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Criterion to release Pagnol Trilogy

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:12 pm
by Mike Gebert
A few years back during Watch That Movie Night, I watched Kino's decade-old release of the Pagnol trilogy, Marius, Fanny and Cesar. I noted that the restoration Kino drew on was fine by 90s-early 2000s standards but could be improved. Well, Criterion now plans to release all three in a set:
In the 1930s, Marcel Pagnol, a leading light of the Paris theater, set out for new horizons as a filmmaker in his native Provence. His early masterpieces Marius, Fanny, and César mix theatrical stagecraft with realistic location photography to create an epic love story from the fabric of everyday life. Gruff, sentimental César (music-hall star Raimu) owns a waterfront bar in the old port of Marseille, where his son, Marius (Pierre Fresnay), wipes down tables and dreams of a life at sea. The prosperous, middle-aged sailmaker Panisse (Fernand Charpin), wanting to wed Marius’s sweetheart, Fanny (Orane Demazis), sets up a generation-spanning romantic triangle, the story of which unfolds in a series of fateful twists in the films of The Marseille Trilogy, which first earned Pagnol his place in cinema history. “If Pagnol is not the greatest auteur of the sound film,” critic André Bazin wrote, “he is in any case something akin to its genius."

New 4K digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
New introduction by filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier
New interview with Nicolas Pagnol, writer-director Marcel Pagnol’s grandson
Segments of Marcel Pagnol: Morceaux de choisis, a 1973 documentary series on Pagnol’s life and work
Short documentary on the Marseille harbor by Pagnol
Archival interviews with actors Orane Demazis, Pierre Fresnay, and Robert Vattier
Pagnol’s Poetic Realism, a new video essay by scholar Brett Bowles
French television clip about the restoration of the trilogy
Theatrical rerelease trailer
New English subtitle translations
PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Atkinson and excerpts from Pagnol’s memoirs ... le-trilogy" target="_blank" target="_blank