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Eclipse Series 44: Julien Duvivier in the Thirties on DVD

Regular Price: $59.95

Special Price $52.63

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Actors: Harry Baur, Robert Lynen, Marie Bell
Director: Julien Duvivier
Genre: Drama
Year: 1930s
Studio: Criterion Collection
Length: 407 minutes (4 discs)
Released: November 3, 2015
Rating: Not Rated
Format: DVD (NTSC/Region 1)
Misc: Black & White
Language: French
Subtitles: English




Remembered primarily for directing the classic crime drama Pépé le moko, Julien Duvivier was one of the finest filmmakers working in France in the 1930s. He made the transition from silents to talkies with ease, thanks to a formidable innate understanding of the cinematic medium, and he married his expressive camera work to a strikingly inventive use of sound with a singular dexterity. His deeply shadowed, fatalistic early sound films David Golder and La tête d’un homme anticipate the poetic realist style that would come to define the decade in French cinema, while the small-town family drama Poil de Carotte and the swooning tale of love and illusion Un carnet de bal showcase his stunning versatility. These four films—all featuring the great stage turned screen actor Harry Baur—are collected here, each evidence of an immense and often overlooked cinematic talent. FOUR-DVD BOX SET INCLUDES: DAVID GOLDER The first sound film by Julien Duvivier also marked his first collaboration with the marvelous actor Harry Baur. Together, they brought to life the vivid protagonist of Irène Némirovsky’s best-selling first novel, an avaricious, self-interested banker whose family life is as tempestuous as his business dealings. Directed with visual panache, this grim yet arresting tale showcases Duvivier’s preternatural cinematic maturity during a transitional phase for the French film industry. POIL DE CAROTTE Julien Duvivier remade his own silent adaptation of a popular turn-of-the-twentieth-century novella for the sound era, resulting in one of his most beloved films. In a tremendously moving performance, Robert Lynen plays the neglected young François, mockingly called Poil de Carotte (“Carrottop”) by his family for his mop of red hair. Duvivier sensitively charts the rural daily life of a boy desperate to connect with others, especially his distracted father, played by the chameleonic Harry Baur. LA TÊTE D’UN HOMME This meticulously crafted adaptation stars Harry Baur as novelist Georges Simenon’s indelible creation Inspector Maigret, investigating the odd circumstances surrounding the killing of a wealthy American woman in Paris. Every bit Baur’s equal is the Russian émigré actor Valéry Inkijinoff, cast as a nihilistic, reptilian medical student. Julien Duvivier gives the viewer one evocative image after another, constructing a work of sinister beauty. UN CARNET DE BAL A rich widow, nostalgic for the lavish parties of her youth, sets off across Europe to reconnect with the many suitors who once courted her. In doing so, she embarks on a journey of discovery, both of herself and of how greatly the world has changed in two decades. Julien Duvivier’s smash hit is a wry, visually inventive tale of romantic pragmatism that deftly combines comedy and drama.

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