who doesn’t recognize social cues and just keeps prattling on while you’re trying to back away? Welcome to the cinematic equivalency.

EDIT: Also,
Indiscretions (Le Nouveau testament) follows a holier-than-though physician who is scuppered by his own hypocrisy
no, it doesn't...

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#19 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:26 pm

Well, now I don’t know where I come down on Guitry, as Faisons un rêve is terrific. Here Guitry thankfully matches his incessant need for endless prattle to a narrative function: Guitry’s cad is enamored with an acquaintance’s wife and spends the film working through various stages of courtship. This leads to endless scenes of Guitry babbling away at his paramour, which for Guitry no doubt counts as seduction! The film’s best moment comes in the middle though, as Guitry gives us a lengthy scene that surely must last for half the running time in which he talks himself through his obsessive emotions while pacing around his empty bedroom, waiting to see if his lover will indeed show up. It’s a smart and cogent use of Guitry’s crutch of incessant speaking, and gives Guitry a reason to do the only thing he seems concerned with in these films: gab gab gab. This one is an exhausting treat!

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#20 Post by domino harvey » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:12 am

Remontons les Champs-Élysées is basically Grandpa Simpson giving a French Revolution rant and is Snooze Central. This is like a 100 minute episode of Drunk History with Guitry’s schoolteacher rambling his way through a slipshod history of France to the delight of his somehow enraptured student charges. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered a writer/director so cluelessly in love with himself as Guitry in these films— even calling it narcissism seems to be missing the severity of his self-love. These movies are like watching someone you don’t like masturbate to their own image in the mirror.

I suspect Noiret’s droning speech about the Champs-Élysées in Zazie dans le metro is a parody of Guitry’s loquaciousness here. At the other end of the decade in 1969, Michel Deville would cite Guitry in Bye Bye Barbara as an example of a French old guard “talent” already completely unknown to French youth. Based on evidence thus far, he shoulda stayed buried. It's inexplicable that these films are being bolstered of late by boutique labels as worthy of rediscovery when there are soooo many French films rotting away in vaults that merit attention, lavish or otherwise. Faisons un rêve is looking more and more like a broken clock situation...

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#21 Post by ethel » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:16 am

STRONGLY recommended to lovers of virtuoso literary theatre and flamboyant performance style. Those who tune in to Guitry will find him enchanting in his glory years. His 30s films give a powerful sense of a charismatic “monstre sacre’” at full stretch with his ensemble of players and technicians over a delightful range of variations on his characteristic themes.

If you find this sort of thing uncongenial, you’re likely to be left cold I suppose. Me, I can’t get enough.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#22 Post by tenia » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:02 am

domino harvey wrote:It's inexplicable that these films are being bolstered of late by boutique labels as worthy of rediscovery when there are soooo many French films rotting away in vaults that merit attention, lavish or otherwise.
Guitry enjoys a very high popularity as a writer and a man of words as a whole. He enjoys this popularity seemingly outside France too, and as part of Gaumont's huge restoration program, his movies are getting newly restored.
I guess this rediscovery is thus nothing more than that : a popular writer who made movies that are currently getting restored, so the materials are available and the guy popular.

We also had recent Coluche movies getting restored recently (mostly by Pathé, some in 4K) and the situation is similar : a popular comedian, whose aren't particularly good (though some definitely are) but are now getting restored, thus available for video releases.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#23 Post by zedz » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:50 pm

domino harvey wrote:Remontons les Champs-Élysées is basically Grandpa Simpson giving a French Revolution rant and is Snooze Central. This is like a 100 minute episode of Drunk History with Guitry’s schoolteacher rambling his way through a slipshod history of France to the delight of his somehow enraptured student charges. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered a writer/director so cluelessly in love with himself as Guitry in these films— even calling it narcissism seems to be missing the severity of his self-love. These movies are like watching someone you don’t like masturbate to their own image in the mirror.
I had to double check that this wasn't an alternative title for Si Versailles m'etait conte, which sounds pretty much the same, a couple of decades later. It was the first Guitry film I saw and it was bum-numbingly dull and hopelessly smug.

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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#24 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:46 am

Well zedz, if you ever hit your head and need the cinematic equivalent of bed rest, you're in luck with most of the films in this set!

And my Guitry exploration reaches the final film covered by this box, Mon père avait raison. The story here is a creaky Kramer vs Kramer precursor: Guitry’s wife leaves him and their son, Guitry raises son but inadvertently teaches him to distrust women. Complications ensue once women enter and/or re-enter both men’s lives. This plot mainly exists so Guitry can sit in a chair and talk to someone else for long periods of time in which little of importance is said. Credit where it’s due, I liked the performer who plays Guitry’s dad early on solely because he is capable of acting outside of Guitry’s dry aesthetic and therefore inadvertently sells Guitry’s impossibly dusty verbosity exhibitions as something resembling human interest with his lived-in laughs and off-the-cuff approach. It occurred to me during this scene that the biggest problem in every Guitry film is Guitry: He is a terrible performer and recites his lines rather than embodying them, like someone running through a table read. He never interacts with others or what they say to him, because he already knows it— he wrote it. Watch the telephone scenes in this film (or, you know, take my advice and don’t go anywhere near this fucking set) and pay attention to how he interacts (or rather, doesn’t) with the other end of the line. Guitry has one acting mode: Guitry. It is not a good single note to continuously strike like Cary Grant, either.

As a special treat, this is the worst-made of the four films, with some of the shittiest editing you will ever see in your life— during one shot-reverse shot, Guitry somehow provides an anti-Kuleshov Effect in which I didn’t even realize one character was actually talking to the other despite being presented in shot-reverse shot because Guitry so ineptly films these two halves via confusingly mismatched everything.

In closing, let me remind everyone that approximately seven years ago in the Guitry Eclipse thread knives already concisely provided the single greatest and most accurate critical summation of Guitry’s work:
knives wrote:Does Guitry ever shut up?

ethel
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Re: Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938

#25 Post by ethel » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:11 am

Pot meet kettle =; .

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