The Benoit Jacquot Collection
La Nouvelle Vague, the French New Wave, is a perhaps singular movement in the history of film, even if many of its supposed proponents would argue about whether there was an "official" movement at all. It's hard to think of another example of a group of filmmakers crafting a series of films that revolutionized both content and (probably especially) form so viscerally as did iconoclasts like Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard (and what's really frightening is that these two titans, along with others in the New Wave whatever it was, were critics to begin with—yikes!) Maybe the Abstract Expressionists, or even the Americans who would later be identified (ironically by the French) as film noir adherents, could be afforded this same radical status, but the New Wave was so revolutionary and trendsetting that it seems to stand alone, a monolithic presence not just in its native country, but in the entire annals of cinema. That said, the fact that the New Wave looms so large in France's history may have led to certain categorization issues for some French filmmakers who followed in the wake of the Wave, including Benoit Jacquot, a man whose birthyear of 1947 was only one year before "The Birth of a New Avant-Garde: The Camera-Stylo", one of the first critical analyses that gave birth to the New Wave, was published. That ostensibly should place Jacquot at least partially in a post-New Wave generation, since many of the movement's most iconic films came out in either the late fifties or early sixties (e.g., Paris Belongs to Us, The 400 Blows, Breathless , Shoot the Piano Player), while Jacquot himself didn't really get started helming feature films until the seventies. However, Jacquot's early career included an extended apprenticeship under one of the more lustrous (if sadly lesser known) names from the New Wave, Marguerite Duras, a director in her own right who is nonetheless probably best remembered for having written Resnais' classic Hiroshima mon amour. Perhaps due to that connection, as well as to some almost ineffable elements that waft through Jacquot's films at times, some folks have tried pigeonholing him as a New Wave phenomenon, but Jacquot, while anarchic in his own deliberate way, is more of a formalist than some might typically associate with New Wave sensibilities, and he has in fact even mounted the same kind of historical epic (Farewell, My Queen) that was a particular thorn in the sides of some of the postulants populating the pages of Cahiers du Cinema back in the day. (It should be noted that Jacquot's "take" on the historical epic is typically insouciant at times, perhaps indicative of the fact that he probably read some of the barbs aimed at this genre by some of the 1950s French critics.) Jacquot has been curiously underserved on Blu-ray, with only 3 Hearts appearing in addition to the aforementioned Marie Antoinette drama domestically on disc, but Cohen Film Collection is ameliorating that issue with a new release that collects three of Jacquot's 1990s efforts together.


BD25 + BD50 | 1080p AVC | 274 minutes | 20.8 Gb + 43.6 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English
Genre: Drama, Romance

"The Disenchanted" (1990)
In her breakthrough role, Judith Godreche plays Beth, a disaffected 17 year old living in Paris with her bedridden mother and forced to hold her family together by degrading herself. This intimate drama focuses on three days in which, according to the director, Beth loses her childhood, becomes a woman and becomes disenchanted. Leaving her boyfriend after he suggests that she sleep with an ugly man so that she will appreciate him more, she soon attracts the attentions of a younger boy she meets in a night club, the Sugar Daddy who has been paying her family's bills and an enigmatic writer.

"A Single Girl" (1995)
Shot in real time, Virginie Ledoyen delivers a tour de force performance in a film that is a clear descendant of the great early New Wave films. The largely hand-held camera follows 19-year-old Valerie on her first day on the job at a luxury hotel, a day in which she must reveal to her aimless boyfriend that she is pregnant and decide whether she wants to have a child with him.

"Keep it Quiet" (1999)
In this low key satirical farce, a CEO is released from prison and rejoins his family, who have a difficult time with his complete change in character, moving from a captain of industry to an eccentric innocent.

Extras:
• Feature length audio commentary by critics Wade Major and Tim Cogshell
• On-camera discussion between director Benoit Jacquot and Kent Jones
• Theatrical re-release trailer

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