Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Fanny Trilogy |
Actors: Raimu, Pierre Fresnay, Fernand Charpin, Orane Demazis, Dria Paola
Directors: Alexander Korda, Marc Allégret, Marcel Pagnol, Mario Almirante
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Great films; mediocre restoration
Balaste | 1313 Wistful Vista, Anyplace, USA | 08/05/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am not even going to begin reviewing these three films. To do Pagnol's trilogy with any pretence of adequacy would require several pages. And in any case, my concern is to let potential buyers know about the computerized restoration of the films.
Earlier, Kino mentioned this, and it was a factor in my family's purchase of the new DVD set. Until now, the Fanny trilogy has been available in sadly worn prints reissued by Pagnol in the 1950s. We looked forward to a cleaned-up version, not unlike the wonderful new versions of Children of Paradise, and Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast.
Instead, we found that the work was spotty. Some scenes--notably the series of static interiors of Cesar and his cronies--were greatly improved. On the other hand, many exteriors were just as heavily scored and filled with debris as ever. What's more, new problems seemed to have been added. A piece of cardboard appeared across part a scene in Fanny for roughly 5 seconds. Another mercifully short exterior scene in the same film was horribly out of focus. The endings of some scenes were on freeze frames, rather than natural fades; and some fades take far too long, and do not reflect the original attentions of Pagnol, as evidenced in his own release.
In short, it felt as though the work had been begun, but that the trilogy had been offered to the public long before it could be finished. Significantly, Kino has withdrawn comments about any computerized restoration from their website. What they don't mention, either, is that the computerized mess that those
Under the circumstances, this new DVD issue can receive only a qualified recommendation at best. In addition, I shall no longer purchase any Kino product without first seeing reviews of the work done by the company and the firms it hires for computerized restoration. -But what's most depressing about all this is that we're unlikely to get another shot (considering the costs involved) at a truly restored Fanny trilogy. Kino, quite frankly, blew it."
Sublime, hilarious and wonderfully moving
Panisse | London, England | 10/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These three films - all by the French writer of genius, Marcel Pagnol - have become an adored part of France's cultural heritage, in much the same way that Chaplin, W C Fields, Ealing Comedy and the films of David Lean have in the USA and the UK,
They were made in the 1930's, but they remain as funny, poignant and marvellously entertaining as they were when first released. Set in the port of Marseille, they tell the story of a small group of friends and relatives at the heart of which is a bar-owner, played by the comic giant, Raimu.
I defy anyone not to fall in love with these characters - their foibles, their flaws and their flair. These are NOT 'art house' movies, but they are masterpieces of cinema. PLEASE watch these films, and then you'll want to tell everyone you love about them."
Citizen | 01/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my first time watching the Marcel Pagnol Trilogy, and let me begin by saying that, as far as technical quality goes, they were all very clear and the sound was very good, better than most films that I've rented from this era. The essence of the films overpowers any minor weaknesses in the quality of the restoration! Marius, Fanny and Cesar will enrich the lives of anyone who sees them.
What is important here are these masterpieces that Marcel Pagnol has given us! Each story captures the spirit and the soul of life on the French seaport city of Marseilles and each story captured my heart with its endearing characters. I found these stories rich in their dialogue, and the acting was superb, especially that of Raimu who plays Cesar and Orane Demazis as Fanny. It was satisfying to see the way each film took up just where the last had ended, allowing the story to completely unfold without leaving the viewer hanging. The humanity of each character is what hooked me. By hooked, I mean that it's been 3 days since I've seen the films, but I found myself still thinking about the characters even at work today! I can't say that about many films.
What An Absolute Pleasure To See These Films Again!!
John P. Phipps | Phoenix, AZ USA | 11/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had thought that Criterion would be the company to restore and reissue this triology: I've been thinking of it ever since DVD's arrived. It has been fifty plus years since I last saw it, but it had never left my memory. And there it was, the KINO edition. Of all the French films I saw in the late 40's and early 50's, these were the only ones with specific scenes that I remember.
Let me delicately suggest to the reviewer Fable that he may wish to have his DVD player chacked - I saw none of the "cardboard" mentioned in his review of Fanny. The restoration was, in my opinion, excellent (the sound might sound a bit old, but one must remember that these films are from the '30's.) I was amazed by the clarity of the print and the techniques now available for bringing these epics to original condition.
Especially heartening to me was my wife's reaction - she had never seen them before, and we both enjoyed the experience immensely. My grandaughter (fluent in French) will be with us for Christmas, and I hope she will find as much pleasure viewing them as we did. My profound thanks go to Kino for providing us with the opportunity to revisit this wonderful story and its so memorable characters."