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 lovers 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 FestivalAWARDS:
-Montréal World Film Festival:Most Popular Film Of The Festival
Special Prize of the JuryNOMINATIONS:César Awards, FranceBest Actress:
Valérie KapriskyBest Supporting Actor:
Lambert WilsonBest Writing Adaptation:
Andrzej ZulawskiBest Writing Adaptation:
Dominique GarnierDVD CONTENTS:
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
- Digitally Restored Transfer Mastered In High Definition Progressive Video (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
- 24page Booklet Featuring a Newly Written Essay by Daniel Bird
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:
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 1996Trzecia 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)