La piscine (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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|Genre||Mystery & Suspense|
The bright sun of the French Riviera is deceptive in this languorously alluring exercise in slow-burn suspense from thriller specialist Jacques Deray and legendary screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. Ten years after their breakup, one of European cinema’s most iconic real-life couples, Alain Delon and Romy Schneider, reunited for this film, bringing a palpable erotic chemistry to their performances as the bronzed and beautiful vacationers whose blissed-out summer holiday on the Côte d’Azur is interrupted by the arrival of an old acquaintance (Maurice Ronet) and his eighteen-year-old daughter (Jane Birkin)—unleashing a gathering tidal wave of sexual tension, jealousy, and sudden violence. A paragon of 1960s modernist cool thanks to effortlessly chic clothes and a loungy Michel Legrand score, La piscine dives deep to reveal sinister undercurrents roiling beneath its seductive surfaces.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- The Swimming Pool: “First Love Never Dies,” the English-language version of the film
- Fifty Years Later, a 2019 documentary by Agnès Vincent-Deray featuring actors Alain Delon and Jane Birkin, screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, and novelist Jean-Emmanuel Conil
- New interview with scholar Nick Rees-Roberts on the film’s cinematic and aesthetic legacy
- Archival footage featuring Delon, Birkin, actors Romy Schneider and Maurice Ronet, and director Jacques Deray
- Alternate ending
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: An essay by film critic Jessica Kiang
- Language : French
- Package Dimensions : 17.2 x 13.5 x 1.3 cm; 86.18 Grams
- Media Format : Blu-ray
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : The Criterion Collection
- ASIN : B092P94D71
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
Marianne (Romy Schneider) and Jean-Paul (Alain Delon) holiday on the sweltering French Riviera in a handsome villa. Whilst sunning their stunning physiques, they drink and make love by the pool. When long-time friend Harry (Maurice Ronet) arrives with his teenage daughter, their tranquillity dissolves.
Cinematography from Jean-Jacques Tarbès is the essence of this wonderful film: endless shots of sun and water drip over gorgeous people and cars.
A smart script by Jean-Claude Carrière and Jacques Deray is the highlight. Two thirds of the film are gentle, uninhibited and stylish, but when the tone changes you feel foolish for not noticing it sooner.
The characters’ unabashed sense of entitlement and the undercurrent of sadness reminded me of John Cheever’s superb short story "The Swimmer" (1964).
I adored everything about this film: breath-taking cinematography; relaxed, confident acting; exquisite costumes; the blatant disregard to follow a Hollywood ending; and of course the coolest pair of sunglasses in film. Watch and enjoy.