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Boudu Saved From Drowning(1932)
Boudu is a Parisian tramp who takes a suicidal plunge into the Seine, and is rescued by Monsieur Lestingois, a well-to-do bookseller with liberal ideas, who takes him home and tries to reconcile him with life and society. But Boudu is bored in this cosy little nest and uses his time to make trouble in the peaceful households around him.
For more about Boudu Saved From Drowning and the Boudu Saved From Drowning Blu-ray release, see Boudu Saved From Drowning Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on May 22, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Director: Jean Renoir
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Boudu Saved From Drowning Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, May 22, 2011
Jean Renoir's "Boudu sauvï¿½ des eaux" a.k.a "Boudu Saved From Drowning" (1932) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Park Circus. The supplemental features on the disc include a theatrical trailer for the new restoration of the film and photo gallery. In French, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Boudu (Michel Simon, The Complete Jean Vigo, La poison) is a tramp who decides to end his misery after his favorite dog abandons him. He heads to the river Seine and jumps in it. Moments later, he is saved by the wealthy bookseller Lestingois (Charles Granval, La bandera, Les amants terribles).
Lestingois decides to keep Boudu in his home and teach him proper manners. This proves to be quite a challenge as the tramp does not share his passion for Balzac nor understand his liberal views. Nevertheless, Lestingois begins molding his new friend, hoping that gradually he would become a gentleman.
But the more time Boudu spends in Lestingoisï¿½ home, the more he begins to affect the way his benefactor lives his life. First, he disrupts his affair with his naï¿½ve maid (Sï¿½vï¿½rine Lerczinska, La Marseillaise), who has been fantasizing about moving up the social ladder; then he gives Lestingoisï¿½ pretentious and sexually frustrated wife (Marcelle Hainia, L'amour, Madame, Rififi) a reason to believe that she is still attractive. Boudu also spits in Lestingois favorite novel, provoking a reaction from him that surprises everyone in the house.
Things completely get out of control when Boudu is told to go to the local barber shop and shave off his big beard. When he returns, finally looking like most respectable men in Paris do, he surprises everyone with an important announcement.
Jean Renoirï¿½s Boudu sauvï¿½ des eaux a.k.a Boudu Saved From Drowning is a humorous and thought-provoking film that satirizes the French classist system, and middle-class values in particular, from the early 1930s. Nowadays the film looks benevolent, at times even silly, but when it was first screened, the police had to intervene as riots erupted in various theaters across the French capital.
Though today it is difficult to imagine that anyone would want to riot after seeing Boudu Saved From Drowning, it isnï¿½t difficult to understand why the film polarized French filmgoers. Bouduï¿½s harsh language and total disrespect for the system of values which the French society had embraced at the time are very much endorsed by the film. In other words, there is a degree of seriousness in Renoirï¿½s film that tends to outweigh the humor.
Bouduï¿½s attitude towards the two women in the film, Lestingoisï¿½ sexually frustrated wife and the frivolous maid, is also quite bold. When he is first brought to Lestingoisï¿½ home, both women exude power and confidence. Later on, however, when Boudu recovers and ï¿½disrespectsï¿½ them they appear weak, easy to manipulate, and, shockingly, quite pleased. Obviously, it is not unreasonable assume that these unexpected character transformations must have offended plenty of female filmgoers.
Ultimately, whether seen as a provocative satire or an eccentric comedy, Renoirï¿½s Boudu Saved From Drowning is a fascinating examination of bourgeois life and a curious endorsement of anarchism, perhaps one of the very best French films ever made.
Note: In 1985, Boudu Saved From Drowning was remade by American director Paul Mazursky as Down and Out in Beverly Hills, starring Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss, and Little Richard. In 2005, French helmer Gï¿½rard Jugnot directed another remake, Boudu, starring Gï¿½rard Depardieu and Catherine Frot.
Boudu Saved From Drowning Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.19:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Jean Renoir's Boudu Saved from Drowning arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Park Circus.
The high-definition transfer Park Circus have used for their Blu-ray release of Jean Renoir's legendary film has been struck from a newly restored master - the restoration, which involved a 2K digital scanning of the original nitrate camera negative and a preservation fine grain master positive, was done by L'immagine Ritrovata (Bologna) and Digimage laboratories (Paris) - courtesy of French distributors Pathe. Naturally, there are massive improvements in terms of detail and color reproduction. The outdoor scenes, for instance, convey tremendous depth, while clarity and especially contrast levels are remarkably consistent. On the Criterion SDVD release of the film the park sequence where Boudu meets the rich businessman look soft and even out of focus; on the Blu-ray they appear exceptionally crisp and well detailed. As far as clarity is concerned, the biggest improvements are noticeable during the dark nighttime scenes - see the scene where Boudu prevents Lestingois from spending the night with his lover (screencapture #11) - as now there is substantially more detail and better balanced blacks and grays. Various stabilization enhancements have been performed as well, and aside from a couple of inherited problematic frame transitions, the film looks the best it ever has - stable and healthy. Lastly, I did not see any signs of excessive noise reduction; naturally, a fine layer of light grain appears throughout the entire film. All in all, I feel very confident stating that Boudu Saved from Drowning is the best Blu-ray release Park Circus have produced to date. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Boudu Saved From Drowning Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: French LPCM 2.0. For the record, Park Circus have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
Newly restored, the audio does not disappoint. Though its dynamic amplitude is rather limited, the flute solos, for instance, convey very good depth and fluidity. Balance has also been greatly improved, especially as far as the dialog is concerned, while various clicks, pops, and hissings have been eliminated. The English translation is very good.
Boudu Saved From Drowning Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Boudu Saved From Drowning Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The restoration of Jean Renoir's Boudu Saved From Drowning is very impressive, and this Blu-ray release, courtesy of British distributors Park Circus, is now one of my favorite releases of 2011. My only regret is that the restored version of the film was not screened in one of my local theaters. It would have been a fantastic experience to see the film on the big screen. If you reside in a Region-A territory and wish to add the film to your library, please keep in mind that the Blu-ray disc is Region-B "locked". HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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