Not Here To Be Loved

Not Here To Be Loved

DVD Rating: **1/2

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Jennie Kermode's film review of Not Here To Be Loved

In keeping with the film they accompany, the extras presented here are modest yet satisfying. There is no audio commentary, but the 33-minute interview (in subtitled French) with director/co-writer Stéphane Brizé more than compensates. In it, he claims to have studied electronics until, aged 20, he realised that he was in the wrong line of work, and turned to filmmaking - despite up to that point having seen very few films.

Though he has worked with a different co-writer for each of his films, they have all been women. He never rehearses on-set, and prefers his actors to be familiar with a scene's structure than with the details of its dialogue. He was lucky that leads Patrick Chesnais and Anne Consigny turned out to be naturals at the tango, given the difficulties involved in filming non-professionals dancing (and acting at the same time) – and in the final dance sequence, which had originally been tightly choreographed, he was even able to ask them to improvise in order to bring more life to the scene.

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He found out from his mother, only after she had seen the finished film, that her own cantankerous father, much like the main character's, had kept the belongings of his children horded away without telling them. "It was", as Brizé puts it, "exactly the same as the story I had invented."

A second interview (25 minutes, also in subtitled French) features Chesnais (in rakish sunshades) and Consigny talking about their characters and their experiences on-set, and generalising about the art of the actor. Each took 70 hours of tango classes over three months in preparation for the film ("it's a very complicated dance", Chesnais points out). There is also the original theatrical trailer, and brief filmographies for Brizé, Chesnais and Consigny.

Reviewed on: 30 Oct 2007
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Not Here To Be Loved packshot
Joining a dance class to get some exercise, a middle aged bailiff meets a beautiful woman who inspires him to change his life.
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Product Code: ART355DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Interview with director, interview with leads, filmographies, trailer

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