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A Nos Amours [To Our Romance] (Masters of Cinema) [DVD] [1983]

Sandrine Bonnaire , Maurice Pialat , Maurice Pialat    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £7.61 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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A Nos Amours [To Our Romance] (Masters of Cinema) [DVD] [1983] + L'Enfance-nue [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] [1968] + Sous Le Soleil De Satan (AKA Under Satan's Sun, AKA Under the Sun of Satan) [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] [1987]
Price For All Three: £23.63

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Product details

  • Actors: Sandrine Bonnaire, Maurice Pialat, Christophe Odent
  • Directors: Maurice Pialat
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Mar 2010
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00353WRF0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,032 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A portrait of youth in bloom; a tale of one family's dissolution; a reflection upon the danger and the mystery in living. Maurice Pialat's serene, perilous masterwork provides the movie romance a definitive check and eminently deceptive balance the X scratched on top of the O. In one of the astonishing film debuts, Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a free spirit and the vessel for an almost Brontëan choler. She's 16, and men exist diverse lovers, an overbearing brother, and the father portrayed by Pialat himself in an unforgettable turn that displays the full magnitude of the cinema giant's tenderness, force-of-will, and presence of being. Woven through with indelible images and heart-stopping moments (and culminating in the infamous "dinner party scene"), A nos amours. [To Our Romance. / Here's to Love.] is a pure creation, a film that will live so long as there's still either movies or love. SPECIAL TWO-DISC EDITION INCLUDING: * Gorgeous new anamorphic transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio * New and improved English subtitle translations * 16-minute 2003 interview with star Sandrine Bonnaire, conducted by former Cahiers du cinéma editor-in-chief, and current director of the Cinémathèque Française, Serge Toubiana * L'Oeil humain [The Human Eye], a 55-minute film by director Xavier Giannoli that analyses A nos amours. and features former Cahiers du cinéma editorial director Jean-Michel Frodon, actors Jacques Fieschi and Sandrine Bonnaire, and other members of the cast and crew * 14-minute excerpt from a 1983 TV interview with Maurice Pialat from the set of A nos amours., and featuring rushes of scenes that don't appear in the finished film * 31 minutes of video screen-tests from 1982 for various actors that variously show up in and do not appear in the finished film * Original theatrical trailer for A nos amours., along with trailers for the six other Maurice Pialat films released by The Masters of Cinema Series

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.66:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Anamorphic Widescreen, Booklet, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Deleted Scenes, Documentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: A portrait of youth in bloom; a tale of one family's dissolution; a reflection upon the danger and the mystery in living. Maurice Pialat's serene, perilous masterwork provides the movie romance a definitive check and eminently deceptive balance - the X scratched on top of the O. In one of the astonishing film debuts, Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a free spirit and the vessel for an almost Brontëan choler. She's 16, and men exist - diverse lovers, an overbearing brother, and the father portrayed by Pialat himself in an unforgettable turn that displays the full magnitude of the cinema giant's tenderness, force-of-will, and presence of being. Woven through with indelible images and heart-stopping moments (and culminating in the infamous "dinner party scene"), A nos amours. [To Our Romance. / Here's to Love.] is a pure creation, a film that will live so long as there's still either movies or love. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Berlin International Film Festival, Ceasar Awards, ...To Our Romance ( À nos amours ) ( Suzanne (To Our Loves) )


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The French Pinter? 6 Mar 2007
By Mykool
Format:DVD
I saw this film when I was fifteen in the mid-80s and was quite affected by it. I bought this dvd a few weeks ago to watch it again. Inevitably, I had forgotten most of the film and have a different appreciation of it now but it still packs a punch. Michel Pialat directs himself as the father of Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire, stunning in her first role) whose apparently happy family life is torn apart by inner tensions. Pialat walks out on the family, without explanation, but you suspect he is unable to cope with Suzanne's growing promiscuity and his neurotic wife. There is a wonderful, tender scene between father and daughter when he tells her he is leaving. When she asks why, he says "Sometimes people just get up and leave." Simmering underneath is all that is unsaid. He comments that she has changed - then points out she only has one dimple on her cheeks, but used to have two. "Where did it go?" he asks. "It just got up and left," she giggles. The clever script gives you the sense that even when people want to communicate, there are things words can't say. Which might explain the outbreaks of violence, shocking in its immediacy and apparent lack of choreography, especially between mother and daughter and brother and sister. The excellent extra disc features documentaries and interviews (an excellent one with Bonnaire). It explains, for example, that the final scene, (a family dinner where the father returns for the first time since he left to show a potential buyer round the family appartment!)was mostly improvised. Pialat began to direct the scene, disappeared behind the set, donned his costume and re-entered the scene in character without telling the rest of the cast who now had to react to him. Superb! It feels visceral and dangerous and seems to get under the skin to the psychological heart of things. Quite Pinteresque in fact. Unfortunately, this major European film is only available in region 1 format with English subtitles so you'll need a region 1 player to enjoy it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars almost perfect 12 April 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Technically a little better than the two-DVD French-only edition, and including some extras I had not seen before. However, when I turned on the sub-titles for a while, I noticed a few strange errors: for instance when Suzanne is swimming in the sea, she says "Je viens de boire une tasse" (I just swallowed some water) which is translated as "It's a lovely spot". On the other hand, even the book containing the screenplay (only available second-hand, I'm afraid) deviates from the original (or is it the other way around?). I didn't check the whole film, you'll be glad to hear, as I turned the subtitles off again after a few minutes.
The film quality is excellent: in some scenes I noticed details for the first time simply because of the high standard of the picture.

Altogether highly recommended for anyone who is interested in Pialat's groundbreaking contribution to cinema, or even to those who just want to see a good film which has not become dated. If you are irritated by Jean-Luc Godard's style (Prenom:Carmen was made in the same year), you may be relieved to know that "A nos Amours" at least follows a chronological path, even if there are sometimes some major jumps which the viewer has to work out for him or herself.

It goes without saying that Sandrine Bonnaire dominates the screen from beginning to end and demonstrates that great actors seem to be born, not made. And the famous scene near the end, where Pialat, as the father, returns to surprise not only the screen family but also the actors who thought they were going to hear the news of his death - chapeau!

As this is not a mainstream film, you should not hesitate too long: the original French 2-DVD version is no longer available (as far as I know) and who knows if this edition will be on sale for long?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
15-year old Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire) is a precocious child, living with her mother, her career-driven brother, and her sometimes overbearing father (played by Maurice Pialat). She has recently split from her boyfriend and is intent on moving from man to man in search of sexual pleasures and guardianship. When her father splits from her mother and moves out, home life becomes unbearable as her mother and brother disapprove of her lifestyle. She is most comfortable in the arms of a man, be it one of her seducers or her father. Men seems to flock to her, as she is pretty, charming and is happy to accommodate her admirers.

This is the second film that I've seen directed by French master Maurice Pialat, the other being the excellent L'Enfance Nue. They are both similar films in terms of themes and execution, and tell the familiar coming-of-age story from an original perspective. Whereas the former was a sledgehammer portrayal of a young juvenile causing havoc amongst the various foster homes he was placed, where redemption never seems possible, A Nos Amours' Suzanne is a more sympathetic lead character, and her journey is portrayed in a more subtle manner. While it would be shocking to hear of a 15 year old girl bedding a number of men, Pialat is more focused on what drives her to act this way.

She is not a tease, and she doesn't flaunt her body to anyone who will look. Instead, she seems to simply enjoy the comfort of a man. When the father moves away, her home life falls apart and her bed-mates increase. Perhaps Pialat is trying to portray the impact an absent father can have on a child, or that all women need comforting every once in a while. Or maybe this is an individual character study, with no overriding message. What it most definitely is, though, is a wonderfully acted (especially from the young Bonnaire), intelligent, and intriguing film that has Pialat's usual cold detachment alongside a certain intimacy with the lead character.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, painful, coming-of-age film... Provokes more questions than answers... Excellent Criterion Edition 3 Aug 2006
By dooby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"A Nos Amours" (To Our Loves) marks the stunning debut of French actress Sandrine Bonnaire, then aged 16. She plays 15-year old schoolgirl Suzanne who stands precariously on the cusp of womanhood. It is one of the more disturbing coming-of-age films to have been made in recent years. Maurice Pialat's film tracks an adolescent girl's descent into a cycle of sexual self-destruction. He doesn't give any reasons for it. He just shows what happens using disconnected snippets of her life; at summer camp, in school, at home and with her friends. Why she implodes is never explained but left to the viewer to work out.

We first see her at a Drama Camp where she is shown rehearsing Musset's play "Don't trifle with love" (On ne badine pas avec l'amour). She sneaks out in the evenings for trysts with her boyfriend Luc whom she coyly refuses to have sex with. Then on a whim she picks up an American tourist whom she beds. After the American's callous "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" (the polite nitwit actually says "thank you" after deflowering her), she retorts with a coldly cynical, "you're welcome, it's free," and there begins her spiral of destruction.

When she confesses her fling to Luc, he breaks up with her and she goes, as the blurb says, on a "sexual rampage," bedding practically anything with a pulse. Scene by scene, Pialat reveals her dysfunctional family; a father who adores her but cannot come to terms with the fact that his sweet little girl has grown into a woman; her weak, manipulative mother who resents her, especially the fact that her daughter is young and beautiful while she is old and no longer attractive even to her own husband; a tubby brother who is his mother's pet, who beats his sister regularly because the mother is unhappy with her, while at the same time showing a creepy sexual attraction to his sexy sibling. The most touching moments are between father and daughter; the dimple scene, where he notices that one of her childish dimples has vanished, his sad sigh about how time passes as he watches his daughter going out on a date which he knows will end up with his child in some boy's bedroom, and the final scene where he bids her farewell with his knowing, "you were not meant to love - you were meant to be loved."

A beautiful film, through and through. Painful and uncomfortable to watch at times. Not much of a traditional plot, no resolution and no explanations. Which will alienate 90% of the American audience but thought-provoking and quietly rewarding for those who care to sit through it and reflect afterwards. Sandrine Bonnaire in her interview gives the simplest explanation for her character's behaviour, that she was looking for someone in the image of her father and ultimately to be loved by him. French director Catherine Breillat also gives a fascinating insight into the film and particularly on why Pialat, without warning or consultation, changed the ending, with his character, the father, not dying as written in the original script but living long enough to send his daughter off on her metaphorical and actual journey to the new world.

This is a Criterion release so excellence is a given. The picture is presented in its original 1.66:1 widescreen, pillarboxed into an anamorphic 16:9 frame. Image quality is exquisite. Sound is in the original Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono and is crystal clear and full. As with any Criterion edition, this comes with copious scholarly extras, just over 2 hours worth on Disc 2. These include an hour-long 1999 French documentary "The Human Eye," exploring the film, its making, its significance and its meaning. This is followed by a 10 minute exerpt "Maurice Pialat On Set" from a 1983 French documentary "Etoiles et toiles." There are separate interviews with Sandrine Bonnaire, controversial French director, Catherine Breillat, and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin who at the time of the interview was Professor of Film Studies at UCSD. There are 20 minutes worth of audition tapes for the various cast members, most of which also feature the fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire as she interacts with her costars. All the extras, save for the interview with Gorin, are in French with optional English subtitles provided. The DVD comes with an accompanying 36 page booklet, beautiflly illustrated, including interesting articles on the film and on director, Maurice Pialat. There are also transcripts of two interviews, one with Pialat and the other with cinematographer Jacques Loiseleux on the film and on film-making in general.

Note: There is occasional nudity but no explicit sex. Like most Criterion discs, it is not rated. However, if submitted, it would probably be given an R-rating, for strong sexual themes, nudity, family violence and language.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Life's no fun when you don't love anyone"........ 17 Mar 2008
By Jenny J.J.I. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As interesting as this film might be Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire, first role) probably never even able to have any sustained happiness, she is a attention seeker who slowly falls out of existence. "It's as if my heart had run dry." While we almost never see her alone, the distance between her and her family, friend Martine (Maite Maille), and boyfriend Luc (Cyr Boitard) multiplies quickly. Luc, not knowing how to deal with her emotional state or lack thereof, asks some questions to try to figure her out. As her father says to Suzanne, "you're so stubborn, you'll never say why," although that assumes there's a sensible answer. Eventually Luc gives up on their relationship, which is down to them sitting next to each other staring silently into nothingness.

Michel Pialat directs himself as the father of Suzanne whose apparently happy family life is torn apart by inner tensions. Pialat walks out on the family, without explanation, but you suspect he is unable to cope with Suzanne's growing promiscuity and his neurotic wife. This film does have a clever script that gives you the sense that even when people want to communicate, there are things words can't say. This might explain the outbreaks of violence, shocking in its immediacy and apparent lack of choreography, especially between mother and daughter and brother and sister. You would see this with all the face and head slapping that goes on this household.

On the plus side, what I like about Pialat's work here as a director though is that he makes us so self-conscious and uncomfortable. There's nothing melodramatic, conventional, comforting, or condescending about his presentation. In fact, in search of realism the entire film is anal about seeming totally unplanned. Pialat just throws us into the second troop of a small battle and forces us to gaze on in astonishment and horror at what's happening to those directly in front of us. In other words, he cuts us off just short of participating ourselves. I say a small battle because the people are made to seem inconsequential. Their worldview, at most, is affecting a few people around them. They can argue about things like history, but something has been recorded and no one can win because the other person just takes the cheap tactic of pointing out that they weren't there. There are no close-ups during an argument because no one is allowed any dominance. They share the fight and someone may come out on top so to speak, but ultimately everyone is left damaged. "A nos amours" falls shy of being a great film and Pialat's style is going to be too harsh for some viewers, but I appreciate it because it's challenging, different, and in it's own way rewarding.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange and oddly nerving family relations 10 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This film starring the marvelous Sandrine Bonnaire is extremely difficult to rate, namely because I neither liked or disliked it. I simply found it odd. The story centers around a young girl(Bonnaire) and her endless search for how to relate to people. She goes through a number of relationships with men/boys, and comes out no different, and then this story is complicated by her relationships with her father and brother who both flirt with her. the mother is in this familial mess as well, bursting into brief rages in which she beats her daughter, then her son, then kisses her son and falls on her bed trembling. One doesn't know how to approach this film, because it is just so strange-which in itself is a compliment, since many of the films that are around are simply banal. See this film if you are in the mood for a kind of study or glimpse into an unusual family, and confusing times for a female approaching adulthood. Another moment for you to better understand the oddness in this film is when Bonnaire wakes up in the morning and is completely naked. Her mother enters the room and looks at her daughter commenting how she should wear more as Bonnaire just stares at her. Another is when Bonnaire invites a female friend to rest with her in her bed, and the friend states that Bonnaires father is handsome, and when Bonnaires father enters the room is is obvious how titillated he is by seeing his daughter and another girl in the same bed. Quite repulsive this scene is! These scenes give you a little insight into this film to help you better understand if it is a film you would be interested in watching. It is not a film that you leave gleaming at how wonderful or frowning at how terrible it is- you just leave quietly thinking.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nos Amours-See It 21 July 2006
By Joshua Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"A Nos Amours" is a French film that was directed by Maurice Pialat, a director I heard recently died. I'd never heard of the movie, but the case of the movie caught my eye at a video store; So, I decided to rent it without reading anything about it. I was worried at first, when I noticed it was in The Criterion Collection (I like some of the films in TCC, but a lot of them suck); but I was surprised to find out that this is a pretty damned good movie. But, I need to clear up the fact that this isn't a movie you want to watch for pure entertainment (It's not dull or anything, don't get me wrong); but it's one of those movies that is more about what it's trying to say than the masses it's trying to entertain. Sandrine Bonnaire plays the main character, Suzanne. When we meet her, her life seems to be going well. She's at camp, surrounded by friends, and is memorizing lines for a play her brother wrote. After the movie kind of gets little things out of the way, we find that Suzanne isn't a saintly young girl when she has sex with an America. Then, she returns home and we find out that her life isn't picture perfect. We see her parents argue with her about going out, hit her and when she comes back from going out; Her father Le pere (played very well by the director Pialat) talks to her for a bit. Then the next day her brother tells her "He's left us." I later learned that they put that line there, because Pialat didn't know if the character was dead or merely gone. I found it pretty obvious. Anyway at this point he disappears for almost the rest of the movie, leaving her mother to mope around and scream a lot; And her brother to become the man of the household, which garners Suzanne many beatings at his hands. It's a strange household, but there's many like it. Suzanne begins engaging in sexual relationships with various men (keep in mind that she's only 15, which I neglected to mention). That's basically the plot of the film. Oddly enough though, this movie after all is an exploration of sex, there is not a single sex scene in the movie. There's a few nude shots here and there, but there's not a single scene of simulated sex. Pialat uses sensuality more as a way to get the point across; Sensuality is, in fact, a plot point and is spoke about frequently by many of the characters. Director Pialat does manage to explore sex in the film and he does it very well. In the end, sex is merely a ways of escape for Suzanne, to get away from her homelife and also a way of searching for her father who has abandoned her. This is a wonderfully made and actually rather important film; hopefully now that it's in The Criterion Collection, it will garner more notice. Also, the film was made in 1983; the picture is absolutely beautiful, it could've been made last year. The sound quality, subtitles, and everything else about the DVD are great.

GRADE: A
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Of Detail 3 Sep 2013
By mr. contrarian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A lonely girl looks to boys for affection and distraction from her toxic home life. None of her family seem to understand that what she is doing is a direct result of their hostility, judgement, and total lack of love. The last time they all sit in the same room is truly one of the most vivid family meltdowns in film. It demystifies a certain type of wild teen without condemning or excusing her.
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