La Grande Bouffe – Marco Ferreri | Arrow Video Blu-Ray Review

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Release Date: August 18, 2015
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret
Directed by: Marco Ferreri

The most famous film by Italian provocateur Marco Ferreri (Dillinger is Dead), La Grande Bouffe was reviled on release for its perversity, decadence and attack on the bourgeoisie yet won the prestigious FIPRESCI prize after its controversial screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

Four friends, played by international superstars Marcello Mastroianni (Fellini’s 8½), Michel Piccoli (Belle de jour), Ugo Tognazzi (Barbarella) and Philippe Noiret (Zazie dans le métro) retreat to a country mansion where they determine to eat themselves to death whilst engaging in group sex with prostitutes and a local school teacher (Andréa Ferréol, The Tin Drum), who seems to be up for anything…

La Grande Bouffe is certainly not a crowd pleasing film with many disgusting disrespectful acts done and being done to the main characters. There is nothing that one or I was able to relate to in La Grande Bouffe, there are very little people in the world who can relate to the problems of the of rich who want to die because they have  problems that are unable to resolve. While La Grande Bouffe is a film critiquing the bourgeoisie, it does it in a very boring manner without any meaningful character arches or up and downs. While I do believe that this was Marco Ferreri intension, there can be different approaches to making a film fun and entertaining while criticizing the bourgeoisie.

Marco Ferreri does accomplish getting the audience to absolutely hate all of the main characters and waiting them to suffer the slow death of gluteness eating. Dark humor is spread out and plenty of farting through the run time if heard to what at some point gets annoying and archives us hating all the acts each character does. Toward the end of La Grande Bouffe everything goes to shit quite literally as people star to die off and the high mark is a man passes away as he is being jerked off while laying on a dinner table stuffing his face with a giant leg of meat.

La Grande Bouffe is not recommended buy but if this look and sound like something you may have interest in by all means check it out. As for me I will pass on a second viewing.

Presentation:

As outlined in the screenshots above Arrow Films has brought a new restoration in 2K and that is presented on disc excellent. While the film is not a showstopper or visually impressive what is show looks authentic and full of fine grain detail. The picture is pretty flawless but once again the picture is composition can be boring and dull.

Audio:

Audio in this disc is presented in a LPCM mono drench soundtrack that is extremely flat but clean and free of distortion.

Special Features:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
  • Original French audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • Newly translated English subtitles
  • The Farcical Movie – A French television profile of Marco Ferreri from 1975 in which the director discusses, among other things, the influence of Tex Avery, Luis Buñuel and Tod Browning’s Freaks
  • Behind-the-scenes footage of the making of La Grande bouffe, containing interviews with Ferrari and actors Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Ugo Tognazzi and Philippe Noiret
  • Extracts from the television series Couleurs autour d’un festival featuring interviews with the cast and crew recorded during the Cannes Film Festival
  • A visual essay on the film with by Italian film scholar Pasquale Iannone
  • Select scene audio commentary by Iannone
  • News report from the Cannes Film Festival where La Grande bouffe caused a controversial stir, including Ferreri at the press conference
  • Original Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
  • Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Johnny Mains, illustrated with original archive stills and posters
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