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Zazie dans le métro (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A brash and precocious eleven-year-old (Catherine Demongeot) comes to Paris for a whirlwind weekend with her rakish uncle (La Pointe Courte’s, Philippe Noiret); he and the viewer get more than they bargained for in this anarchic comedy from Louis Malle (Murmur of the Heart, My Dinner with André), which treats the City of Light as though it were a pleasure island just waiting to be destroyed. Based on a popular novel by Raymond Queneau that had been considered unadaptable, Malle’s audacious hit Zazie dans le métro is a bit of stream-of-conscious slapstick, wall-to-wall with visual gags, editing tricks, and effects, and made with flair on the cusp of the French New Wave.

Special Features

New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Archival interviews with director Louis Malle, novelist Raymond Queneau, and the young actress Catherine Demongeot

Le Paris de Zazie, an interview with assistant director Philippe Collin

Original theatrical trailer

New and improved English subtitle translation

PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau


Product Details

  • Actors: Catherine Demongeot, Philippe Noiret, Hubert Deschamps, Carla Marlier, Annie Fratellini
  • Directors: Louis Malle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004SBL5OC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,050 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zazie dans le métro (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This is a delightfully entertaining movie. It's also one of the weirdest comedies I've ever seen. It follows a stream of consciousness approach that moves from wordplay to irony to surrealism to slapstick, and quite often all at the same time. Catherine Demongeot is incredibly charming as the child Zazie who, bored with the artifice and insincerity of the uptight and insecure adults she encounters, seems to bend the world and its people to her whims like a gleefully demented wizard. With the wrong actress playing the part, the movie might have fallen on its face, but thankfully Demongeot is up to the task.

Not all of it works, but the parts that don't are just brief pauses in the madness that otherwise fills the film from wall to wall. The lulls are almost even welcome because it might be tiring with the laugh-a-second approach of the first hour.

Make no mistake, this movie is pure insanity from start to finish, and as such it might not be to everyone's taste. But if you appreciate a little weirdness in your day, I think you'll find that this movie has some of the most inspired weirdness around.
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A girl is left with her uncle for the weekend (or a day, I think) while Mom runs off with her new boyfriend. She has one wish while she's there...to ride the Metro train...which, naturally, is on strike.

Wackiness ensues.

Shot largely as if it were a slapstick silent film, this is one wacky, odd romp around Paris. The Eiffel tower scenes are surely one-of-a-kind and worth the price of admission alone.

You won't really find yourself laughing a lot so much as just marveling at the spectacle of the thing.
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You often hear about novels that are not possible for a film adaptation. And for author Raymond Queneau's successful 1959 novel "Zazie dans le métro", who can portray a novel about a young girl who knows way too much for her age and is so inquisitive, but yet her perspective of the absurdity of adult Parisians?

Never to back down from a challenge, French filmmaker Louise Malle known for his popular films "The Lovers" and "Elevators to the Gallows" took on a film adaptation of "Zazie dans le métro". A film which Malle would say it was a tribute to Charlie Chaplin and also a film that would lead to film experimentation with special effects and colorization.

And as for the film, the film would receive critical acclaim but also controversy as many parents thought the film was targeted towards children, and took their children to the film to find out quickly when the young 10-year-old Zazie speaks that the film is not for children.

For Louis Malle fans, many have wanted more of his films to be released by the Criterion Collection and sure enough, "Zazie dans le métro" and "Black Moon" will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in June 2011.

"Zazie dans le métro" is a film that is not easy to describe, because it is a film that has to be experienced visually. Words to describe the film would not serve the film any justice because the enjoyment goes bar beyond the written words but what takes place on screen.

VIDEO:

"Zazie dans le métro - The Criterion Collection #570' is presented in 1:33:1 aspect ratio. It's important to note that the film was a big experimentation with color and filmmaking, especially special effects at that time.
Read more ›
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Hands-down this is the most playful movie I've ever seen, and even after a half dozen viewings, I still can't watch it without having a goofy grin on my face almost all the way through. The basic story is pretty minimal - a precious, strong-willed, borderline manic young girl named Zazie is visiting her uncle in Paris and is repeatedly thwarted in her desire to ride the Metro. But what makes the movie great is director Louis Malle's inventive camerawork and the increasingly erratic, slapstick, hilarious tone of the film (it often feels like you're watching a comic book or a video game unfold on the screen). It's not all fun and games, however -- in the midst of all the chaotic goings-on is some pretty biting social commentary about modern culture. I'm so glad this got a Criterion Collection release - the picture and audio quality on the blu-ray are terrific, and the extra features include an engaging archival interview with the film's young star, Catherine Demongeot.
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i love this movie. easily one of my favorite movies. a must buy if you like french new wave slap-sticky wacky coolness confusion etc etc.
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