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Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
     

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

Director: Denis Heroux, Jacques Brel, Joe Masiell, Mort Shuman

Cast: Denis Heroux, Jacques Brel, Joe Masiell, Mort Shuman

 

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This screen adaptation of the popular revue saluting the songs of French composer Jacques Brel (produced as part of the American Film Theater series) has been given a respectful presentation for its release on DVD. Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and the

Overview

This screen adaptation of the popular revue saluting the songs of French composer Jacques Brel (produced as part of the American Film Theater series) has been given a respectful presentation for its release on DVD. Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo. The songs are performed in English, with no multiple language options included. Bonus materials include the film's original trailer (as well as trailers for the other movies in the American Film Theater series), the complete contents of the original program distributed with the film, a documentary on producer Ely Landau, an interview with his wife and collaborator Edie Landau, and a profile of the American Film Theater series.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
It was, in 1975, a bizarre idea to try to make Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, the landmark off-Broadway revue, into a film musical. That said, it is still a bizarre idea -- but today the film probably seems less strange, thanks to the advent of MTV and the onslaught of thousands of music videos. Being a revue, Brel has no storyline and the filmmakers wisely chose not to impose one on it; instead, they created a "situation" and used that as a jumping off point to creating vaguely surreal visual interpretations of each individual song. In other words, they have created a long string of music videos, in which one can see the nascent origins of many techniques that would become part and parcel of the music video industry within a decade. There's a use of color to convey mood, quick alterations of close-up and long shots, fast editing (though nothing compared to what would become common in later years), and a willingness to visually interpret portions of lyrics without necessarily worrying about how they relate to the overall meaning of a song. One's ultimate reaction to Brel will depend largely upon one's attraction to the songs themselves and to the performers singing them. Many find Brel's lyrics insightful and cutting; others think them pretentious or arch, and there are similar differences of opinion concerning the music. Brel himself is on hand to give a marvelous rendition of "Ne Me Quittes Pas," and his delivery is perfect. Elly Stone and Mort Shuman have many memorable moments; Joe Masiell does less well, pushing too hard too often.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/11/2003
UPC:
0738329029524
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
PG
Source:
Kino Video
Presentation:
[Letterbox]
Time:
1:37:00
Sales rank:
47,850

Special Features

Theatrical trailer; "Jacques Brel and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" - An essay by Michael Feingold, Chief Theatre Critic, the Village Voice; The AFT Cinebill for Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris; An Interview With Edie Landau, Executive in Charge, the American Film Theatre; Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera - AFT promotional reel, 1974; The American Film Theatre trailer gallery - Includes a complete list of the AFT films; The American Film Theatre Scrapbook; Enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs

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Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. "Madeleine" [3:38]
2. "Marathon" [7:17]
3. "My Childhood" [4:20]
4. "The Statue" [3:56]
5. "Brussels" [3:18]
6. "Jackie" [3:20]
7. "Timid Frieda" [3:56]
8. The Taxi Cab Driver [2:45]
9. "The Old Folks" [4:53]
10. "Alone" [3:34]
11. "I Loved" [2:36]
12. "Funeral Tango" [3:17]
13. "Bachelor's Dance" [2:28]
14. "Amsterdam" [3:44]
15. "Ne Me Quitte Pas" [3:50]
16. "The Desperate Ones" [3:32]
17. "Sons Of" [3:02]
18. "The Bulls" [2:37]
19. "Marieke" [3:21]
20. "The Last Supper" [4:11]
21. "Mathilde" [2:29]
22. "The Middle Class" [3:38]
23. "Songs of the Old Lovers" [4:11]
24. "Next" [2:54]
25. "Carousel" [3:44]
26. "If We Only Have Love" [6:25]

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