Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Lady Chatterley |
Extended European Edition
Actors: Marina Hands, Hippolyte Girardot
Director: Pascale Ferran
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Disc 1: — - Lady Chatterley: Extended European Edition 201 MINUTES (40 MINUTES OF NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN FOOTAGE) — - In French with Optional English subtitles — - Enhanced for 16x9 TVs — Disc 2: — - Interviews with Pascale Ferran, ... more »
Sense and Sensuality: DH Lawrence's Masterpiece Glows in the
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DH Lawrence's novels may be tough to translate to the screen, so much of his writing is dependent on the words on the page as they form images of extraordinary beauty and sensuality. His novels are quintessentially British and reflect on the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization, confronting issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, sexuality, and human instinct. During his lifetime he was even labeled a pornographer, but that was then and now is now, and under the gifted guidance of director/writer (with Roger Bohbot and Pierre Trividic) Pascale Ferran, Lawrence's exquisite tale of sexual awakening has found what for this viewer is the finest transition of the novel to the screen.
The place is England after WW I and Sir Clifford Chatterley (Hippolyte Girardot) is the paraplegic wealthy husband of Constance/Lady Chatterley (a radiant Marina Hands). Quite apropos for the era, Constance tends to her impotent husband, does needlepoint, and takes walks to while away her boredom. On one of her walks she encounters the gamekeeper Parkin (Jean-Louis Coullo'ch), seeing a partially nude man for the first time in her life. The impact awakens her somnolent sexuality and she manages to visit Parkin daily, gradually allowing her lust to unfold. Parkin is 'below her class' but is a masculine, sensuous embodiment of everything Constance has never experienced. They slowly bond and both of them become passionately in love, finding lovemaking in Parkin's hut, in the woods, in the rain - wherever they encounter. Constance wants to have a baby and convinces Clifford that she can become impregnated and the resulting child would be 'Clifford's' by pact. Constance travels to London, the Riviera, and other ports, only to return home believing that Parkin has reclaimed his ex-wife. But there are many surprises that greet her and the manner in which the story resolves (in Ferran's hands) leaves us unsure of the future.
The film is captured amidst the beauties of the natural world - flowers, trees, springs, brooks - and these aspects of the natural world are an influential part of Constance's sexual awakening. Yes, there are scenes of complete nudity and love making but they are photographed so well by
Julian Hirsch that they become an integral part of the story. The musical score by Béatrice Thiriet finds the right quality of elegance and sensuality. If there is a problem with this nearly three-hour film it is in the editing by Yann Dedet and Mathilde Muyard that takes liberties with scene transitions that prove disruptive.
But it would be hard to imagine two actors who could match the subtlety and sexual tension that Marina Hands and Jean-Louis Coullo'ch to this film. It is breathtakingly beautiful to experience DH Lawrence's story in the hands of the French crew and cast. Grady Harp, December 07
Fernan's LADY CHATTERLEY
the pegasus | 10/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pascale Ferran's LADY CHATTERLEY is an exquisitely wrought film. The themes of the Lawrence novel frame the film, but Ferran seems to have put together her own very contemporary treatment despite the literary and time period setting. The photography is breathtaking and is integral to my characterization of the film as "exquisitely wrought." The first part of the film moves very, very slowly with almost no dialogue as the luxurious expanses of the country landscape are defined along with the formal and aristocratic settings of the Wragby estate. The obsession, both photographically and from a time duration standpoint, with the landscape serves a significant two-fold purpose---establishing Nature as a primary element in this world and reinforcing the beauty/sensuality of that Nature. That becomes a critical underpinning to the orchestration to the unfolding of the very sensual and sexual relationship of Constance and the Gamekeeper Parkin. If there was a weakness in the film, it would be the concluding section of the film which seemed more simply a patchwork of ideas and actions and not the carefully orchestrated ever increasingly complex visual and thematic development of the first half to two-thirds. However, the ending left everything up in the air as concerns the future of their relationship which I thought was a masterful stroke. There was no smug Hollywood resolution in either direction nor did Ferran give it a particularly French "affaire de passion" resolution. The ending seemed very realistic and "now" and in that sense probably departs from Lawrence in the most dramatic way. This is a must see film!"
ponythatwalks | Cambridge MA USA | 09/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very beautiful interpretation, with a slow, emotionally honest exposition. Makes one feel as though looking at Lawrence's novel quite afresh, without all its encrusted history of sweaty-palm controversies. It is situated very convincingly in its era (1920s), at a point of openiing up against the sexual restrictions of its class, society and period. It shows the slow discovery of the possibilities of reaching for sexual passion and physical satisfaction - especially for the woman (after all, the title of the movie is: "Lady Chatterley", without the "lover" of the book.). This is done without any prudish voyeuristic clichés, or romanticized imageries, yet, at the same time, fully engaging with all the power of sex and sensuality, and not avoiding looking at man's and woman's nudity. The acting is wonderfully restrained and subtle, mostly through looks, gestures, and the characters' postures and movements."
Lady Chatterley Has Issues ...
Edward Lee | 03/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I guess you could write all the live-long day about the number of times this D.H. Lawrence novel has been brought to the big screen, the small screen, or the direct-to-DVD screen, but I don't think LADY CHATTERLEY has been given such highbrow treatment before (though I admit I haven't seen the full BBC adaptation, which I hear is quite entertaining). I guess the entertainment industry's love affair with the classic novel enjoys the same lusty high and lows that the mylady does with the gamekeeper! For what it's worth, many others have made much ado about the film's pacing so I'll spare you my quaint concerns on that matter suffice it to say that I think director Pascale Ferran could've trimmed the 40 minute set-up just a wee bit to get to the juicy "first contact" and probably not sacrificed much story. Also, critics have been quick to praise "every frame of the film is bustling with life" (paraphrased), but that's certainly not the case with this DVD release as I found much of the picture quality poor to medium with some of the greenery of Clifford's (her invalid husband) estate to be lost to grain. And the use of colors and costumes (once sexually awakened, Constance Chatterley's fabric of choice seeming goes from flannel and burlap to elegant silky satins freshly colored in Crayola "Harlot Red") could be the source of endless discussion and fascination, but, in the end, any film exploration of the Chatterley affair inevitably always comes down to the matter of how the two lovers get it on.
And these two do get it on quite well. The DVD cover art boasts "the most frankly sensual movie in memory." I've read elsewhere that the coupling is intended to be as close to authentic as possible, and by authentic I can only assume that the critic politely meant to say that it's relatively short, subtle, and mostly not overtly HBO or Cinemax theatrical where the two last for hours only to end up in a huddled poised sweaty sculpturesque mess only fit for Victorian paintings. "Earthy" is a word that comes to mind for me. Their first coupling is awkward -- paced as though it was plucked from reality -- with mylady clearly not quite knowing what to do, what to think, or what to make of the experience while Parkin remains -- at all times -- largely servant-like. Afterwards, neither take a moment to bask in the awakening, per se; largely, they both desire to return to their lives, and it isn't until a few days later that they experience the real emotional awakening that comes from their attachment.
With each successive encounter, these two grow more and more adventurous and expressive until, finally, it's plain to see that they've committed to one another much more than their initial bonding, one that was clearly predicated on their employer/employee relationship. Constance -- at the talents of Marina Hands -- is deftly portrayed both in and out of the sexual experience, and her character becomes a bit more of a mouthpiece for defying the social conventions of the time -- speaking to her husband in favor of change; wanting to and talking about having a child to her husband who cannot give her what she wants; using her personal wealth to establish her lover at a time when men didn't live off the wealth of women -- but not much more of a mouthpiece than the character has had in previous screen incarnations.
So, in the end, we're given a film where the encounters do seem, feel, portray the physical relationship and the budding emotional one as arguably much more authentic than before, but that's about it. In the end, Constance has found love, and Parkin's accepted his place in the universe, and the film climaxes (a bad word, yes, but you knew it was coming ... ouch!) with perhaps the most curious moments that 50% of viewers would say cries out for a sequel ... but methinks D.H. Lawrence isn't around to take advantage of it.
I can't help but add that, come the conclusion, Constance is still governed by her issues. Her lust. Her desire. Her thirst for life and love. Her endless femininity. But, also, she's curiously weighted down just a bit by a free-spirited, globe-trotting sister who looks frighteningly like a young boy in awkward drag.
Such is life ..."