From Jean-Luc Godard, this densely packed rumination on the need to create order and beauty in a world ruled by chaos is divided into several distinct but related stories, chiefly the attempts by an idealistic French acting troupe to stage a play in war-torn Sarajevo. Along their journey, they are captured and held in a POW camp. Amid the gunfire of war, an elderly director struggles to complete his film.
THE COHEN FILM COLLECTION PRESENTS TWO JEAN-LUC GODARD MASTERPIECES FOR THE FIRST TIME ON U.S. BLU-RAY
From the Revered Director Have Been Digitally Remastered and Will Be Issued in Definitive Blu-ray and DVD Editions on January 7, 2014
The Cohen Film Collection is proud to announce that it will bring two of Jean-Luc Godard's acclaimed films to Blu-ray for the first time in the U.S. Hail Mary and For Ever Mozart have been digitally remastered and will be released in deluxe Blu-ray and DVD editions on January 7, 2014. The Blu-rays will have SRPs of $39.98 each and the DVDs will have SRPs of $29.98 each.
Daring, playful, challenging, rule-breaking, profound: Jean-Luc Godard's immense body of work is all of these and more. From his earth-shaking 1960 debut, Breathless, through such other classics of the New Wave and beyond as Contempt, Band of Outsiders, Alphaville, Weekend, Pierrot le Fou, Masculin Feminin and In Praise of Love, Godard has continually pushed the art and language of film forward. Hail Mary and For Ever Mozart hail from the director's 1980s-1990s period, which was marked by a return to (somewhat) more traditional modes of storytelling, but both films are the work of a cinematic adventurer still exploring new territory.
Winner of a top prize at the Berlin Film Festival and one of the highest-profile films of Godard's career, Hail Mary (1985) drew criticism from no less than the Pope. In this modern retelling of the Virgin Birth, Mary (Myriem Roussel of Godard's Prenom Carmen) is a student who plays basketball and works at her father's gas station; her boyfriend Joseph (Thierry Rode) is an earnest dropout who drives a cab. The angel Gabriel (Philippe Lacoste) must school Joseph to accept Mary's pregnancy, while Mary comes to terms with God's plan. Juliette Binoche co-stars.
The film "deeply wounds the religious sentiments of believers," said Pope John Paul II. Godard's response: "The church wants to keep the copyright of their story."
Slant magazine called the film "a profoundly felt, gravely beautiful work of faith," while Slate deemed it "the last great Godard film." Peter Rainer of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner described it as "bewildering, beautiful." New York magazine's David Denby called it "a celebration of the blessedness of life on Earth. One of the most tenderly religious movies ever made."
With For Ever Mozart (1996), Godard shifted to a narrative grounded in a distressing reality of the day: the Bosnian War. This densely packed rumination on the need to create order and beauty in a world ruled by chaos is divided into several distinct but related stories, chiefly the attempts by an idealistic French acting troupe to stage a play in war-torn Sarajevo. Along their journey, they are captured and held in a POW camp. Amid the gunfire of war, an elderly director struggles to complete his film.
For Ever Mozart stars Madeleine Assas, Berangere Allaux, Ghalya Lacroix (most recently the editor of Cannes 2013 winner Blue Is the Warmest Color), Vicky Messica and Frederic Pierrot (I've Loved You So Long).
France's Le Monde called For Ever Mozart "Godard's most satisfying film in a long time." The New York Times called it "exquisitely beautiful ... a film to be savored." The Village Voice's Amy Taubin named it one of the top 10 films of the year, while other critical superlatives included "breathtaking" (The Christian Science Monitor), "ravishing" (Los Angeles Times) and "masterpiece" (Cahiers du Cinema).
The Blu-ray and DVD releases of both films have numerous extras, including feature-length audio commentaries, essay-filled booklets, making-of featurettes and trailers. Hail Mary also includes Anne-Marie Mieville's short film "The Book of Mary," which was originally released as a companion piece to Godard's movie.
About Cohen Media Group (www.cohenmedia.net)
Formed in 2008 by Charles S. Cohen, an executive producer of multiple Academy Award nominee Frozen River, the COHEN MEDIA GROUP, LLC (CMG) produces and distributes select films throughout North America. Current and upcoming CMG releases include Lorraine Levy's The Other Son (winner of the Grand Prize and Best Director prize at the 2012 Tokyo International Film Festival); French director Francois Ozon's thriller In The House (San Sebastian Film Festival's winner of the Golden Shell and Best Screenplay award; Spain's official entry to the Academy awards, Blancanieves; Fernando Trueba's The Artist and the Model, starring Jean Rochefort and Claudia Cardinale; and Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri's The Attack, based on the international best-selling book by Yasmina Khadra. CMG's Cohen Film Collection (formerly the Rohauer Collection) includes some 700 cinema landmarks, including films by D.W. Griffith, Buster Keaton and Douglas Fairbanks, as well as foreign classics like Luis Bunuel's Tristana.
For Ever Mozart (1996)
Street date: January 7, 2014
SRP: $39.98 (Blu-ray), $29.98 (DVD)
Running time: 86 minutes, plus extras
5.1 Dolby Digital for DVD/DTS-HD Master Audio for Blu-ray
In French with English subtitles
Bonus features on both Blu-ray and DVD: four featurettes, audio commentary by critic and TIFF Cinematheque Senior Programmer James Quandt, booklet essay by critic and author Fergus Daly, 2013 rerelease trailer.