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Bob Le Flambeur/Un Flic [DVD]
Bob Le Flambeur/Un Flic [DVD]
Dvd ~ Roger Duchesne
Offered by angel_bookstore
Price: £29.98

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 Noir Masterpieces!, 6 May 2005
This dvd release perfectly exemplifies the austere technique and nuances of the godfather of the nouvelle vague, Jean Pierre Melville, arguably the greatest director to grace the crime thriller genre.
Firstly we have the fifties masterpiece, "Bob le Flambeur". Bob is an amiable character who lives a superfluous lifestyle governed by his fervent passion for gambling. Together with a couple of his close aquainttances he contrives a plan to rob a casino. One of his sincerest friends is Paulo, a sycophantic kid who is totally adorous of Bob and servile to his every need. However, when Bob encourages him to converse with a young lady he has just met, Paulo falls in love and this proves detrimental to the plan. He confides in the girl concerning the plan who accidentally tells a police informer. Stylised but never glorifying the gangster lifestyle, it is easy to discern an austere yet ineffably warm quality in Melville's technique which is most enriching. Though thematically similar to the great film noir American movies of the forties, the texture of the cinematography and overall style and feel of the film is unequivocally French. One of the avante guard examples of cinematic cool, "Bob le flambeur" is one Melvilles finest and an exemplary example of what a crime thriller should be like, unlike nonsensical tosh like "Oceans Eleven".
Although "Bob le Flambeur" is worth the asking price alone, this dvd has another film, "Un flic". Although not as consumate as "Bob le Flambeur", it is still a little masterpiece of filmmaking that forms an integral part of the director's oeuvre. Visually cold and sometimes desolate, yet still stunning, the film is essentially a meditation on the protagonist who is a cop played by Alain Delon, a man who nonchalantly uses police brutality as if it were the norm. The dialogue and photography is spare and the performances effortlessly cool, "Un Flic" was Melville's farewell to the cinema, and an impressive one at that which completed a devestating period in cinema. One dvd, two essential masterpieces.

Pepe Le Moko [DVD]
Pepe Le Moko [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jean Gabin
Price: £10.00

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of French cinema's greatest films!, 26 April 2005
This review is from: Pepe Le Moko [DVD] (DVD)
One of the defining moments in thirties French cinema(perhaps the greatest era in motion picture history), Pepe le Moko c'est la masterpiece. It is the work of a proficient director united with imperious French acting legend, Jean Gabin(La grande Illusion, La Bete Humaine) successfully creating a thriller that functions consumately on a poetic level. Usually filmmakers with thrillers in their oeuvre are typically devoid of any poetic intuition in their movies but Duvivier elevates this film to a transcendent plateau rarely frequented by other films in the genre.
The texture of the cinematography has a warmth and richness of visual expression, enhanced with the vernacular architecture of the Casbah, a labyrinth of obscurely named streets which glow with lucidity. Duvivier perfectly articulates the expression of doomed love, and Gabin's aesthetic charm, posture and countenance portray beautifully the gangster le Moko. Put simply this film is cast iron, avant garde masterwork of French cinema.
Word on the DVD. For a 1936 film, it is restored beautifully. Conversely, the waterfall home entertainment release of this film is an abomination, an odious mess that is sheer insolence and impudence in the face of the customer. BUY THIS RELEASE!

Dekalog: Parts 1-5 [DVD]
Dekalog: Parts 1-5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Henryk Baranowski

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest works of art the cinema can offer!, 30 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Dekalog: Parts 1-5 [DVD] (DVD)
This is not only the crowning achievement of a master, and now sorely missed director but one of the single greatest achievements in cinema. Basically it is ten 1 hour films, each one loosely based on one of the ten commandments. The stories are about the problems the characters face in everyday life in a warsaw apartment block. The ten stories deal with the problems that people might have to or shall face in everyday life and these themes are connected with the commandments making what is probably the most human film you'll ever see which is what made Kieslowski such a unique director of the art. The stories deal with human subjects such as love and death. Ultimately I see it as a damnation of society today and it's morals and ethics though there's still a respect that this is the fabric of human nature. What's so immpressive about this cycle is that over the course of its 9 and a half hours running time the suspense and tension built up through the stories never lulls making this one of the most effecting movie going experiences the cinema could possibly offer. The three colours trilogy might be more popular today but no one could possibly deny this as Kieslowski's masterpiece, although that trilogy is also a landmark of modern cinema.

Fanny and Alexander [DVD] [1982]
Fanny and Alexander [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Bertil Guve
Offered by ajdiscs
Price: £39.99

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREATEST FILM FROM THE GREATEST DIRECTOR!, 30 Aug. 2004
Ok, lets not beat around the bush here, this has to be the greatest film in the history of the motion pictures and one of the most effecting movie experiences one could possibly go through. Never did I think such classics as the seventh seal and persona could be bettered but this film transcends them both. Its also the only five hour film that you would want to go on for 24 hours. You will be absorbed from start to finish.
It stands amongst an elite group of films such as Kieslowski's Dekalog, Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev and Renoir's La Regle du jeu as one of the definitive masterworks of cinema and the high point(and there were many) of the true master of the art, Ingmar Bergman, for whom I doubt this world will ever be graced with another director like him again. If ever a film was deserving of 6 stars then this would have to be it. Life-affirmingly good stuff.

Red Beard [1965] [DVD]
Red Beard [1965] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Toshirô Mifune
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £10.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master at his best, 1 July 2004
This review is from: Red Beard [1965] [DVD] (DVD)
I had doubts about buying this before some of his other works as I(stupidly) doubted whether this was one of his best purely because it's nowhere near as talked about as such Kurasawa classics as Seven Samurai or Yojimbo. I can safely say though to anyone who has the same doubts that I had that this along with Throne of Blood and Ikiru is, in their own ways every bit as strong as the former and in my opinion better than the latter, which is still brilliant. OK, admittedly Seven Samurai is probably the most special of the Kurasawa films I've seen(only 7 thus far) but the director was also at the peak of his powers with the three I just mentioned. It's so poetic in it's vision that I'd certainly say it's the most beautiful film I've seen by Kurasawa. Favourite bit has to be the part where Sahachi in flashback mode explains the skeleton buried by his workshop. Cinema at it's most beautiful. Probably the most surprising thing of all though is the picture quality. I mean lord it's a miracle. BFI have actually realeased a classic with a good picture, unlike the other films I have bought by their company, especially Yojimbo which is treated shockingly bad. One of the masters definitive masterpieces.

Yojimbo [1961] [DVD]
Yojimbo [1961] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Toshirô Mifune

40 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DON'T BUY THIS, 1 July 2004
This review is from: Yojimbo [1961] [DVD] (DVD)
Don't buy this or experience the rage I felt when seeing BFI slaughter this Kurasawa classic. Out of about 200 dvds this the only one where the picture is so shockingly bad that you can't even see what's going on. HOW DID BFI GET AWAY WITH IT, IT IS A DISGRACE. I mean, don't get me wrong their treatment of all the Kurasawa films is of blasphemous proportions but this is beyond belief. Who do they think they are releasing it in the first place and amazon should really review the price they've put on this. I WOULDN'T PAY 2p FOR IT GIVEN THE SECOND CHANCE. Sadly I never thought that a film dvd company would ever show such a lack of consideration for it's customer and I paid £20 for it. Don't I feel like a fool. DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2013 11:32 AM BST

Natural Disaster [Digipak]
Natural Disaster [Digipak]
Offered by Revival Books Ltd
Price: £7.60

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too damn good, 11 May 2004
First off why was there nothing anywhere to say these guys were back. I thought they had finished, that's why I am so late writing this review, as I only found it was out a couple of days ago.
Anyway never mind that, the important thing is that one of the greatest bands to have ever graced this country is back, and with their best work yet in my opinion. Not even on the what I thought to be unsurpasseable Alternative 4 did they scale the musical heights of greatness that this album exceeds. Yet alas, it seems blatantly apparent that musical quality is not the requirement needed to achieve world success. I mean these guys form part of an elite in modern music, along with Katatonia, Pain of salvation, Opeth, Paradise Lost and Porcupine Tree yet they are all overlooked by the press( and I ain't excluding one single magazine here)in favour of souless, made for the masses rubbish like the Darkness and particularly annoyingingly, all this emo-core nonsense. More like an excuse to turn hardcore, another form of music I take an interest in, into pop music. Yet this is what they are all talking about. Well guess what I'm gonna stick with the music that my heart tells me to listen to, an example of that being the life-affirmingly good A Natural Disaster.
First off let me say that there is something truly special about this album, a similar feeling one gets when listening to dark side of the moon(Pink Floyd),Last fair deal gone down(Katatonia, who are criminally underlooked, surprise surprise), Grace(Jeff Buckley), Morningrise(Opeth),Remedy lane(Pain of salvation) or Dranconian times(Paradise Lost). In other words this is music that leaves you questioning how could such beauty and emotion be created through music. To me this is their deepest and most emotionally tragic of all their albums. Take for instance 'Are you there' which is a song that to me speaks about the pain of death and losing someone close to you. If I ahd to say my standout track I'd go for electricity which has one the most powerful piano rythym's that I've heard. Also look out for 'Pulled under at 20000 meters a second' which is one for the eeriest tracks the band have ever written.
All in all I think this is one the best albums I've ever heard and I think it's a tragedy of music that they have been ignored for so long and sadly I think that's the way it will continue.

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