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L'Enfance-nue [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] [1968]

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • L'Enfance-nue [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] [1968]
  • +
  • Nous Ne Vieillirons Pas Ensemble [We Won't Grow Old Together] [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] [1972]
  • +
  • La Gueule Ouverte [1974] [Masters of Cinema] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Raoul Billerey, Maurice Coussonneau, Pierrette Deplanque, Linda Gutemberg, Marie Marc
  • 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 Sept. 2008
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001C3NEP2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,495 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

One of the earth-shaking feature debuts in the history of cinema, Maurice Pialat's L'Enfance-nue [Naked-Childhood] provides a perspective on growing-up that rejects both sentimentality and modish cynicism. Its unflinching, but also warmly accommodating, outlook on childhood attracted François Truffaut to take on the role as co-producer of Pialat's film which, ironically, exists as much as a response to Truffaut's own debut The 400 Blows as that film was to the 'cinema of childhood' that came before the New Wave. First-time actor Michel Tarrazon plays the young François, a provincial orphan whose destructive behaviour precipitates his relocation from the home of a long-term foster family to the care of a benevolent elderly couple. In the course of this transition, Pialat's film presents the turbulence of François's unmoored existence, and his explosive reactions to the contradictory emotions it engenders. This is the naked portrait of a soul's and an entire society's dysfunction, before the moment of reconciliation. L'Enfance-nue represents the ideal introduction to the films of Maurice Pialat an artist whose work resides alongside that of Jean Eustache and Philippe Garrel at the summit of the post-New Wave French cinema. One discovers in his pictures a raw and complicated emotional core which, as in the films of John Cassavetes, reveals upon closer examination a remarkably rigorous visual aesthetic, and a facility of direction which lifts both seasoned actors and debutante amateurs to the level of greatness. Coupled here with Pialat's poetic and brilliant early short L'Amour existe [Love Exists, 1960], L'Enfance-nue is the first masterpiece of an artist whose work has had an incalculable influence on contemporary directors as diverse as Bruno Dumont, Olivier Assayas, Michael Haneke, and the Dardenne brothers, among others and whose 2003 passing led Gilles Jacob, president of the Festival de Cannes, to declare: "Pialat is dead and we are all orphaned. French cinema is orphaned." The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Maurice Pialat's 1968 film in a magnificent restored transfer for the first time on home video in the UK. SPECIAL 2-DISC EDITION including: New anamorphic transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio -- New and improved English subtitle translations -- L'AMOUR EXISTE [LOVE EXISTS] (1960) Maurice Pialat's poetic 19-minute film about life in the Paris banlieues -- 2003 video interview with co-screenwriter Arlette Langmann, conducted by former Cahiers du cinéma editor-in-chief, and current director of the Cinémathèque Française, Serge Toubiana -- 32-minute 1973 interview with Maurice Pialat, from the programme Champ contre-champ -- CHOSES VUES AUTOUR DE L'ENFANCE NUE [THINGS SEEN AROUND L'ENFANCE NUE] (1969) 50-minute documentary by Roger Stéphane shot in the course of L'Enfance-nue's production, examining Pialat's film-in-progress and the plight of foster children -- 2005 video interview with Michel Tarrazon, the star of L'Enfance-nue -- The film's original trailer, along with trailers for other Maurice Pialat films to be released by The Masters of Cinema Series -- 40-page booklet containing a new essay by critic and filmmaker Kent Jones, and newly translated interviews with Maurice Pialat

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I've watched a few of Pialat's films and hesitated with L'Enfance-nue, but when I read that Truffaut and Berri were co-producers I bought the DVD from Amazon - at an excellent price for a Masters of Cinema title.

The short film that comes with this edition, L'Amour Existe, it a brilliant mix of political agitation and poetry - on its own worth the cost.

As for L'Enfance-nue, it is an amazingly compassionate but detached view of the life of a young boy in foster care. We can see the internal and external influences affecting his behaviour and outlook on life. It shows how foster parents with real love and tolerance in their hearts can made a big difference to these 'lost' children.

There is a scene in which a cat is 'thrown' down a stairwell which one reviewer took this as the point of no return, suggesting the film is a video nasty. In fact there is no actual cruelty to the animal and the story handles the issue well. The point is you have to look beyond the less pleasant parts of the film to really appreciate the story, quality of acting, direction, cinematography, etc.

I personally think anyone involved in foster care, whether a carer or in the profession should watch this film - if viewed with an open mind it has valuable lessons in it.

In short, thoroughly recommended for those of us who can follow a film which does not need to have blockbuster effects every five minutes.
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By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 6 Jun. 2014
Format: DVD
Maurice Pialat has never been very well known in Britain, no doubt because his kind of documentary-style realism doesn't appeal widely, particularly abroad. In many ways he is a bit like Ken Loach in his concerns with the difficulty of lives lived away from the glamour of big cities or the modern media. Yet occasionally such a film does break through and have a huge success, like Etre et Avoir a few years ago. L'Enfance-nue is a bit like that film in some scenes, where it almost becomes a documentary about social workers dealing with child placements. More than a plot, it presents you with a section of the life of Francois, aged ten, who starts out with one foster family and then moves to another. You feel the starting and ending points could easily be changed, like taking a slice of cake. He is a feral child given to unpredictable outbursts and is not likely to get easier in adolescence, however the film elicits sympathy for him by its refusal to sentimentalise him. The second set of foster parents, with whom he lives for most of the film, are of grand-parent age for him, but do rather better than the first; his actual mother is alive but doesn't seem to want anything to do with him. Inevitably he falls in with a bad crowd ... I did dislike the scene with the cat, but it is clear that the awful action is left entirely to the viewer's imagination. The film holds your attention for the sharpness of its observations, and manages to sketch in some touching and surprising relationships. I feel it slightly lacks the magical imagery of, say, the Bill Douglas trilogy or Les 400 Coups, but it is certainly very good and of the highest integrity. The extras in this 2-DVD set are copious and include a 19-minute documentary which is more poetic, as well as interviews and a booklet of essays and stills - Eureka cannot be faulted on their presentation of outstanding but non-commercial films like this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG 23 Oct. 2015
By stagecoach - Published on
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this is a powerful movie that may make you say OMG
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