Belle de jour

Belle de jour

4.2 5
Director: Luis Buñuel

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli

     
 

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This cinematic highlight from director Luis Buñuel arrives on DVD in less than perfect condition. The widescreen anamorphic print (aspect ratio of 1.66:1) is faded and has noticeable grain throughout. Soundtrack choices are English or French Dolby Digital (mono). There are optional English captions for the hearing impaired or English subtitles. The feature has an… See more details below

Overview

This cinematic highlight from director Luis Buñuel arrives on DVD in less than perfect condition. The widescreen anamorphic print (aspect ratio of 1.66:1) is faded and has noticeable grain throughout. Soundtrack choices are English or French Dolby Digital (mono). There are optional English captions for the hearing impaired or English subtitles. The feature has an audio commentary by Buñuel scholar Julie Jones. The track has numerous pauses and more often than not, she basically sets up what we are about to view on screen. The disc also has the original U.S. theatrical trailer and the 1995 re-release trailer. Other trailers included are Young Girls of Rochefort, Hunchback of Notre Dame (with Anthony Quinn), Artemisia, Purple Noon, and "Miramax Movies to Remember" (a promo reel for the company). This is a less than perfect release for such a seminal film.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The world's oldest profession turns out to be a cure for the newlywed blues in Belle de Jour, a razor-sharp French-language satire from Spanish-born director Luis Buñuel. Catherine Deneuve plays the young married woman drawn irresistibly toward a secret life of prostitution, and both the actress and her character slip easily into the role, evoking the bored distraction of an unfulfilled young woman as she comes to grips with her more primal cravings. Buñuel plays to his own strong suit here: He exhibits undeniable mastery in portraying the tension between prim and proper surfaces and the powerful, irrational -- even perverse -- appetites that lurk beneath. But despite the sexy subject matter, Belle de Jour is far from steamy; rather, Buñuel's sensibility remains typically dry and detached. Moments of the director's signature surreal fantasy are worked into the story nicely, but when compared to a film like The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, the satire of Belle de Jour is far more restrained, the film's brilliantly enigmatic ending notwithstanding. The result is a marvelously adroit comedy of manners that is one of Buñuel's best works.
All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Director Luis Buñuel's first film in color, Belle de Jour also kicked off the last phase of his great career, which produced some of his most popular films (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, That Obscure Object of Desire). Catherine Deneuve serves Buñuel here as Grace Kelly did Alfred Hitchcock, as the glacially beautiful blonde who is barely concealing smoldering desires. Séverine, Deneuve's character, finds that marriage is not the beginning of contentment, but a key which unlocks the doors of her abusive past to allow her imagination to run unfettered. How many of the film's events are "real" is left up to the viewer; Buñuel clearly wants to blur the distinctions between Séverine's erotic dreams and her attempts to fulfill them. A lesser filmmaker would wallow in the prurience of the story of a sexually frustrated wife turning to prostitution; for Buñuel, however, making films about sex is about exploring much more than human desire and physical contact. What makes his approach unique is its playfulness; he can have it both ways, provoking the audience one moment and winking the next, as if to say, "This thing we call life, it's a big joke, isn't it?"

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/22/2002
UPC:
0786936169881
Original Release:
1967
Rating:
R
Source:
Miramax
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:42:00

Special Features

Commentary by Buñuel scholar Julie Jones; original US theatrical trailer; 1995 re-release trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Catherine Deneuve Severine Serizy
Jean Sorel Pierre Serizy
Michel Piccoli Henri Husson
Genevieve Page Madame Anais
Macha Meril Renee Fevret
Francisco Rabal Hyppolite
Pierre Clementi Marcel
Francis Blanche Monsieur Adolphe
Françoise Fabian Charlotte
Maria Latour Mathilde
Bernard Fresson Le Grêle
Georges Marchal The Duke
Muni Pallas
Claude Cerval Actor
Michel Charrel Footman
Iska Khan Asian client
Bernard Musson Majordomo
Marcel Charvey Professor Henri
François Maistre L'ensignant
Dominique Dandrieux Severine as a child
Marc Eyraud Barman
Brigitte Parmentier Severine as a child

Technical Credits
Luis Buñuel Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Jean-Claude Carrière Screenwriter
Robert Clavel Art Director
Raymond Hakim Producer
Robert Hakim Producer
Louisette Hautecoeur Editor
Walter Spohr Editor
Sacha Vierny Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter Selection
1. Opening Credits: Confounding Thoughts of Pain [7:25]
2. Boring Husson [3:22]
3. An Old Friend and an Older Profession [2:04]
4. Unsettling Nerves [3:16]
5. "A Cute Compulsion" [4:13]
6. "Madame Anaïs Modes" [4:12]
7. Mr. Adolphe's Christening [9:35]
8. Remorse and Expiation [3:48]
9. Pleasing the Professor? [7:36]
10. Growing at Ease [3:59]
11. A Duke in Mourning [6:38]
12. Evolving Emotions [2:49]
13. Fear and Passion [5:22]
14. Closeness From Afar [3:27]
15. Quieting Marcel's Desires [2:03]
16. Chocolates for Pierre [5:10]
17. Belle Departs [5:16]
18. Marcel's Vengeance [3:49]
19. Return to Dreams [6:14]

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