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Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

Street Date:
June 19th, 2018
Movie Release Year:
1975
MPAA Rating:
PG
Studio:
Kino Lorber
Length:
98 Minutes
Release Country
United States
This disc has not yet been reviewed. The following information has been provided by the distributor.

Genres:

Musical

Starring:

Elly Stone, Mort Shuman, Joe Masiell, Jacques Brel, Annick Berger

Director:

Denis Héroux

Plot Synopsis:

Eschewing conventional narrative, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris transforms Mort Shuman and Eric Blau's beloved 35-song stage revue into an infectious movie musical that showcases both Brel's astonishing songwriting breadth and the resourceful audacity of 70's filmmaking. Belgian born Brel's richly sensual, uncompromising and lyrical songs provide a simultaneously ecstatic and tragic framework for this flamboyant and moving film. Director Denis Heroux utilizes everything from puppetry to location photography to shepherd Brel's music far beyond the proscenium-bound horizon. Working from the surreal imagery and concrete emotions in which Brel laced his lyrics, songwriter Mort Shuman (himself co-creator of soem of the most memorable hit songs for the Drifters and Elvis Presley) transforms Brel's French chansons into lushly romantic yet unsentimental English language versions. Shuman, Elly Stone and Joe Masiell give voice to Brel's tangos and boleros in an explosion of settings that are inexhaustably imaginative and intimate. But the true showstopper offers Brel himself singing his signature, "Ne Me Quitte Pas," in a sequence that ranks as one of the most powerfully understated and sincere musical performances ever put on film. From the vitriolic anti-war accusations of "Au Suivant" ("Next") to the achingly real "Chanson des Vieux Amours" ("Song of the Old Lovers"), Brel foments protest without preaching, celebrates tragedy without shinning emotion. Kino's presentation of AFT's Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris is proof of this celebrated modern troubadour's timeless relevance and enduring passion.

Technical Specs

  • Blu-ray
  • New 2K Restoration

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4

Supplements

  • Audio commentary by film historian Bret Wood, with Addison Wood
  • Interview with Edie Landau
  • "Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera," a promotional film for the American Film Theatre
  • Gallery of trailers for the American Film Theatre