Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Women In Love

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Women In Love



    Released by: BFI
    Released on: August 22nd, 2016.
    Director: Ken Russell
    Cast: Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson, Eleanor Bron, Alan Webb, Jennie Linden
    Year: 1969

    The Movie:

    Directed by Ken Russell and adapted by screenwriter Larry Kramer from the D.H. Lawrence novel of the same name, 1969's Women In Love is set in the small English mining town of Beldover in 1920. Here sisters - a school teacher named Ursula (Jennie Linden) and an artist named Gudrun Brangwen (Glenda Jackson) - attend a wedding that mine owner Thomas Crich (Alan Webb) hosts for his daughter, Laura (Sharon Gurney), who is to be betrothed to Tibby Lupton (Christopher Gable). Here Gudrun becomes quite smitten with Laura's brother, Gerald (Oliver Reed) and Ursula by his friend Rupert Birkin (Alan Bates), who once inspected her class room as part of his job.

    Sometime after the wedding has passed, Hermione Roddice (Eleanor Bron) hosts a party. The two sisters sand their new male friends all coalesce here, while Hermione's own past with Rupert causes some drama. As the relationships between the core characters evolve, Rupert talks Gerald into wrestling, sans clothes and by some rather romantic firelight (by far the film's most notorious scene!), only to then engage in a rather involved discussion about relationships. Eventually Rupert marries Ursula while Gerald and Gudrun carry on a fairly torrid affair. When the quartet winds up traveling to Switzerland to celebrate the new marriage, Rupert and Ursula draw closer while Gerald and Gudrun have trouble making the same sort of connection.

    Quite adored by critics at the time, the film was nominated for four Oscars - Best Cinematography, Best Director and 'Best Writing For A Screenplay Based On Material From Another Medium,' with Jackson actually taking home the trophy for her nod as Best Actress. And really, it is the performances along with Russell's penchant for euphoric visuals that make this worth seeing. As an actual narrative the film is surprisingly aloof. It plays more as a series of set pieces in which the characters seem to simply philosophize about the meaning and the merits of love and relationships rather than a traditional story with a beginning, a middle and an end. If you look at it as a character study of sorts, however, it's pretty interesting. The dialogue is heady, clever, and well written and it is definitely in keeping with the book that inspired it.

    As to the cast, Reed is in very fine form here. He doesn't overdo it as he could become somewhat infamous for in the years to come, but rather he crafts an interesting and multilayered character. His Gerald's relationship with best friend Rupert is just as important to the proceedings as his relationship to lady friend Gudrun. As such, Bates' work as the second male lead in the film is also important. Thankfully he delivers too, and while the infamous wrestling scene will still make most viewers raise an eyebrow as to what it's really getting at, the two actors are both very convincing and entertaining to watch. Jennie Linden also does great work here, bringing an odd sense of vulnerability to a few key scenes to make them more memorable than they would have been otherwise. Oscar winner Glenda Jackson is just as good as you'd expect as well, not only a very beautiful woman but quite capable of delivering truly excellent work in front of the camera. Supporting work from Christopher Gable and Eleanor Bron is solid and Michael Gough pops up here in a small part as well, which always adds a bit of class to any project.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Women In Love looks excellent on Blu-ray from The BFI, transferred from a 'new 4K restoration by the BFI National Archive' offered up in a 1.75.1 widescreen transfer in AVC encoded 1080p high definition. While some small specks pop up here and there you're not going to notice anything stronger than that in terms of print damage, the image is pretty much pristine. While the expected amount of film grain is present it isn't intrusive or distracting and it never gets swarmy or clumps up. Colors are beautifully reproduced here and black levels are inky black without producing any issues with crush or shadow detail. Skin tones look nice and natural and there are no problems to note with any overzealous noise reduction, problematic compression or obvious edge enhancement. Detail and texture are excellent from start to finish. This is a gorgeous image and a massive improvement over the old non-anamorphic domestic DVD release from MGM.

    The English language LPCM Mono track on the disc available is clean, nicely balanced and very natural sounding. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion and there's good depth throughout. The score used in the film sounds very good here, always tight and impressively powerful in spots. Solid range is evident here. There are no alternate language options provided but English closed captioning is provided.

    Extras for this release are a mix of new and old, starting with an audio commentary from the late Ken Russell that originally appeared on the aforementioned DVD release from some years back. Russell spends a lot of time discussing the film's literary origins and noting which real life historical figures may or may not have had an influence on how certain scenes here play out. He also shares some interesting stories and anecdotes about working with the cast and crew on the film, and of course Oliver Reed's penchant for behaving like Oliver Reed comes into play. He also discusses some of the locations used in the film, the score and quite a bit more. Russell's commentary tracks were always interesting and this one is no exception. Also carried over from the DVD release is a commentary track with writer and producer Larry Kramer. This track is also quite interesting as it covers things from a few different angles. Not only does Kramer talk about adapting D.H. Lawrence's source material and some of the complications involved in that but he also talks about working with Russell on the project, the screenwriting process, getting the movie actually finished, what he did from a producer's standpoint and more. Between the two tracks we get a lot of pertinent information about the history and making this film, and as such, they're quite valuable.

    The new material includes a twenty-five minute short film entitled Second Best that was directed by Stephen Dartnell in 1972. This film, previously unreleased, also stars Alan Bates and is again based on a story by D.H. Lawrence. Here Bates and Victoria Ward play a couple whose lives become… complicated when she returns to the village where she grew up only for him to court her while the engage in hunting moles. It's an odd piece to say that least, but not without its quirky charm and both Bates and Ward are quite good in it. The BFI have a tendency to really do a great job digging up oddities like this that relate to the feature attraction, the inclusion of the short is certainly a boon to the supplemental package.

    Also on hand is an audio recording of The Guardian Lecture wherein actress Glenda Jackson was interviewed at the National Film Theatre in 1982. This is quite extensive, clocking in at over seventy-five minutes in length, and it plays overtop of the feature for as long as it lasts so that we've got something to look at. Here Jackson goes into a lot of detail about how she got into acting, some of the stage work that she's been involved with, various projects related to film and television, some of her more famous roles and some of her favorite projects. She's quite charming here, a good storyteller with a fair bit of charisma and some warmth that makes this quite interesting to listen to.

    Jackson also shows up in The Pacemakers 14: Glenda Jackson, which is a fourteen minute long profile of the actress made in 1974. Comprised of interviews shot while she was working on Sunday Bloody Sunday and of footage from Women In Love it covers some of the same ground as the audio interview but is definitely worth checking out for her thoughts on working alongside Oliver Reed! In the fifty-minute Billy Williams In Conversation With Phil Meheux is a piece shot at a screening of the film conducted last year. Here Williams and Meheux discuss Williams' work behind the camera, how he got into the business and all manner of specifics as they relate to his work on Women In Love. It's fairly technical but quite interesting.

    Outside of that, the disc contains a theatrical trailer for the feature, a still gallery, menus and chapter selection. Finished retail product will also include an illustrated full color booklet with credits and newly commissioned essays by Michael Brooke, Claire Smith, Paul Sutton and Vic Pratt (who tells us everything we need to know about the obscurity that is Second Best).

    The Final Word:

    Ken Russell's critically lauded filmed adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Women In Love has, courtesy of the BFI, received the special edition release that it's so long deserved. The presentation is outstanding and the extras comprehensive and fascinating. Fans of the late director's work should consider this essential.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!






























      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • Lux Aeterna (Yellow Veil) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Yellow Veil
      Released on: July 28th, 2022.
      Director: Gaspar Noé
      Cast: Béatrice Dalle, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Félix Maritaud, Clara Deshayes
      Year: 2019
      Purchase From Amazon

      Lux Aeterna – Movie Review:

      Meant as an expression of his thoughts on filmmaking and a tribute to both his two leading ladies and the filmmakers that inspired him, Gaspar Noé’s 2019 picture, Lux Aeterna, opens with clips opens with some clips from
      ...
      08-04-2022, 02:17 PM
    • L.A. Aids Jabber (Visual Vengeance) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Visual Vengeance
      Released on: August 9th, 2022.
      Director: Drew Godderis
      Cast: Jason Majik, Justin Godderis, Marcy Lynn
      Year: 1994
      Purchase From Amazon

      L.A. Aids Jabber – Movie Review:

      Drew Godderis acted in low budget movies like Blood Diner, Evil Spawn, Cannibal Hookers and Deep Space before he set out, in 1994, to direct his own independent feature. When shooting on 16mm didn’t work out, Godderis did the next
      ...
      08-04-2022, 02:14 PM
    • Shriek Of The Mutilated (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: January 26th, 2022.
      Director: Michael Findlay
      Cast: Alan Brock, Jennifer Stock, Tawm Ellis, Ed Adlum
      Year: 1974
      Purchase From Amazon

      Shriek Of The Mutilated – Movie Review:

      Directed by Michael Findlay (who has a quick cameo in the opening scene) from a screenplay co-written by Ed Adlum and Ed Kelleher (the duo that brought Invasion Of The Blood Farmers), 1974’s Shriek Of The Mutilated
      ...
      08-01-2022, 04:29 PM
    • Raw Nerve (Culture Shock Releasing) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Culture Shock Releasing
      Released on: January 26th, 2022.
      Director: David A. Prior
      Cast: Ted Prior, Sandahl Bergman, Traci Lords, Glenn Ford, Jan-Michael Vincent, Tex Cobb
      Year: 1991
      Purchase From Amazon

      Raw Nerve – Movie Review:

      The legendary David A. Prior’s 1991 film, Raw Nerve, is placed in Mobile, Alabama, a town being terrorized by a serial killer with a shotgun whose evidently got an axe to grind against beautiful
      ...
      08-01-2022, 03:40 PM
    • Righting Wrongs (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: July 26th, 2022.
      Director: Cory Yuen
      Cast: Yuen Biao, Cynthia Rothrock, Melvin Wong, Karen Sheperd, Peter Cunningham, Corey Yuen
      Year: 1986
      Purchase From Vinegar Syndrome

      Righting Wrongs – Movie Review:

      Righting Wrongs, which was released by the Weinstein Corporation on DVD in 2007 as Above The Law (not to be confused with the Steven Seagal movie of the same name), was directed by Cory
      ...
      08-01-2022, 03:37 PM
    • Two Undercover Angels / Kiss Me Monster (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: July 26th, 2022.
      Director: Jess Franco
      Cast: Rosanna Yanni, Janine Reynaud, Adrian Hoven, Chris Howland, Michel Lemoine
      Year: 1969
      Purchase From Amazon

      Two Undercover Angels / Kiss Me Monster – Movie Review:

      Vinegar Syndrome reissues two of Jess Franco’s swingingest pictures from the late sixties with this two-disc special edition pairing up Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster.
      ...
      08-01-2022, 03:33 PM
    Working...
    X