Police (Masters of Cinema) DVD
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Directed by Maurice Pialat
Produced in 1985
Main Language - French with English subtitles
An idiosyncratic police-thriller, Maurice Pialat's Police delivers on the raw promise of its title, insofar as much of its action qualifies as an insistently 'procedural' descent into the Paris drugs underworld. But the hyper-real route that the film takes to arrive there, before veering into a zone of dangerous emotional play, contributes to a disorienting, adventurous, and ultimately tremendously exciting experience unlike any 'police-thriller' ever before conceived.
The iconic Gérard Depardieu (who also collaborated with Pialat on Loulou, Sous le soleil de Satan, and Le Garçu) plays Mangin, a cop whose brutal method of investigation finds its obsessive outlet in an attempt to crack a Tunisian narcotics ring. It is when Mangin enters into close acquaintance with the defiant Noria (expertly played by Sophie Marceau in one of her first screen roles) that the film proceeds to chart an unexpected, emotionally ambiguous course — and the lines between 'right' and 'wrong', and 'power' and 'freedom', terminally blur.
Written with Catherine Breillat (director of The Last Mistress, Anatomy of Hell, Fat Girl), but relying in equal measure upon Pialat's improvisatory control (directing, among others, his star-actress from A nos amours, Sandrine Bonnaire), Police is a genre-defying excursion rivaled only by John Cassavetes' The Killing of a Chinese Bookie in the pantheon of cinema's most idiosyncratic thrillers.
Publisher: Eureka / Masters of Cinema
Length: 109 mins
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 22nd September 2008
Cat No: EKA40293
- 2 discs
- Gorgeous new anamorphic transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio
- New and improved English subtitle translations
- 2003 video interview with director and Police co-screenwriter Catherine Breillat, conducted by former Cahiers du cinéma editor-in-chief, and current director of the Cinémathèque Française, Serge Toubiana
- ZOOM SUR POLICE [ZOOM ONTO POLICE] (2002) — 34-minute documentary by Virginie Apiou about the production of the film
- Vintage screen-tests featuring Maurice Pialat and C. Galmiche, the inspiration for the character of Lambert
- Excerpt from a 1985 episode of Cinéma Cinémas shot during the course of the 17th day of production on Police
- 23-minute video discussion with Yann Dedet, the editor of Police
- The film's original trailer, along with trailers for other Maurice Pialat films to be released by The Masters of Cinema Series
- 40-page booklet containing a new essay by filmmaker and critic Dan Sallitt, and newly translated interviews with Maurice Pialat.
“'Influential and Significant'”
by PAUL RONAYNE on 25th September 2009
'Police' delves into the Paris demi-monde with the force of a volcano. An early example of the new expressionism in French Cinema it is a powerful cop drama that prese... Read on
'Police' delves into the Paris demi-monde with the force of a volcano. An early example of the new expressionism in French Cinema it is a powerful cop drama that presents disturbing connotations.
Depardeau was at his finest during the 1980s and this is one of his best performances of the period as Mangin the street wise Police Inspector. Leading a bunch of tough Parsian cops who attempt to crack a Tunisian narcotics ring he blends brutality and introspection with masculinity and sensitivity. In an excellent piece of casting Sophie Marceau plays a teenage gangster's moll who matches Mangin at every turn and twist in the plot.
Retrospectively, this movie can be seen as a phasemaker in police dramas. The lines between the good guys and the bad become blurred, we develop a certain sympathy with the outcasts of society and frustration, if not contempt for the guardians of law and order at a street level and in the courts. An influential and significant film 'Police' has had a major impact upon this genre on both sides of the Atlantic especially in contemporary TV cop shows Hide