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Maison Close - Season 1 [DVD]

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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£12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Total price: £27.97
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Product details

  • Actors: Valérie Karsenty, Jemina West, Deborah Grall, Clémence Bretecher, Blandine Bellavoir
  • Directors: Mabrouk El Mechri
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Arrow
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Sept. 2012
  • Run Time: 422 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007Z1G40C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,709 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Taking an uncompromising look at the world of brothels and prostitution in late nineteenth century France, Maison Close is a sumptuously produced drama of sex and servitude. Paris, 1871. In Paradis, a luxury brothel, three women try to escape from their troublesome circumstances. Vera is 35 years old, the end of her career as a prostitute drawing nearer. She puts all her hopes on her main client, the only one rich enough to redeem her debt. Hortense is the Madame of Paradis. She must hold on to her girls whilst dealing with an extortionist from the Parisian suburbs. Rose, a much younger woman, arrives in search of her mother, a former prostitute. She is trapped with a pimp and forcibly conscripted into the Paradis.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is NOT one of those French tales which, at the end, leaves you wondering what was going on. No, indeed. This is truly French drama at it's very best. Despite being set in a French brothel, the story itself seems designed not to titillate, but to educate the viewer as to the truly terrible situation the women in this establishment find themselves in. In my view, the scenes have been carefully executed to exclude any unnecessary sex & nudity, although being set in a brothel, some such scenes are to be expected, and there is a fair amount of violence, which many would find distressing. Costumes and sets are extremely good, the acting is brilliant, and the storyline is gripping. I watched this whole series with my husband, and we had no idea how the storyline would unfold. Then I ordered series 2, as we've just got to find out what happens next. The series is in French, with English subtitles. My French is not wonderful, but the diction is good, and I was able to follow much of the dialogue.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Amazon's product description is quite correct concerning the general plot but what it doesn't properly capture is the atmosphere. This is a very dark, gritty and at times even brooding description of the people working in Paradis which is the center of the attention here, the brothel. Violence is very present most of the time and even disease raises its ugly head. No comedy or stuff to be laughed at here. There's no glorification of what the "working girls" are doing and they do get their share of violence and oppression going to the level of slavery. There's even a rape scene which certainly wasn't something nice to watch. Age classification (18) was spot on, this isn't for the youngsters.

The plot is captivating though and you get the feel for the main characters and learn to feel sympathy for the oppressed women. You will want to know what happends to them and will they make it to the end.

Production value is top notch meaning everything feels authentic right down to the buidings, architecture and clothing. It really feels like you are in Paris 1871.

As far as product details go Amazon's details are very vague. The series spans across 2 discs (not three, there's no "button" for a third disc) containing 8 episodes total. No extras.

Video is H.264 AVC 1080i/50 meaning basically 1080p25 (this is OK if filming was done using 25 frames/s). Video quality leaves much to be desired. Level of detail is very rich (especially clothing looks magnificent) but vertical banding is present even in daylight scenes and there's a lot of digital noise which shouldn't be there. This is distracting at times but won't ruin the experience.

Audio is French 2CH LPCM which is also a bit of a disappointment since you kind of expect to get atleast 5.1 HD sound nowdays.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this French TV series (with English sub-titles). I watched it on Blu-ray, and the picture and sound quality is excellent.

This series is about a group of women who live and work in a brothel in Paris in 1872, in the months following the Paris Commune. So the city is in turmoil, and the government is maintaining order through a show of force. This involves an effort to keep 'moral order' - and, in turn, this impacts upon the control of prostitution.

We see how these women live, and the effect working as a prostitute has upon them. It is, in many ways, an ensemble piece - with several cast members having lead roles. Nonetheless, there are two women - one in her late teens, one in her late thirties - who take centre stage in the story-arc. The elder woman is doin all she can to leave her job as a prostitute, but finds this impossible. The younger woman finds herself forced into prostitution, and she suffers greatly as she attempts to resist what is happening to her.

This is a period drama, and it works brilliantly. Oddly, contemporary music is played - but this does, somehow, benefit the show.

All in all, an excellent TV series. It was followed by a second season.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 8-part (7 hour) French Series was filmed in 2010, and it's surprising that it hasn't appeared here sooner. At first glance this serial might look like a predictable tease-show, but this is one of the most enthralling historical dramas seen for a long time. It is set in Paris just after the fall of Napoleon III, and events centre on a brothel where the girls struggle to exist in a brutally exploiting environment. The merciless human realism in this tense drama lifts it out of its historical setting, and it has powerful dramatic truth.

The first thing that strikes you about the Series is the marvellous lighting and photography. There are frequent after-dark scenes, and the magical way they are photographed is often breathtaking. There is pin-sharp focus on the characters, but the surrounding dark, and the shadows from lamps and candles are wonderfully realised. However, nothing is sentimentalised here, in the setting or the story. There is shabbiness, ugliness and disturbing cruelty, the realism is unvarnished. This is a closed world -as it looked before electricity changed the night. The superb costumes and sets provide a stunning picture of a hidden Paris in the 1870's, brought to very convincing life.

The wonderful French actors in 'Maison Close' restore your faith in film-acting. We look for believable feeling in drama -and here, for once we find it ! Very well cast, the performances in 'Maison Close' are consistently true- almost nothing looks artificial or posed. This is acting from within, gripping the attention. We suddenly enter a shocking, desperate world, where real people are trapped on the edge of survival in an utterly ruthless setting.
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