OK, I’ve totally been slacking off on this blog series, and it’s mainly because I’ve been completely busy with other stuff. But it’s also because the Eclipse movies aren’t quite what I imagined they would be.
Criterion touts these movies as lost gems, and the Eclipse box sets I’d seen before this (the Chantal Akerman box, for instance) had indeed been incredible. So I thought these movies were basically movies that weren’t commercial enough to receive the full Criterion Collection treatment: Full restoration, 40 page booklets, interviews with everybody, extras…
Instead I suspect it’s basically movies that Janus Films had the rights to, for some reason or other.
Why Janus? Because Janus Films and Criterion have the same owners.
The selection criteria Criterion is using are basically: Does Janus have it? Nobody else wants it? Let’s put it in an Eclipse box.
It’s not that there haven’t been fantastic movies here and there… but they’re hidden between a lot of stuff that’s only of vague interest.
Like Guitry’s movies, which are quite interesting in many ways, and were huge box office smashes in France at the time… but…
They aren’t so much lost treasures as amusing artefacts.
I do covet those glasses.
This is definitely the least (and the last) of the Guitry movies in this box set. It’s basically a filmed theatre play… an extremely chatty one. They prate and they prate, but about nothing interesting. It’s occasionally quite amusing, but most of the scenes lack zip.
That’s a good ending, anyway.
Quadrille. Sacha Guitry. 1938.
This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.