Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

December 8, 2012

Movie Review: Bonjour Tristesse (Blu-ray, Twilight Time)

Over the past couple years, Twilight Time has gradually built a catalog rich with classics from decades past. The Big Heat and Blake Edwards' High Time are two films of note that I've had the pleasure of watching that were by the company and now it's on to my third Blu-ray with the release of Otto Preminger's Bonjour Tristesse. My only experience with Preminger is with the star-studded, head-spinner, Skidoo, but thankfully he's made some much better films with Bonjour Tristesse being one of his finer, earlier efforts.

The gorgeous Jean Seberg (Paint Your Wagon) plays a very privileged young girl named Cecile, living in France with her Play boy father, Raymond (David Niven, Casino Royale, and Candleshoe). Cecile has quite a spoiled side to her but never off-putting. Her dad seems to have some complications with his love-life and that becomes more so when his ex, Anne (Deborah Kerr, An Affair to Remember) decides to join Raymond and Cecile's stepmother at their home on the French Riviera. This doesn't make things much better for the trio with both women vying for Raymond's affection.

The story concentrates mainly on how Cecile deals with her crazy family life. This brings some light moments and some particularly depressing moments. This parallel is where Preminger’s talent and Cinematographer Georges Perinal come in and the audience is treated to some interesting choices. Part of the film is photographed in color and the portions are in black in white. The fusion never comes off as pretentious either. All of  the glorious color scenes are shot on the French Riviera, emitting a more "happy" look while the black and white which represents Paris has a more serious tone. One very simple scene as a party on a pier attended by the the family puts you in the middle of the action with some impressive crane work. There are some amazing visuals that at times take this somewhat simple drama into a grandiose territory that's very welcome.

Twilight Time has taken the time to gather a few extras for the release that include a trailer and a nice interview with Bonjour Tristesse author, 18 year-old Francoise Sagan. Sagan is outside at a separate location while a man in a studio shoots her questions about being a young literary sensation. These are some promotional materials from the theatrical release and look very sharp for a 50 plus year-old production.

Bonjour Tristesse sports some fine performances from Niven and Seberg and some absolutely stunning cinematography which make this a treat to see presented on Blu-ray. Twilight Time did a fantastic job in what is easily one of the best film transfers I've seen this year. Don't miss this!  Highly Recommended.

Please head over to the Screen Archives website where you can grab Bonjour Tristesse and other super limited Twilight Time titles:

Screen Archives Entertainment.

No comments:

Post a Comment