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22nd February 2013 16:00:00
Posted by Anthony Nield

Two Chabrol Blu-rays from Masters of Cinema in March

News
Eureka Entertainment have announced that they will be releasing two films starring Jean-Claude Brialy and Gérard Blain by the master director of the French thriller, Claude Chabrol - his debut feature, LE BEAU SERGE [HANDSOME SERGE], the first feature film of the French New Wave starring & the breakthrough feature and first massive commercial success, LES COUSINS [THE COUSINS], winner of the Golden Bear (Best Film) at the 1959 Berlin Film Festival. Both titles have been painstakingly restored by Gaumont for these new HD restorations and will be released on DVD & Blu-ray on the 8 April 2013.

LE BEAU SERGE [HANDSOME SERGE]

Gérard Blain and Jean-Claude Brialy star in the first of their collaborations with the great Claude Chabrol. The director's masterful feature debut — ironic, funny, unsparing — is a revelation: another of that rare breed of film where the dusty formula might be used in full sincerity: Le Beau Serge marks the beginning of "the Chabrol touch."

In this first feature film of the French New Wave, one year before Truffaut's The Four Hundred Blows, the dandyish François (Brialy, of Godard's A Woman Is a Woman, Rohmer's Claire's Knee, and countless other cornerstones of 20th-century French cinema) takes a holiday from the city to his home village of Sardent, where he reconnects with his old chum Serge (Blain), now a besotted and hopeless alcoholic, and sly duplicitous carnal Marie (Bernadette Lafont). A grave triangle forms, and a tragic slide ensues.

From Le Beau Serge onward up to his final film Bellamy in 2009, the revered Chabrol would come to leave a significant and lasting impression upon the French cinema — frequently with great commercial success. It is with great pride that we present Le Beau Serge, the kickstart of the Nouvelle Vague and of Chabrol's enormous body of work, on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK for the first time.

SPECIAL BLU-RAY AND DVD EDITIONS:

• Gorgeous new Gaumont restoration of the film in its original aspect ratio, presented in 1080p HD on the Blu-ray
• New and improved English subtitles
• Original theatrical trailer
• A 56-minute documentary about the making of the film
• L'Avarice [Avarice], Chabrol's 1962 short film
• A lengthy booklet with a new and exclusive essay by critic Emmanuel Burdeau; excerpts of interviews and writing by Chabrol; and more




LES COUSINS [THE COUSINS]

Made barely a year after Claude Chabrol's debut Le Beau Serge, Les Cousins featured the earlier film's same starring pair of Jean-Claude Brialy and Gérard Blain, here reversing the good-guy/bad-guy roles of the previous picture. The result is a simmering, venomous study in human temperament that not only won the Golden Bear at the 1959 Berlin Film Festival, but also drew audiences in droves, and effectively launched Chabrol's incredible fifty-year-long career.

In Les Cousins, Blain's character journeys from the country to Paris to crash at the luxurious flat of his worldly and decadent cousin, portrayed by Brialy, during the study period for an upcoming law exam which both have set out to undertake. It becomes clear soon enough that only one of the cousins is terribly committed to his work; as sexual promises and alcohol intervene, the set-up becomes untenable for the provincial, — and a tragic slide ensues.

A gripping and urbane examination of city and country, ambition and ease, Les Cousins continues to captivate and shock audiences with its brilliant scenario, the performances of Brialy and Blain, and the assuredness of Chabrol's precocious directorial hand. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Claude Chabrol's breakthrough film in a beautiful new Gaumont restoration on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK.

• Gorgeous new Gaumont restoration of the film in its original aspect ratio, presented in 1080p HD on the Blu-ray
• New and improved English subtitles
• Original theatrical trailer
• A 47-minute documentary about the making of the film
• L'Homme qui vendit la Tour Eiffel [The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower], Chabrol's 1964 short film
• A lengthy booklet with a new and exclusive essay by critic Emmanuel Burdeau; a new and exclusive translation of a rare text about actress Françoise Vatel provided for this release by its author, the filmmaker and critic Luc Moullet; excerpts of interviews and writing by Chabrol; and more



About Anthony Nield
Anthony hails from Cheltenham and has been writing about film for the best part of a decade. His particular obsessions include British and experimental cinema, non-fiction, and films that have fallen by the wayside. You'll find him reviewing such works in the DVD and Blu-ray sections, plus the occasional feature.