Enter the world according to Bertrand Blier and be prepared for a
twisted view of reality that is uncomfortably honest. Blier gets so far inside his
characters they almost fold up inside themselves. Blier writes and directs his own
original material. Beau Pere is a film that once again focuses on evolving
relationships this side of unusual. An American film dealing with the same subject matter
would come out much different. Perhaps the only way to treat it would be as black comedy.
And indeed, there is a lot of prickly humor in the weave of Blier's film cloth.
|Discovering emotions.©Fox Lorber
Remy, a down on his luck piano
player, that is if he ever had any luck, plays sad jazz numbers at a supper club while his
wife Martine, an aging model, must resort to posing for body shots to get work. There's
barely enough money on the table for food to support their family of three, which includes
Remy's 14-year-old stepdaughter Marion. Tension is building between Remy and Martine.
Physical attraction is being undermined by financial failure. Reality is charging in on
them as never before when Marion heads out for a job and collides with a truck at an
intersection. Remy must tell Marion the shocking news and then deal with a difficult
situation. Marion wants to live with him, but her estranged father Charly wants her with
Instead of turning into a sob story custody battle, Marion
returns to live with Remy after two weeks and prevails when Charly tries to bring her
back. What is not apparent at first is that Marion is infatuated with Remy. Just how far
will it go? Will Remy succumb to Marion's increasingly Lolita-like behavior? How will Remy
Blier explores the story in traditional and original forms mixed
together. Characters speak to the screen, narrating their own story, trying to explain
themselves. There are interesting twists and turns as this skillfully woven tale unfolds.
Patrick Dewaere, a Blier regular, plays Remy with a numbing
child-like acceptance. Ariel Besse is rather amazing as Marion. She captures the awakening
impulses of womanhood and sexual hunger with innocence and candor. Maurice Ronet is
effective as Charly.
The DVD is not a pretty sight. The widescreen image is very soft
and grainy. Some scenes are positively out of focus. The source material appears to have
suffered color deterioration. The result is a dull, muddy image that favors brown mixed
into almost every color. White English titles on this 2.35 presentation appear in the
bottom black letterbox band. Through it all, the film is powerful enough to hold its home
theater audience is shocked silence.
Home Theater Reference System
Laser discs and DVDs are evaluated on the following current home theater
equipment: Stewart 6' x 11' Videomatte 1.33 Gain Screen, 2 Runco 980 Ultra
Projectors stacked, Faroudja LD100 Line Doubler, Lexicon DC1 Surround Processor/Switcher,
2 Pioneeer Elite CLD-97 Laser Disc Players with AC-3 Modification, Sony 7000 DVD Player,
Toshiba SD-3006 DVD Player, Total Media Systems Reference Home Theater Suite, LR Fronts,
Center, LR Sides, LR Rears, 2 Velodyne F1500R Subwoofers, Sunfire Cinema Grand5 Channel
Amp, Sunfire 2 Channel Amp, Lexicon RF Demodulator, Lexicon T-500 System Remote Control,
Speaker Wire and Interconnects by Straight Wire.
The American Widescreen Museum
The wealth of information about widescreen movies is presented in a intelligent and
easy to understand interface. Color in movies is given a similar treatment.
Robert Harris is part
of the dynamic duo that restored Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus, My Fair Lady and Vertigo.
Harris rides a white horse into the battle to preserve our film legacy. Click on the
image to read more.
Check out the Movie Poster Archive
for short bios and images of Susan Hayward, Kirk Douglas, Katharine Hepburn and many more.
This month's featured star is John Wayne. The Feature Archive has articles
ranging from Akira
Kurosawa to Blonde
Bimbos and John
Click on the image of The Heistmasters
for an interesting feature on the tough guys that pull off the big jobs.