12/11/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Kino on Video presents
The Clockmaker (L'Horloger de Saint-Paul) (1973)

"He didn't talk to me. Obviously."
- Michel DesCombes (Philippe Noiret)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: December 26, 2001

Stars: Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort
Other Stars: Jacques Denis, Yves Alfonso, Sylvain Rougerie, Christine Pascal
Director: Bertrand Tavernier

Manufacturer: RVD
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (some language)
Run Time: 01h:40m:26s
Release Date: January 08, 2002
UPC: 738329023423
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-C-A F

DVD Review

Michel DesCombes (Philippe Noiret) is The Clockmaker (L'Horloger de Saint-Paul), a middle-aged man who finds himself in the middle of a police investigation and its attendant media circus after his son Bernard (Sylvain Rougerie) is accused of murder. Leftist politics, strong-arm threats, deceitful journalistic tactics, and an unlikely friendship with Police Inspector Guilboud (Jean Rochefort) complicate Michel's life and his reaction to the situation. But as he struggles with his emotions, Monsieur DesCombes begins to recognize his younger self in his estranged son; the two are drawn closer together even as Bernard faces up to twenty years in prison.

Bernard Tavernier, an ex-film critic who became a founding member of the French New Wave movement, collaborated with screenwriters Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost to adapt Georges Simenon's novel to the screen. The Clockmaker takes its time with the story—there's some mystery involved, but the film unfolds in a completely naturalistic way, chronicling Michel's actions in the days after the murder with little dramatic manipulation or compression. Tavernier also takes the liberty of focusing exclusively on Michel—while we do meet Bernard, we don't hear his side of the story, and we see him and his actions solely through the eyes of his father. This quiet, intimate approach is what gives The Clockmaker much of its power—it recognizes that life-changing events often happen moment by moment, rather than in the artificially structured manner demanded by fiction. The dialogue even comments on the gaps between "movie reality" and reality on several occasions, and Tavernier's film is careful to maintain a cinéma vérité feel. (This is not to suggest that film has a low-budget or documentary style—excellent cinematography and careful, almost geometric composition provide evidence of the director's hand at work, particularly in a Lynchian opening shot of an automobile burning ferociously in the night.)

Star Philippe Noiret contributes another strong performance to the New Wave cinema, and he does it in such a transparent way that he scarcely seems to be acting. Noiret's Michel makes his decisions privately, but the thought process is very visible onscreen—whenever he so much as brushes a hand across his forehead, we know exactly what he's feeling. His performance is a critical element of the film—we never even meet many of the characters who are mentioned or glimpsed in photographs, and the story is carried on Noiret's shoulders. Jean Rochefort also contributes an effective, credible performance as Inspector Guilboud, a bureaucratic but human official who sympathizes with Michel even as he tracks Bernard down.

There's a political subtext to the film—Bernard's alleged victim is a hated factory supervisor, an authoritarian lecher who uses his power to harass the working girls and fight the union, and we learn that Michel himself has a history of resisting abusive authority. But The Clockmaker is not a political film—the political discussions and opinions voiced by its characters lend texture and realism to the story, but have little to do with its intended message. It is a portrait of one man's relationship with his son, and the potential for redemption in time of crisis. It's intimate, touching and thoroughly credible. Recommended.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.66:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Kino presents The Clockmaker in its original 1.66:1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio, with a nonanamorphic transfer apparently drawn from an analog video master. Reds are blurry during the opening credits, shadow detail is murky, and the picture suffers from middling detail in many scenes, along with occasional damage, frame instabilities and reel-change markers inherited from the source print. There's some visible edge enhancement, and the DVD image has a slightly dated "laserdisc" look overall. It's not a terrible transfer—most scenes look clean, colors are muted but natural, and the defects aren't seriously distracting—but it's not completely up to DVD standards.

Image Transfer Grade: C-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoFrenchno


Audio Transfer Review: The Clockmaker is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono format, designed for ProLogic decoding to the center channel. It's an impressive audio presentation, given its vintage and monaural nature—dialogue is clear, frequency range is competent (with some natural-sounding low-end bass) and ambient sound effects are mixed in with subtlety and care. Much of the dialogue was recorded "live" and carries a certain amount of background noise, but the effect is rarely distracting and generally enhances the film's verité character. A clean, solid audio mix, much better than one might expect.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The Clockmaker clocks in with almost no supplemental support, just 14 picture-menu chapter stops. The player-generated English subtitles cannot be turned off, which may be an issue for French-speaking viewers.

Extras Grade: F

 

Final Comments

The Clockmaker is a strikingly intimate portrayal of a father's belated recognition of himself in his son. Kino's DVD transfer isn't top-notch, but it's serviceable, and the film is a fine example of the French New Wave movement. Well worth a spin.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store