Sunday, September 18, 2011


Roman Polanski, 1979 (8.4*)

One of the more visually sumptuous of all the filmed classic novels, this is based on Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the D’urbervilles (here called Durbeyfield). A young peasant woman may or may not be related to the aristocratic family of the title. She crosses paths with two men, one older and one much younger and closer to her age, who easily fall in love with her and hence classic entanglement problems ensue. I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot, but you’ve likely seen enough of novel from this era to know what to expect. This film is more about the beauty of cinema than the story of the novel, for me anyway.

Nastassja Kinski, daughter of intense German actor Klaus Kinski, who had to be stopped by the crew from beating director Werner Herzog with a rock, made a stunning acting debut in the title role, winning several acting awards.

The beauty of this film was rewarded with Oscars for cinematography (Geoffrey Unsworth won four awards for this), costume design, and art direction. It also won 10 more awards including four for Polanski as best director.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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