Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Véra Briole, Francis Renaud, Raymond Gil, Bobby Pacha, Blanca Li
Director: Karim Dridi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Mystery & Suspense
A Gritty Story in the Seediest Red Light District of Paris
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/13/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"PIGALLE has all the ingredients of a splendid little exposé of the infamous sector of crime in the City of Light. The problem is there is so little actual 'light' in the camera work that much of what happens in this film cannot be seen!
Pigalle is an area in Paris infamous for being an historic and a current zone of drug conclaves, prostitution (both male and female and every cross in between), peep show and strip clubs, junkies, thieves and murderers. In this mire swell all of the characters of this story. Divine (Blanca Li) is a transvestite performer in a club run by fellow transvestite Fernande (Raymond Gil) and Divine is in love with Fifi (Francis Renaud), a male street hustler and thief who in addition to his affair with Divine has an ongoing flirtation with Véra (Véra Briole), a woman who works as a stripper and peep show dancer but refuses to be a prostitute. Véra lives with her pimp Jésus le Gitan (Patrick Chauvel) whose primary occupation is drug dealing. Add to this smarmy group a large cast of deviates and druggies and hardcore criminals and you have the populace of Pigalle.
The story involves the murders of both Divine and Jésus: the drug lords 'convince' Véra to talk Fifi into being the hit man to revenge the killings. How all of this fits together - the consequences of betrayal and the desperate need for love that consumes each of the main characters - brings the tale to a grisly close.
This is a tale of survival in the amoral streets of Pigalle and writer/director Karim Dridi certainly knows how to create atmosphere commensurate with his story. There is excessive drug use, violence, and loathing that at times threaten to drown the little story, but were it filmed in any other way it would not have the impact that permeates this 1994 French film. In French with English subtitles, Not recommended for the squeamish, but recommended for those who enjoy film noir! Grady Harp, September 05"
Decent Film - Don't Buy the DVD!
Vaughan | UK | 02/06/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"You're reading this, so I assume you know something about this film. The previous reviewer spells some things out for you, plot wise, anyway.
The reason for my leaving this brief set of comments is to say: DON'T BUY THIS DVD. I don't know Koch Lorber, the DVD maker, is thinking, but the this DVD is pan and scan. So rather than glorious 1.85:1 widescreen, you get this zoomed in, muddy mess. It's not even been remastered, so often it's dark and you can't tell what's going on.
This film is about the location as much as anything else, so to lose that is awful. To add insult to injury, the trailer included as an extra IS in widescreen.... what's up with that, huh?
Koch also released Sister My Sister, another film they've butchered to 4:3.
I know you might want this because it's a decent film - but this DVD is a very poor presentation. Only buy if you're desperate - if you can wait, wait. I'm sure there's an overseas version that does it better....
You've been warned!"