Two Classic Films

I've blogged before about my obsession with DVDs from The Criterion Collection. The films they select are truly high art, and the way the company presents them -- from the new transfers to the packaging -- is exceptional. I have 20 Criterion edition DVDs and these two will soon be joining the shelf: Louis Malle's The Lovers (1958) and Milcho Manchevski's Before the Rain (1994).

The Lovers is one of Jeanne Moreau's best films and it caused a huge controversy when it came out in the 50s for its -- at the time -- raw sexuality and passion. It's a New Wave classic, and Moreau's bored housewife who drifts into an affair is one of her best roles. Her expressive face and fearless abandon has always been the hallmark of her career. Criterion's releases of Moreau's other classics, Elevator to the Gallows and Jules et Jim, are brilliant.

Oddly enough, I was watching Before the Rain on cable last Friday night when the tornado came through Atlanta. The film has never been available on DVD, so it had been 14 years since I'd last seen it. Before the lights went out, I was cursing the gods for this not being on DVD. Today, I just happened to check the new releases page on the Criterion website and there it was. Manchevski made the film during the height of the Balkan conflict in Macedonia. The triptych of stories revolve around a Christian monk, a photo journalist and his British agent, played by the late Katrin Cartlidge. With the ongoing war and religious strife in the Middle East, Criterion's release of this modern classic is perfect timing.

Comments

ButtonHole said…
"Before the Rain" is such a powerful film. One of my favorites. So odd that you mention; my husband and I were just talking about it yesterday, and we've not seen it in years. I loved the quote so much at the beginning that I memorized it: "With a shriek birds flee across the black sky. People are silent. My blood aches from waiting." I don't know why those words, "My blood aches from waiting," are so beautiful to me. The beauty of them almost hurts.
ButtonHole said…
Well, that sure didn't stir up much, did it?

C'mon, bitches! C'mon! Put 'em up!

Howzat? Shee.
Collin said…
Yeah, this post was never gonna get 21 comments. lol I am so glad someone else has seen Before the Rain. That was exciting to know you had seen it and loved it, too.
Lisa Allender said…
I love "The Lovers".... haven't seen "Before The Rain", but I am extremely intrigued. Will definitely get it.
To buttonhole:
That line, "My blood aches from waiting" resonates well with me, as I believe my own blood "races" at certain times. "...even my blood runs faster to catch the scent of you..." is a line from a poem I wrote, long ago.
So blood that is "waiting" certainly makes sense of a number of levels....
As I said, I'm definitely intrigued, and definitely getting this film!
ButtonHole said…
That's a great line! What's the poem?
Lisa Allender said…
The poem is called uh, "For Amanda W."
I wish I could recall it by heart, but, oddly, Collin and I were just reviewing some poems earlier(on Saturday night) and that was one of them...
It was originally published at Split Shot Literary magazine(former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins was on their Board of Directors)nearly three years ago, but I am unsure whether you may find it online, or not...come to think of it, I may have a link at my webiste:
www.lisallender.com
my blog is:
www.lisananetteallender.blogspot.com/
sorry for my commercial/blatant self-promotion, Coll.
Lisa Allender said…
uh, that's:
www.lisaallender.com

gee, I really am tired--mis-spelling my own web site's address....

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