Z

( 2 )

Overview

Z is one of the most politically insightful films ever made, exposing government hypocrisy and cover-up in the wake of a political assassination. Zei Yves Montand is a scientist who is scheduled to give a speech against the use of the atomic bomb. On the way to the event, he is attacked outside the auditorium by a group of right-wing extremists with political ties to the government as the police stand by and do nothing to intervene. He recovers long enough to make the speech but is later clubbed again and must ...
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Overview

Z is one of the most politically insightful films ever made, exposing government hypocrisy and cover-up in the wake of a political assassination. Zei Yves Montand is a scientist who is scheduled to give a speech against the use of the atomic bomb. On the way to the event, he is attacked outside the auditorium by a group of right-wing extremists with political ties to the government as the police stand by and do nothing to intervene. He recovers long enough to make the speech but is later clubbed again and must undergo several surgeries, then dies during one of the procedures. A newspaper reporter finds a witness to the event and a judge willing to hear the case despite government protests. The ensuing trial reveals a government conspiracy, but the results of the trial are thrown out when a new government is formed by a military coup, which results in the intolerance that outlaws long hair, the Beatles, and any peaceful protests. Director Costa-Gavras used actual trial transcripts of the investigation into the May 22, 1963, assassination of Greek pacifist leader Gregoris Lambrakis, which proved a government conspiracy in his death. Yves Montand gives the best dramatic performance of his life, and Irene Papas stars as his wife, Helena. Z won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film of 1969, was 14th in terms of box-office success, and hit an international nerve in the age of social unrest, government cover-up, and political assassinations. All those involved worked on the film for a reduced rate with an option for royalties based on earnings at the theater window. The letter Z in the Greek alphabet means "he is alive."
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Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by cinematographer Raoul Coutard; Audio commentary featuring film historian Peter Cowie; New interviews with director Costa-Gavras and Coutard; Archival interviews with Costa-Gavras; producer-actor Jacques Perrin; actors Pierre Dux, Yves Montand, Irene Papas, and Jean-Louis Trintignant; and Vassilis Vassilikos, author of the book Z; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Turning the events preceding the 1960s military junta in Greece into a kinetic political thriller, Costa-Gavras' Z (1969) is a cinematically compelling argument against state repression. In a story based on the assassination of pacifist Gregoris Lambrakis, Greek expatriate Costa-Gavras' French New Wave techniques create visual energy and documentary immediacy while humanizing the Lambrakis analogue (Yves Montand) and his wife (Irene Papas). Cinematographer Raoul Coutard's moving camera and location shooting pump up suspense as key witnesses are pursued by mysterious thugs; newsreel-style crowd scenes become threateningly chaotic, emphasizing the government's collusion in the assassination. The couple's flash-cut memories of their married life emphasize the personal loss inflicted in the name of "democracy." Despite the film's basis in fact, Costa-Gavras neither identifies the country nor gives names to the main characters, turning the story into a universal warning against the rise of totalitarianism. An international hit (though banned in Greece), and all the more relevant amid late-'60s cultural upheavals in the U.S. and France, Z won awards as Best Film of the Year from both the National and New York film critics groups and became the first film nominated for Oscars as both Best Picture and Best Foreign-Language Film. It won the latter, along with Best Editing.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/27/2009
  • UPC: 715515049313
  • Original Release: 1969
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 2:07:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,851

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Yves Montand The Deputy
Irene Papas Helene, the Deputy's wife
Jean-Louis Trintignant The Magistrate
Jacques Perrin Photojournalist
François Perier Public Prosecutor
Charles Denner Manuel
Jose Artur The Newspaper Editor
Maurice Baquet The Bald Man
Jean Bouise Deputy Georges Pirou
Marcel Bozzuffi Vago
Gérard Darrieu Baron
Jean Dasté Coste
Van Doude The Hospital Director
Pierre Dux The General
Bernard Fresson Matt
Steve Gadler English Photographer
Georges Géret Nick
Jean-Francois Gobbi Jimmy the Boxer
Julien Guiomar The Colonel
Gabriel Jabbour Bozzini
Clotilde Joano Shoula
Guy Mairesse Dumas
Jean-Pierre Miquel Pierre
Magali Noël Nick's Sister
Georges Rouquier
Renato Salvatori Yago
Eva Simonet Niki
Andrée Tainsy Nick's Mother
Technical Credits
Costa-Gavras Director, Screenwriter
Piet Bolscher Costumes/Costume Designer
Françoise Bonnot Editor
Raoul Coutard Cinematographer
Jacques D'Ovidio Art Director
Bernard Gérard Musical Direction/Supervision
Jacques Perrin Producer
Ahmed Rachedi Producer
Jorge Semprun Screenwriter
Mikis Theodorakis Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Z
1. Ideological Mildew [6:20]
2. Refusals ad Threats [5:14]
3. The Deputy's Arrival [7:30]
4. Before His Speech [3:45]
5. Crossing the Square [3:53]
6. "The People Require the Truth" [5:15]
7. After His Speech [4:30]
8. Yago and Vago [9:35]
9. "Clinically Dead" [3:32]
10. His Wife's Arrival [4:29]
11. The Magistrate Takes Over [5:35]
12. Z [5:35]
13. "The Colonel and I Were There" [4:29]
14. A Volunteer Witness [6:42]
15. Family Matters [4:45]
16. Questioning Vago [3:53]
17. CROC [5:10]
18. Georges' Attacker [5:48]
19. "Honor is at Stake" [3:05]
20. Building a Case [5:45]
21. Manuel's Statement [7:37]
22. Grounds for Indictment [5:11]
23. "Name and Occupation" [5:36]
24. Coda [3:43]
1. "Against the Colonels" [5:29]
2. Three Main Actors [4:26]
3. Camara, Editing, and Music [6:44]
4. When the Movie Arrived [2:22]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Z
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
      Clor Bars
   Commentary
      Commentary: On
      Commentary: Off
      Index
         "To Indict the Greek Regime"
         The Colonels' Takeover
         Yves Montand
         Jacques Perrin
         Raoul Coutard
         The Balkans
         Hearing the Doctor's Speech
         "The Context is Significant"
         Mikis Theodorakis
         Irene Papas
         Kennedy and Lambrakis
         "A Life Cut off"
         Costa-Gavras and Political Cinema
         Greece's Working Class
         U.S. Response to the Junta
         Greek Cinema
         Fear of Communism
         Lambrakis's Widow
         "The Narrative is Sovereign"
         Z's Influence on Cinema
         King Paul and Queen Frederika
         "A Thousand Times Worse"
         An Absurdist Side
         "A Political Act"
         Color Bars
      Movie
   Costa-Gavras
      Play
      Index
   Raoul Coutard
      Play
   Form the Archives
      Vassilikos
      Costa-Gavras, Montand, Papas, Perrin, and Trintignant
      Costa-Gavras, Perrin, and Dux
      About the Programs
   Trailer
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
      Movie
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Customer Reviews

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