Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wuthering Heights |
Actors: Fabienne Babe, Lucas Belvaux, Sandra Montaigu, Alice de Poncheville, Olivier Cruveiller
Director: Jacques Rivette
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Based on Emily Bronte's classic 19th-century novel, this beautiful and sensual film tells the story of the tormented love affair between two childhood sweethearts--Catherine, a headstrong young woman, and Roch, a fiery you... more »
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Not worth exploring
Robert Bezimienny | Sydney, NSW Australia | 02/05/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"For many years I have struggled against the suspicion that Emmanuelle Beart (sans habillement) is the reason 'La Belle Noiseuse' remains one of my favourite films; there was, after all, the lingering possibility that Jacques Rivette was in fact a genius. With this in mind I recently purchased two of his films on DVD, this and 'Gang of Four' - I'm afraid the money would have been better spent on a poster of Emmanuelle.
Rivette has decided that 'Wuthering Heights' best be interpreted as the product of a childish imagination (not a very flattering assessment of Emily Bronte's powers). The actors here are very young and, unfortunately for mine, neither highly experienced nor talented, the male leads in particular being singularly hapless. The lighting is natural where possible and most of the film appears shot on location. The intention of all of this could be to render the story with a certain rawness, however this rawness is difficult to distinguish from amateurishness. Most damning is the incredible lack of emotion portrayed given the subject matter. It is as if the whole story is an invocation of an adolescent girl's dream, and as such filled with thin romantic whims rather than credible human reactions - this seems an underestimation of the original novel, of adolescent girls, and in any case makes for a very dull film.
Other aspects of the film contribute to the disappointment. Transporting the drama from the moors to the pleasant French countryside does little to deepen the mood; the music is quirky and unexpected, but it also feels arbitrary, and works against any coherent artistic vision; and this is probably the only time that the sound effects in a film drew attention to themselves - they are appalling, the crickets in the opening scenes sounding more like malfunctioning electrical transformers than insects. The DVD transfer is poor, picture and sound quality being marginal, and there are no extra features whatsoever, not even a decent printed precis.
Are there are any upsides to this? Well, Catherine is played by Fabienne Babe, a woeful actress but a beautiful woman - but I'm afraid that compensates little for what is a truly dreadful film."