1010 Le petit soldat

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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domino harvey
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1010 Le petit soldat

#1 Post by domino harvey » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:23 pm

Le petit soldat

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Before his convention-shattering debut, Breathless, had even premiered, Jean-Luc Godard leapt into the making of his second feature, a thriller that would tackle the most controversial subject in France: the use of torture in the Algerian War. Despite his lack of political convictions, photojournalist Bruno Forestier (Michel Subor) is roped into a paramilitary group waging a shadow war in Geneva against the Algerian independence movement. Anna Karina (in her first collaboration with Godard, whose camera is visibly besotted with her) is beguiling as the mysterious woman with whom Forrestier becomes infatuated. Banned for two and a half years by French censors for its depiction of brutal tactics on the part of the French government and the Algerian fighters alike, Le petit soldat finds the young Godard already retooling cinema as a vehicle for existential inquiry, political argument, and ephemeral portraiture—in other words, as a medium for delivering "truth twenty-four times per second."

SPECIAL FEATURES

• High-definition digital restoration, approved by cinematographer Raoul Coutard, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Interview with director Jean-Luc Godard from 1965
• Interview with actor Michel Subor from 1963
• Audio interview with Godard from 1961
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by critic Nicholas Elliott

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domino harvey
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Re: 1010 Le petit soldat

#2 Post by domino harvey » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:28 pm

Glad this is finally coming, but shame there’s zero critical on disc extras. They could have at least ported over Sterritt’s excellent mini commentary track from the DVD

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knives
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Re: 1010 Le petit soldat

#3 Post by knives » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:07 pm

Yeah, not only is this one of my favorite Godards, but it would seem to be an easy source for extras given its history and subject. Even just a comparison with Pontecorvo would be compelling. Imagine a discussion in the context of Godard who at the time was perceived by some as a right winger.

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Ovader
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Re: 1010 Le petit soldat

#4 Post by Ovader » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:12 pm

It would be great to have an extra discussing the context of the times for the French film community trying to express various views of the Algerian War within their work. I imagine some of the interviews will deal with that issue but would be ideal to have scholars of politics, philosophy and of course film sharing their insights of that time.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 1010 Le petit soldat

#5 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:22 pm

Is this the first time this is released in the States?

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Rayon Vert
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Re: 1010 Le petit soldat

#6 Post by Rayon Vert » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:35 pm

Not on dvd. There was the Fox Lorber 2001 release which has the Sterritt (very mini, i.e. 15 minutes) commentary.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: 1010 Le petit soldat

#7 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:54 pm

I'm very excited about this. I believe it was the last 35mm restoration Rialto Pictures did before going DCP only. I caught it at Los Angeles' Nuart Theater in 2013 and had been itching to rewatch it, but have been patiently waiting for a new version to come out. I'm surprised Criterion took this long to release any 60s Godard film. Easily the release of January for myself.

I'm surprised about seeing this film as right-wing. I know in Godard's youth, there may have been some right-wing politics, but I remember this being an early example of how Marxism was a major factor of his work from the start. I just rewatched Vivre Sa Vie two weeks ago, and the transactional nature of sex work is viewed with such an icy lens and mechanical distance, even as Anna Karina is filmed with true love. His hero during his 60s period is also Bertolt Brecht, someone who's so open about their politics too.

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Shrew
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Re: 1010 Le petit soldat

#8 Post by Shrew » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:37 pm

I think the main issue is that when it was made, in 1960, it was audacious for openly questioning the war in Algiers and particularly for acknowledging that torture was being used. The film was thus banned in France and not released until 1963--after Algeria had won independence and talk of torture was no longer verboten. In that context, it played like "both sides"ism.

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filmyfan
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Re: 1010 Le petit soldat

#9 Post by filmyfan » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:25 am

This needs an Adrian Martin commentary me thinks :D

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