Cineste’s will be heaven this April when Arrow Academy releases a pair of Blu-ray box sets from two European masters of cinema. Eric Rohmer and Krzysztof Kieślowski box-sets will collect together some of their greatest films, along with rare shorts and documentaries. Beautifully packaged, with impeccably restored prints and a wealth of extras.
First in April is Cinema of Conflict: Four Films by Krzysztof Kieślowski. Few names are as synonymous with Polish cinema as that of Krzysztof Kieślowski, the renowned auteur responsible for the Dekalog and Three Colours trilogy. Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall and his subsequent creative and critical success in France, Kieślowski plied his trade within the confines of the Eastern Bloc, capturing the realities of everyday life under Soviet rule. This collection gathers his four earliest narrative feature films, encapsulating the years 1976–1984. As socially conscious as Kieślowski’s earlier documentary shorts, this quartet of films covers a tumultuous period in Polish and Eastern European history, shot with unflinching realism by a filmmaker of distinction.
To celebrate the French director’s centenary, Arrow Academy release the Blu-ray box set Eric Rohmer 100 – Comedies and Proverbs. Rohmer enjoyed a remarkable career: between 1949, when he started work on his first short film, to the release of his final effort, The Romance of Astrea and Celadon, in 2007, Rohmer directed some 28 features, as well as numerous shorts and documentaries, many of them masterpieces. Complemented by numerous bonus features, this special edition Blu-ray set provides both a welcome opportunity for the newcomer to explore the work of a great director as well as a must-have collection for the die-hard Rohmer fan.
Cinema of Conflict: Four Films by Krzysztof Kieślowski | Blu-ray | 20th April 2020
In 1976’s The Scar, a well-intentioned Party loyalist is charged with overseeing the construction of a new chemical plant in the face of fierce resistance and is forced to confront the conflict between his good intentions and local opposition.
In 1979’s Camera Buff, a family man and amateur filmmaker experiences a dramatic change in fortunes when his newfound hobby opens up new horizons but also results in deep marital and philosophical conflicts.
Blind Chance, completed in 1981 and denied a release in its native Poland until 1987, presents three possible outcomes to a single, seemingly banal event – a young medical student running to catch a train – and, in the process, explores the relationship between chance and choice.
In 1984’s No End, a recently bereaved translator juggles the conflicting demands of her work, caring for her son and her continued visions of her late husband, all against the backdrop of a Poland under the grip of martial law.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
• Limited Edition collection (2000 copies)
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all four films
• Original lossless mono audio for all films
• Optional English subtitles for all films
• Brand new audio commentary on Camera Buff by critic Annette Insdorf
• Brand new audio commentary on Blind Chance by film historian Michael Brooke
• Ghost of a Chance, a brand new visual essay on No End by Adrian Martin and Cristina Alvarez Lopez
• Moral and Martial Anxieties, a brand new discussion with Michael Brooke, exploring the brief and remarkable Polish film renaissance of the turn of the 1980s
• Brand new introductions by scholar and critic Michał Oleszczyk to all films
• Michał Oleszczyk looks through archive materials for each film
• Archival interviews with filmmakers Agnieska Holland and Krzysztof Zanussi, cinematographers Slawomir Idziak and Jacek Petrycki, actress Grazyna Szapoloska, sound designer Michal Zarnecki, critic Annette Insdorf and Kieślowski collaborator Irena Strazakowska
• Three short films by Kieślowski: Talking Heads (1980), Concert of Requests (1995) and The Office (1995)
• Workshop Exercises, a 1987 short film by Marcel Lonzinski
• Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by scholars and authors Ewa Mazierska, Marek Hatlof, Dina Iordanova and Joseph G. Kickasola, and original writing by Kieślowski
Eric Rohmer 100 Comedies and Proverbs | Blu-ray | 20th April 2020
The Aviator’s Wife sees François become obsessed with the idea that his girlfriend is being unfaithful.
A Good Marriage follows Sabine in her pursuit of matrimony with Edmond, who it seems is the only person that doesn’t know the two are set to marry.
In Pauline at the Beach the titular Pauline and her cousin Marion discover lovers new and old during a summer vacation. Full Moon in Paris centres on Louise who although in a relationship with Remi seeks the freedom of single life.
The Green Ray sees Delphine let down by her holiday companion, travelling alone she witnesses a remarkable natural phenomenon.
My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend tells the story of new-to-town Blanche and her colleague Léa whose relationships become entangled.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of six Éric Rohmer features: The Aviator’s Wife, A Good Marriage, Pauline at the Beach, Full Moon in Paris, The Green Ray, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
• Original French mono soundtracks (uncompressed PCM)
• Optional English subtitles
• Introductions to The Aviator’s Wife, A Good Marriage, Pauline at the Beach, Full Moon in Paris and The Green Ray by Éric Rohmer
• In depth appreciation of Rohmer by filmmaker and actor Richard Ayoade
• Effraction: Tchéky Karyo, an hour-long French television documentary profile of the Full Moon in Paris actor
• On-set report from the making of My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
• Archive interview with André Dussollier on The Aviator’s Wife
• Archive interview with Claude-Jean Philippe and Caroline Champetier on Pauline at the Beach
• Archive interview with Arielle Dombasle on Pauline at the Beach
• Archive interview with Pascale Ogier on Full Moon in Paris
• Archive interview with Marie Rivière on The Green Ray
• Changing Landscapes, a 1964 documentary short directed by Rohmer
• Audio interview with Rohmer
• Trailers for all six films
• Reversible sleeves featuring six artwork options