Since getting very lucky in picking the set up, I've been really keen to view all the Arrow Blu's dedicated to the film maker, but was unable to,due to my PS3 being iffy with Blu-Ray films. Finally getting a Blu-Ray player and watching all of Arrow's Seijun Suzuki box sets, (all also reviewed) I got set to finally meet Blanche. View on the film: For the first major Blu-Ray box set they would put out dedicated to a film maker, Arrow present a outstanding edition, filled with insightful extras, a pristine picture and a well balanced soundtrack. Designing the musical instruments that transform into weapons himself, writer/co-production designer (with Jacques D'Ovidio) co-editor/ (with Charles Bretoneiche)/ directing auteur Walerian Borowczyk shows a meticulous ear for splintering each non-dialogue piece of audio on the soundtrack, arranging the music of arrangements based on the Carmina Burana book of songs in a manner which keeps each instrument being played in a isolated state. Pulling back any score from being played when instruments are off-screen, Borowczyk creates music with a striking naturalistic soundtrack within the confines baron Chatelain, from the lone sounds of Blanche's feet sliding down the steps and servant Bartolomeo darting across the floor to embrace Blanche, to silences being broken by the sudden shot of darts breaking the airwaves, and ravens squawking round the grounds waiting for death. Getting the role after her husband stood firm against the producers demanding Catherine Deneuve to be given the lead role, Ligia Branice gives a enticingly understated performance in the title role, whose husband Chatelain calls a "Sorceress",which Branice matches by casting a spell of spiritual suppression and unfulfilled desire (both major themes across his credits) making her hysterical, which Branice spreads as she slithers down the stairs calling all men in her sight like a siren. Whilst not given the most dignified appearance thanks to close-ups of him slobbering, Michel Simon gives a performance as Chatelain brimming with fire in his belly, as Simon has Chatelain bellow orders for those who get near to psychologically freeing Blanche, to be placed behind walls where they can die into the soulless castle. Transferring Polish Romantic poet Juliusz Slowacki's poem Mazepa setting to France, avoiding the connection of Ukrainian nationalism the main character has, and shifting to a emphasises on Blanche, the screenplay by Borowczyk grinds a earthy impending tragedy fantasy atmosphere, (fantasy being a genre he would explore across his credits) from studying the tragic objectification of Blanche. Borowczyk surrounds the castle with all the men desiring to keep her held within their own personal castles, with the resurrection/ purifying of Bartolomeo, being unable to break the wall from the only release Blanche can have in order to express her own will, being a explosion of violence. Keeping at a distanced level from the activities, Borowczyk carves a observing, rather then embracing atmosphere, with stilted, long flat-on wide-shots capturing a unsettling atmosphere of Blanche not being up close and personal,but cut off from the world. Cross-cutting between Blanche's caged pet dove and Chatelain mischief-making monkey, Borowczyk and co-editor Charles Bretoneiche dice the flat wide-shots across the castle with fragmented, avant-garde editing, nailing the religious symbolism of Bartolomeo's pure rebirth from the cells,and his crucifixion-like death,as her dove is freed from the cage,but the castle walls remain high for Blanche.
Drama / History
Drama / History
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Blanche is the young, pure, beautiful wife of the Master of the castle, in a secluded land. Every man is in love with her, including the King and his servant Bartolomeo, visiting the Master.
December 17, 2021