Roving with his dazzlingly mobile camera around the decadent ballrooms, bucolic countryside retreats, urban bordellos, and painter's studios of late nineteenth-century Parisian society, Max Ophuls brings his astonishing visual dexterity and storytelling bravura to this triptych of tales by Guy de Maupassant about the limits of spiritual and physical pleasure. Featuring a stunning cast of French stars (including Danielle Darrieux, Jean Gabin, and Simone Simon), Le plaisir pinpoints the cruel ironies and happy compromises of life with a charming and sophisticated breeziness. SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:New, restored high-definition digital transfer, Introduction by filmmaker Todd Haynes, English- and German-language versions of the opening narration, From Script to Screen, a video essay featuring film scholar Jean-Pierre Berthome discussing the evolution of Ophuls's screenplay for Le plaisir, Interviews with actor Daniel Gelin, assistant director Tony Aboyantz, and set decorator Robert Christides, New and improved English subtitle translation. PLUS: A new essay by film critic Robin Wood.
Brilliant. --Boston Phoenix
Shot with supreme elegance. --Time Out