Blanche (1971) | Walerian Borowczyk’s medieval fable is decorative dance of death
In medieval France, Blanche (Ligia Branice) the beautiful young wife of a senile old Baron (Michel Simon) becomes an obsession for a variety of noblemen during a visit by the King of France.
TAPESTRY OF LUST
Polish-born animator Walerian Borowczyk‘s third live-action feature is an erotic, stylish period piece which won great critical acclaim when it was first released. Based on Juliusz Slowacki’s 19th-century poem Mazepa but relocated to 13th-century France, Blanche is just gorgeous to look at – as is Ligia Branice, Borowczyk’s wife, who appeared in many of his shorts and films, and who gives a heart-rendering, delicate performance as the desirable Blanche. And just like a tapestry of the period, Borowczyk weaves a complex thread of jealousy and infidelity, both real and imagined into his highly decorative visual masterpiece, which features wonderful 13th-century musical arrangements drawn from the Camina Burana songbook. In tone, look and theme, it makes a ideal companion to Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life films.
THE DUAL FORMAT UK RELEASE
Blanche is presented in a brand new 2k high-definition restoration from original 35mm elements in a dual format (Blu-ray/DVD) from Arrow Films and includes the following elements.
• Uncompressed mono 2.0 PCM audio and optional English subtitles
• Introduction by Schalcken the Painter director Leslie Megahey (2014)
• Ballad of Imprisonment: Making Blanche, a 2014 documentaryfeaturing producer Dominique Duvergé-Ségrétin, assistant director André Heinrich, camera operator Noël Véry and assistant Patrice Leconte
• Obscure Pleasures: A Portrait of Walerian Borowczyk (2014), archival interview in which Borowczyk discusses painting, cinema and sex
• Behind Enemy Lines: Making Gunpoint (2014), a documentary short by Peter Graham produced and edited by Borowczyk
Posted on September 19, 2014, in Must-See, World Cinema and tagged ARROW ACADEMY, Arrow Films, Ligia Branice, Medieval French fantasy, Must See, Walerian Borowczyk, World Cinema. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.