The British Film Institute has officially announced and detailed its upcoming Dual Format edition of director Roman Polanski's Tess (1979), starring Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Leigh Lawson. The release will be available for purchase online and in stores across the United Kingdom on March 18th.
This faithful screen rendering of the classic Victorian-era romantic novel, by Academy Award-winning director Roman Polanski (Chinatown, The Pianist), captures with compassion the painful cruelty of love. Unavailable in the UK for several years, the BFI is proud to release Tess for the first time on Blu-ray, in a stunning new restoration (premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival) that is the best the film has ever looked.
Nastassia Kinski gives a career-defining performance as Hardy's heroine, with strong support from Peter Firth (Equus, The Hunt for Red October, Spooks) as Angel Clare and Leigh Lawson (Being Julia, Casanova, Silent Witness) as Alec d'Urberville. Geoffrey Unsworth and Ghislain Cloquet's exquisite Oscar-winning photography brings the author's Wessex setting vividly to life. Although filmed in France, Wessex was painstakingly re-created.
The film was nominated for five Oscars and three BAFTAs, eventually winning Oscars for Art Direction, Cinematography and Costume Design (the latter won by Anthony Powell, whose original designs are seen here in a short film), a BAFTA for Cinematography and also a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.
Hardy's enduring 1891 novel continues to sell strongly and last year booksellers reported a huge spike in sales after its appearance and significance in the 4 million-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James.
New 4K digital restoration
Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
Tess: From Novel to Screen (Laurent Bouzereau, 2004, 29 minutes, DVD only): Polanski on the adaptation of Hardy's classic novel with contributions from Hardy scholars and cast and crew
Filming Tess (Laurent Bouzereau, 2004, 26 mins, DVD only): cast and crew discuss the technical challenges they faced
Tess: The Experience (Laurent Bouzereau, 2004, 20 mins, DVD only): those who worked on Tess discuss their experiences
Costume Designs (2013, 2 mins): Anthony Powell's award-winning designs
The French one is already out there, region-free and apparently great in every aspect (restored by the French firm Pathe, wich will be the master I guess they'll use for every blu edition in the world):
I've seen this restored edition in theaters last week in Paris and it looks real good and stable.
Glad to see those classics get the treatment they deserve for a blu edition in the widest range of countries.
@hhhhrrrinnn Yes, but it has burned in french subtitles for the English audio track. Otherwise it's brilliant. I'm going to pass on BFI's. It seems to be missing "Il etait une fois...Tess" a 53 minute documentary on the making of the film and Making of Tess (INA), another 38 minute documentary on the making of Tess, both of which are present on the French release.
Also worth noting is that all the special features on the French release are in HD where as all the special features that are here, are all placed on the seperate DVD.
I agree with retablo, I can see Criterion releasing Tess and they'll actually bother to include all the great special features in HD. If it just so happens that they don't, I'll probably end up importing the French release. The french subtitles for the English audio will be annoying but I'm not paying full price for a blu-ray release of a movie I like just to be skimped on special features which are generally the deciding factor for me. BFI's release will no doubt have a gorgeous transfer but they've disappointed in the special features section.
@deepbreathsanddeath: you're right I forgot about that 'preserve-territory-rights' burned-subtitles issues. That's why is usually import most of my blu despite leaving in France. I watch all my English movies in English, if possible with English subs (or preferably French ones if the movie is in another language I don't understand well).
Well, I guess English speaking people would have to decide between the extras (list of & HD or SD) and the packaging (the French one seems to be great), until Criterion eventually announces a release and try to please them on every aspect. Only time will tell
I'm definitely getting this, but I'm becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of extras on the BD discs in BFIs releases... Why can't they just include them on the BDs as well, even if they are SD. You get the feeling that it's actually a DVD you've bought, with a bonus feature-only BD. They should take a good look at how Eureka does the MoC dual releases...