Kings And Queen

DVD Rating: **

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Anton Bitel's film review of Kings And Queen
Kings And Queen

The DVD extras are entertaining enough, but not always for the right reasons. In a lengthy interview (30min), Arnaud Desplechin discusses his desire to make adult verite, rather than "a nice European film," his dislike of cinematic realism and the influence of Hitchcock's female leads (especially Ingrid Bergman in Notorious) on the characterisation of Nora. There are some interesting insights here, especially in the second half, but it might have been better if the piece had been more tightly edited, or perhaps conducted in Desplechin's native French rather than English. As it is, there is a LOT of repetition and some of the director's more contradictory pronouncements come across as a little unhinged. Moreover, in my copy of the DVD there were some distracting digital glitches, both visible and audible.

The subtitled interview with Mathieu Amalric and Hippolyte Girardot (19min), filmed as the pair stroll through the streets of Paris, contains so much vague twaddle ("The most interesting element of being an actor is the obedience and the disobedience," etc.) that one could easily mistake it for a parody of Gallic intellectual pretentiousness. Most interesting of all is their claim that throughout the filming, Desplechin gave them no idea of their characters' emotional state, leaving them in effect to act blind. It sounds like a formula for failure, but you would never know it by watching the finished product in all its emotional complexity.

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Finally, the filmographies of Amalric, Desplechin and Devos are comprehensive, but require keen eyesight, or a very large screen, to be properly read.

Reviewed on: 14 Dec 2005
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The complex examination of madness, love, psychological growth and unresolved feelings within relationships.
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Product Code: ART304DVD

Region: 2

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Interview with co-writer/director Arnaud Desplechin; interview with actors Mathieu Amalric and Hippolyte Girardot; filmographies.

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