Alain Robbe-Grillet: Six Films 1963-1974 (Box Set) DVD
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Directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Produced in 1963-1974
Main Language - French with English subtitles
Alain Robbe-Grillet’s moment as director - death notwithstanding, and for UK audiences- seems to have come.
He is of course part of celluloid legend, having written Alain Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad, but this hugely ambitious six feature package (with extremely helpful contextualising extras) will operate from a standing start for most viewers. For decades Robbe-Grillet’s film been the preserve of the festival and much-missed repertory circuit since widespread release success in the ’60s for his most successful titles, The Immortal One and Trans-Europ-Express. This last - mystery, thriller, erotic fantasy, set on the eponymous train - features the essential presence of the great Jean-Louis Trintignant, who also appears in four more of the features collected here.
Sexually provocative, playing with genre and psychological expectations and often both stylish and stylised simultaneously, Alain Robbe-Grillet's films distilled the preoccupations of their times in striking, often unexpected ways.
Gareth Evans on 24th June 2014
Author of 16 reviews
A 6-film box set of the controversial French director/writer’s enigmatic and sexually-charged films, available for the very first time.
Perhaps best known as the writer of Alain Resnais' classic cine-conundrum Last Year of Marienbad, Alain Robbe-Grillet was also the director a number of stylish, controversial and erotic films which starred such icons of French cinema as Jean-Louis Trinignant, Marie-France Pisier and Isabelle Huppert.
Impossible to see for decades, these enigmatic films have now been collected together for the very first time, and are made available here in beautifully remastered High Definition presentations, with extra features including video introductions by Catherine Robbe-Grillet, filmed interviews with Alain Robbe-Grillet by Frederic Taddei, and newly-recorded, exclusive feature-length commentaries by cult cinema authority Tim Lucas.
Contains: The Immortal One (1963), Trans-Europ Express (1967), The Man Who Lies (1968), Eden and After (1970), N. Took the Dice (1971) and Successive Slidings Into Pleasure (1974).
Length: 554 mins
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Format: DVD B&W
Released: 30th June 2014
Cat No: BFIV2000
- 5 discs
- All six films presented in High Definition on Blu-ray, and digitally remastered in High Definition on DVD
- Newly filmed introductions by Catherine Robbe-Grillet (2013)
- Filmed interviews with Alain Robbe-Grillet by critic Frederic Taddei (2007)
- New and exclusive full-length audio commentaries for each film by Tim Lucas
- Original theatrical trailers
- Illustrated booklet with a new essay by David Taylor, full film credits and on-set photographs.
by Barry Forshaw on 4th August 2014
Difficult to see for decades, Alain Robbe-Grillet’s films are collected together for the first time, beautifully remastered in High Definition from the BFI. The six fi... Read on
Difficult to see for decades, Alain Robbe-Grillet’s films are collected together for the first time, beautifully remastered in High Definition from the BFI. The six films included here are from his most productive period of filmmaking and include Trans-Europ-Express and The Immortal One (L’Immortelle). Robbe-Grillet, one of the literary progenitors of the Nouveau Roman, demonstrated a readiness to engage more directly with the erotic and even relished sex scenes. He had included sado-masochistic elements in his early work (including Marie-France Pisier in a basque and stockings, tied to a bed before being strangled in Trans-Europ Express (1967); the same film, a parody of crime/espionage thrillers, ended with a striptease in a night club leaving a girl with only a tiny cache-sexe to preserve her modesty; strong stuff for 1967). The director’s later Eden and After (1970) dealt with a group of vaguely disinterested students in search of diversion who try out simulated gang rape, black masses and a variety of unorthodox sexual practices at a cafe called ‘Eden’. In narrative terms, the film is all over the place, and one might be forgiven for thinking the director is too distracted by the youthfully attractive nudity (as was Antonioni in Zabriskie Point) to channel the experimental rigour of his earlier films such as L’Immortelle (1963) and the above-mentioned Trans-Europ Express. Another problem with the film is its writer/director’s obvious infatuation with his leading lady; attractive though Catherine Jourdan is, she is not called upon to do a great deal more than wander around in a vaguely confused state, just about wearing an extremely abbreviated dress (the viewer becomes extremely familiar with her red knickers); Catherine Robbe-Grillet, closely involved in the making of his films, has said that her husband had an affair with Jourdan for the duration of the film, and the fact that Eden and After is demonstrably a love letter vitiates any more complex intentions the director may have nurtured. There is a great deal of tying up and binding with ropes and chains in the films of Alain Robbe-Grillet, and it is possible to speculate that the director (an admirer of comic strips) may have been familiar with the creation of the psychologist William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman, who spent a great deal of time being tied up in her adventures (a fact not lost on the more censorious 1950s scrutinisers of popular culture). Hide