Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Fanny Trilogy|
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Kino International Release Date: 09/25/2007
A Cinematic Treasure
Michael J. Glaubman | Boston, MA | 07/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pagnol brings out the humanity of the people of Provence while telling the romance of Marius and Fanny. As cinematic art it brings out the power of a story in which the balance of love and cupidity of normal people affirms real life and the importance of goodness and tolerance. The scenery, the streets of 1920's Marseilles, etc. are priceless. The middle one, Fanny, is probably the best, but the whole is more than the sum of its parts."
W. Hamilton | NSW Australia | 10/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are three adult films, by which I mean true-to-life, emotionally demanding and mercurial, funny and sad together, intellectually stimulating, uncontrived. The acting is gold plated and the dialogue unfailingly witty and original. The story of love unrequited, set in pre-war Marsailles (the docks form a wonderful backdrop to the story) is justly hailed as one of the great achievements of cinema - for any age."
Heli Fink | Wilmington / Delaware | 04/21/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some of the finest French talents play in this trilogy, which was filmed when French moviemaking was still in its cradle, making the transition from silent movies to 'talkies'.....It is difficult to categorize these three films, wether they are comedy or comic tragedy or tragic comedy........
The script was written by Marcel Pagnol, and based on his very successful plays with the same name. The famous Alexander Korda was director together with Marc Allegret and Marcel Pagnol for the first film. The three interrelated stories are : "Marius", " Fanny" and "César", and were filmed in 1929, 1931 and 1936 and recently remastered. They are in French language with subtitles and filmed in black and white. The 'plot' is a 'love story' between Fanny and Marius. It is also the story about family and friendship, about abandonment and about honor, and about the yearning for distant places and 'the world'. What made it so special in its time was, that it is the story about everyday people and not the upper classes. There is much dialog which mostly is a very rapid language exchange and contributes to the comic effect alone, in addition to the absurd, but captivating French gestures, behaviors and circumstances. When not a native French speaker, it is not that easy to follow the Marseillaise dialect which is spoken at an absolutely astounding and dizzying speed.
The story is almost filmed like a play, in the confined area of shops and living quarters and in the old harbor of Marseille which is a wonder to behold and some other exterior scenes later on. There are Raimu as César, a bar owner, and Fernand Charpin as Panisse, the owner of a sailing supply store, who are absolutely superb in their roles. There is Oran Demazus as Fanny, daughter of a fish monger and Pierre Fresney as Marius, who is César's son. There are also female supportive roles, such as Fanny's corpulent mother and other enbompoint relatives, as well as the assorted comical pals of the two older men who deserve to be mentioned for their fine acting.
However, whenever, one uses the same actors to play roles that span a long time, such as 20 years, there looms trouble on the horizon and loss of credibility when casting them. Marius is supposed to be around 20 and he looks like 40 because in real life he is an old 32. (result of life in the French fast lane perhaps). César (Remu) is supposed to be his father, who in actual life was only 46 when making the first movie and they look like contemporaries, not like father and son. César would have had to have been 14 years old, had he actually fathered Marius. Marius is not at all likeable with his black greasy hair, that has a spit curl on the side and his ill fitting blazer and straw hat on an old face, in the attempt to make him look young. He is loved by Fanny, who is fine comedienne, but too old for the role of an 18 year old, when the movie begins. She was then actually 35 in real life and it shows mightily. In the last movie "César" she was 42 and the age she is supposed to represent. The relationship between Panisse and Fanny is initially represented almost as a perverted thing, for an OLD man to desire 'such a young woman'. In reality the 'old man' was only 7 years her senior, but in the story it was 30 years....however, the mature men in this movie do have their paunches and big rear ends, sightly less than the elderly French women...........When we see Fanny's son for the first time, he ist supposed to be 20, home from military school/college. He looks like he is 35.
As soon as one stops marvelling at these glaring inconsistencies of age, the film becomes very engrossing and charming and human."