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Un Chant D'Amour [DVD] [1950] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

André Reybaz , Java , Jean Genet    DVD

Price: £11.11
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Viewing for That Certain Film Fan.... 11 May 2007
By Randy Buck - Published on
Nice to have a really decent transfer of the Genet classic made available to a wide audience. The print I struggled to discern decades ago at Manhattan's Thalia was barely watchable; while hardly pristine, this DVD looks just fine. And the film itself is still remarkable, certainly one of the most influential of gay artworks. (Todd Haynes, Pierre et Gilles, Warhol -- the list of those who've aped Genet's imagery here is endless.) Suffice it to say, for most sophisticated audiences, many of the visuals here will seem familiar even the first time around. The commentary from Kenneth Anger's disappointing (when the guard brandishes his gun in the most obvious manner imaginable, Anger helpfully tells us the image is meant to be erotic -- thanks, Ken!) But the introduction from Jonas Mekas, where he tells how the picture was smuggled into New York in the 60's, is fascinating. Also included are two French interviews with Genet, which come guaranteed to cure the strongest case of insomnia -- he drones on with all the assurance of a figure whose every utterance has been hung upon by decades of Parisian intellectuals. Seeing him is interesting, but a little of these documentaries goes a very, very, veeerrryyyyy long way. All in all, though, a must see for Experimental Cinema 101.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bonus disk has two long interviews with Genet 20 Sep 2009
By Julie Vognar - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The 1950 film itself is only 25 minutes long, and is about (as Anger tells us, unnecessarily) "how people are separated by walls." They fantasize about each other, or others, are miserable, cry, dream, dance around, masturbating--or just dancing--share the smoke of a cigarette through a tiny hole in a wall, rap messages, or simply noises, to each other. The film is set during a time when the guillotine was still the instrument of execution, and Anger points out that this may account for one man's rubbing his throat. Each man is alone in his prison cell, and one man's cell has a notice on the outside, saying that the occupant has been condemned to death. Have they all?

The actual silence (Genet wanted no music) seems appropriate. There is a recurring image of a short string of lovely white flowers, with, at first, a man's hand reaching for it, missing it, reaching for it, missing it; then in an outdoor fantasy, stroking the flowers which he he holds, and at the end, of the flowers being drawn, by some mysterious force, into the prison from the outside. Although there men cannot see each other, there is a frequently repeated motif of an eye to the hole in the door, watching, watching. The guard beats one of the men, and then forces his gun into the prisoner's mouth (immediately after the fantasy of one man laying another down gently in the woods, and undoing his belt).


The second disk has two LONG interviews with Genet, one made when he was 71 (and called an aut6obiography, but it is not as organized as that) and the second--in which he contradicts almost everything he said in the first!--when he was 72. For instance, in the first, he says he trained himself to feel so deeply, from earliest childhood, that there would be nothing he could do for a livelihood (besides steal) but write. In the second, when asked which book, or play, had given him the most trouble writing, he first names one book--I don't remember which--that he says gave him a little trouble, but mainly, he says "I wrote to get out of prison; writing was really boring." Um...yes. In the first, he rapsodizes about Greece, not only the men he knew there, but the ancient religion--"The Greeks are the only people who have gods they both worship and mock. The Jews could never do this to Yaweh; the Christians, never to Christ." In the second interview, he has little to say about God or gods, but seems to be terribly angry at all white men, "in whose skin I am trapped."

It is all very interesting. Genet has eyes that are perfectly clear and pale, of a blue-gray-green-hazel-brown color, and quite small, at least as an old man. He chain smoked Galoises.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un Chant d'amour pour Genet 13 Jan 2011
By gianluca guaitoli - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A masterpiece that should always be in our personal video library, a poem in the form of images, as they had predicted the Russian imagist of the 20s and the great poet and writer Jean Genet has discounted as no one else had managed for the first time in the 1950.
Only one negative post: this DVD version does not have the final with credits (date of release) written in chalk as the "overture" of the visual poem.
But this DVD edition made amends to hold two precious interviews very hard to find, one of two particularly interesting and with a provocative approach to know part of the complex personality of the poet.
Recommended to all lovers of poetry and avant-garde
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a rare treat 20 May 2007
By Stalwart Kreinblaster - Published on
genet's only film has finally been restored and released in a very nice set... Bordering on Cocteau like surrealism and intense peeping tom eroticism, 'un chant d'amour' is a brief but enchanting spell of a movie..

Perhaps even greater than the film itself are the two interviews with genet on the second disc special features.. This is the first time i have seen actual footage of my favorite author and it was quite revealing.. Genet is like an innocent teddy bear with a wit as sharp an no one else.. always embracing controversey.. and always able to expose the fundamental lies of modern imperialist society..
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genets masterpiece 14 Sep 2009
By joseph cicala - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Genets film is wonderful and shows all the themes that are present in his work. The black and white and silent film aspects make it even more effective. Was looking forward to watching the featurette interviews, but they were in French with no subtitle options..disappointing...
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