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Review: Jean-Luc Godard The Essential Blu-ray Collection

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Jean-Luc Godard was one of the leaders of the French New Wave, a key influence on the American cinema of the 1970s and one of the few true auteurs in cinemas, this new five disc collection from StudioCanal includes Breathless, Le Mépris, Pierrot Le Fou, Alphaville and Une Femme est Une Femme plus over six hours of extras material including brand new interviews with Anna Karina and a booklet featuring essays on each film from critics and directors.

Let me start off by saying that this box set is worth it just for the Breathless and Le Mépris, so the fact you are getting the brilliant Alphaville along with Pierrot Le Fou and Une Femme est Une Femme is just the icing on the cake.

Each of Godard’s films are sublimely gorgeous. From the luminous Jean Seberg meeting up with Jean Paul Belmondo in Breathless, to the beautiful Anna Karina singing in Une Femme est une Femme, and Bardot bathed in the Italian sun in Le Mépris (plus the legends that are Jack Palance and Fritz Lang), every one of the five films in the set are just a joy to watch. Seeing Eddie Constantine’s Lemmy Caution stalk through the futuristic city of Alphaville simply using the various buildings of 1965 Paris always blows me away. As with many of Godard’s films they have a strong modern style that often gives them an almost timeless quality.

The style and sophistication that Godard brings to his films is evident throughout the set and the transfer to Blu-ray is fantastic. Sadly, I’ve never owned any of the films on Blu-ray before, so I can’t compare the quality of this new set to them. However, I felt they all looked brilliant. Plus the sound quality was spot on.

For those of you have not seen any of these films then you are in for an absolute treat. Some classic cinematic gold awaits you and it is achingly cool. Beautiful women, handsome men, gorgeous scenery and some spectacular shots that will make you fall in love with film all over again. If you have seen any of Godard’s films then you will know what to expect and even if you own a couple of the films in this set it is still worth picking up.

The six hours of extras are pretty much all worth watching. There are one or two short ones which don’t really grab you, but the majority take a good long look at the films, actors and Godard that will give you an even deeper appreciation of the what he put together.

I cannot recommend this box set enough. If you have any love of film then this is a must have.

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