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  • Andrzej Zulawski's La Femme Publique (The Public Woman, 1984) UNCUT Premium Edition [LIMITED: 2,000 Numbered Sets] by MONDO VISION
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Andrzej Zulawski's La Femme Publique (The Public Woman, 1984) UNCUT Premium Edition [LIMITED: 2,000 Numbered Sets] by MONDO VISION

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A young actress, Ethel, coming from nowhere, is trying to create a personality through her body and her indestructible resolve if necessary, through Elena, her lover's wife who has disappeared. Two men: Lucas Kesling, ambitious cinema director with diabolical powers, and Milan, fallen angel on an earth cracking beneath his feet, both fighting to possess Ethel. The restless filming of a viscontian movie adapted from Dostoyevsky's "The Possessed" in an opulent and smothering set. A political conspiracy conspiring to do away with the prelate from Eastern Europe, which Milan is inadvertently caught up in. An oppressing and eerie Paris transformed into an expressionist universe which these hunted characters are trying to escape from.

These are essential elements of La Femme Publique (The Public Woman), Andrzej Zulawksi's 6th film, where the obsessive themes of his dazzling career Trzecia Czesc Nocy (The Third Part of the Night,1971), L'Important C'est D'aimer (The Important Thing is to Love,1975), and Possession (1981) become entangled.

ANDRZEJ ZULAWSKI's La Femme Publique is a cinematic milestone rich with extreme imagery and raw emotions. Twenty five years after its controversial inception at the Cannes Film Festival, this story of a young, struggling actress retains the power to shock even the most seasoned of movie goers with its violently stylish, apocalyptic tone. A woman s destiny, divided between angel and demon...An hour and 54 minutes of painful happiness, La Femme Publique scratches the soul, slaps the eyes, and seduces like the maelstrom that each one of us hides beyond the conscious. To summarize La Femme Publique is impossible, dangerous and impoverishing. Zulawski is not a man of words; he plays and juggles with the image, the color, the rhythm, the sound, the music, and this unspeakable shamelessness that he steals from his actors so effectively. Between humor and paroxysm, La Femme Publique is a fascinating metaphysical experience with a degree of intensity that needs to be seen to be believed. Simply put, it represents cinema at its most insane & brilliant.

- Special Screening & Mention @ 1984 Cannes Film Festival

-Montréal World Film Festival:
Most Popular Film Of The Festival
Special Prize of the Jury

César Awards, France
Best Actress: Valérie Kaprisky
Best Supporting Actor: Lambert Wilson
Best Writing Adaptation: Andrzej Zulawski
Best Writing Adaptation: Dominique Garnier


MONDO VISION presents the first ever North American release of Andrzej Zulawski's highly anticipated and sought after film La Femme Publique (The Public Woman, 1984) in a gorgeous transfer with all new English Subtitles, UNCUT & Fully Uncensored.

Disc 1: The Film

  • Digitally Restored Transfer Mastered In High Definition Progressive Scan (Approved by Director Andrzej Zulawski)
  • Feature Length Audio Commentary With Director Andrzej Zulawski And Writer Daniel Bird
  • Exclusive New Video Interview With Director Andrzej Zulawski
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • DVD-ROM Content
  • Image Gallery

  • Disc 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD (Exclusive To Limited Edition. 32 tracks CD Digitally remastered in Paris under the supervision of Composer Alain Wisniak) [Available for the first time ever on CD]

    + Exclusive 48pg Commemorative booklet including a newly written essay by Daniel Bird + Rare & Insightful Interviews With Andrzej Zulawski and the Cast [retranslated and published for the first time ever in English]
  • INTERVIEW with Andrzej ZULAWSKI (Feb, 1984)
  • INTERVIEW with Francis HUSTER (Feb, 1984)
  • INTERVIEW with Valérie KAPRISKY (Feb, 1984)
  • INTERVIEW with Lambert WILSON (Feb, 1984)
  • "Music Of Apocalypse:" An Interview With ANDRZEJ ZULAWSKI [Originally Appeared In The French Film Magazine Cinéma, May 1984 (N°305)]
  • "A Filmmaker Has To Be Disruptive...":An Interview With ANDRZEJ ZULAWSKI [Originally appeared In The French French film Magazine La Revue Du Cinéma, May 1984 (N°394)]

  • + 10 B&W Reproductions Of The Original Japanese Publicity Photos
    + Certificate of Authenticity With Unique Serial # [Only 2000 Individually Numbered Sets Produced]


    Le Femme Publique is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and original Mono French soundtrack as intended by Andrzej Zulawski. This Dual Layer disc has been transferred and encoded using a high-frequency process which preserves as much of the detail and texture from the original film as is possible on the NTSC DVD format.

    UPC: 837654024645
    Catalog#: MVLE001


    Like the theatrical milieu of L' important C'est D'Aimer (The Important Thing Is To Love, 1975), this depiction of passionate complications during the making of a film vibrates with actorly trauma, romantic angst and shrieking conflicts of ego. Brashly utilizing distanciation techniques as if they were his personal contribution to the language of film, Zulawski gives De Palma a run for his money in the realm of reflexive cheek. What he adds to the panoply of Nouvelle Vague motifs on display is a consistent ability to wring intense performances from his casts; here, Kaprisky and Huster belt out their antagonistic tirades with blistering energy.

    The crystal clear, blue-tinged photography of Possession (1981) - such an inspiration to Argento as he embarked on Tenebrae - is replaced here by burnt orange and wood-glow tones, courtesy of the incomparable Sacha Vierny (famed for his marvelous work on Last Year In Marienbad, and now the regular collaborator of Peter Greenaway).

    Existing in a highly excited state of over-stimulation, Zulawski's characters have to shout and scream to be heard over the ferocious buzz of a culture hypostatized in a convulsive urge to depict, represent, speak.

    Compared to Zulawski, many filmmakers are still playing "Buy A Broom". --Excerpts from a review by Stephen Thrower, ©EYEBALL Magazine, Issue .4, Winter 1996

    Trzecia Czesc Nocy (The Third Part of the Night, 1971), L' Important C'est D'aimer (The Important Thing Is To Love, 1975), Possession (1981), and now this new cataclysmic poem of a blossomed Polish director, who is also maybe rootless, in France. Far from the constraining bureaucracies but very close to this panic, to this fantasy, that rejoins the collective unconscious. La Femme Publique (The Public Woman), like Zulawski's other movies, is an essential film. A very contemporary story, that reminisces of the eternal myths! --Excerpt from a review by Gilles Gressard, 1984

    Zulawski is a mortal enemy of rational, measured filmmaking. Excess is the key to each scene. The actors all seem afflicted with St. Vitus' Dance, the camera too. Characters don t converse as much as rant, they don t interact, but collide. Copulation, brutality and murders are everyday activities.... Zulawski's vision of the world is sick and sordid. --(Variety)

    Special Features


    Product Details

    • Actors: Francis Huster, Valerie Kaprisky, Lambert Wilson, Diane Delor, Yveline Ailhaud
    • Directors: Andrzej Zulawski
    • Format: Anamorphic, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: French
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: All Regions
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
    • Number of discs: 2
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: Mondo Vision
    • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
    • Run Time: 114 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B001BRZAD8
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,671 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Andrzej Zulawski's La Femme Publique (The Public Woman, 1984) UNCUT Premium Edition [LIMITED: 2,000 Numbered Sets] by MONDO VISION" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Sardella on November 13, 2008
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    La Femme Publique (The Public Woman) (1984) is the story of aspiring young actress Ethel (played by the stunning and versatile Valérie Kaprisky), who by accepting a role in a film based on Dostoyevsky's 'The Possessed', directed by controversial Czech filmmaker Lucas Kessling (played with icy cool and raving madness by Francis Huster) is sucked into a world of manipulation, political conspiracy and confusion.

    There are many subplots in this film and the line between reality and acting is blurred for both Ethel and the viewer, but this doesn't detract from the beautifully composed shots, visual style and colors or the film itself.

    This was the first film I've viewed by Polish director Andrzej Zulawski and it has left me impressed. I'll definitely be seeking out more films by him.


    The Hi-Def Anamorphic film transfer (approved by Zulawski) retains the film's original 1.66:1 ratio and was undertaken by gifted UK videophile David Mackenzie ([...]) and it is a visual feast - clean, vibrant, film-like (grain!) and overall - amazing. The audio is crisp and well-balanced.


    Commentary with Zulawski
    An interesting interview with the director where he talks about, among other things, co-writing the film with the Dominique Garnier, author of the original novel.
    Image gallery


    Here's the other area (besides the film transfer) where this DVD really shines. The Premium Collector's Edition packaging is absolutely gorgeous. It is black box with red holo-foil stamping, great artwork, 10 B&W photo reproductions (with their own envelope), a Certificate of Authenticity (ltd.
    Read more ›
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    6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Roquette on March 15, 2009
    Format: DVD
    Utterly briliant package with a wealth of extras sure to satisfy any true fan of Zulawski's. Great film, beautiful transfer and timeless commentary by Zulawski. Well worth every penny.
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    5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luminoso on November 19, 2008
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Wow! The transfer of this film is amazing! Prior to last night I'd only seen LFP on a murky Canadian vhs rental and an equally dark (visually - the story is another matter) Asian dvd release - both sans subtitles. Even with inky shadows and soupy colors I was so taken with this film - the story, the direction and the performances that I signed up for this release the day I got the Amazon notice! Now, finally seeing LFP as it was originally intended, I am amazed at how much the overall impact of the film is intensified - and LFP is pretty high voltage even in half-light!

    Previous reviewers have laid out the storyline, so I'll omit a synopsis of Ethel's journey to her big break as an actress. Suffice it to say, Zulawski is a master at taking what is essentially an over-the-top story, setting it in a specific historical context, and then making it chillingly real.

    As to the extras, the essays and transcribed 1984 interviews (what tipped me to the premium ed) are fascinating and well worth the extra cost. Interesting to project on where many of the principals are now compared to their comments made almost 25 years ago.

    Zulawski's commentary and on-camera interview give the viewer a glimpse into his attitudes and philosophy of film direction as well as specifics about making the film and creating an adapted screenplay. Interesting for film buffs; invaluable to screenwriters. The soundtrack is a stand alone bonus I didn't expect to enjoy this much. Now it's on my favorites play list.

    There is no fluff here. The Premium Edition is crammed with great stuff not the least of which is a fabulous transfer of a truly intriguing film.

    Way to go Mondo Vision... so what's next?
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Classic Collecter on February 14, 2014
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This film must have your undivided attention while viewing.
    This is due to the sub title translation throughout
    It is a story about a young woman that as it unfolds the viewer
    ,taking the time to digest the scene, can follow and understand.
    There is alot of sex for sure which may offend some people but
    this is not free love. It is her love, her life.
    Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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