Good As It Got

The first and only time I saw Robert Bresson‘s L’Argent was inside one of those little shoebox theatres in the old Beverly Center. It was either during the fall of ’83 or the winter of ’84. Based on Leo Tolstoy‘s “The Forged Coupon”, and Bresson’s final film. Dry, subtle, precise. Bresson never faked anything — movie-pretend wasn’t in his vocabulary. When his protagonist (Christian Patey) killed a family with an axe near the end, Bresson only suggested the killings, and chastely at that. The Criterion Bluray pops on 7.11.17.

Later that month Criterion is also releasing a Bluray of Albert Brooks’ Lost in America (’85). Will Criterion’s 2K restoration deliver the necessary “bump”? Let’s hope so. I’ll buy it for (a) the conversation between Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide, (b) interviews with Julie Hagerty, executive producer Herb Nanas and director James L. Brooks, and (c) an essay on this seminal Reagan-era film by Scott Tobias.

  • azmoviegoer

    I hope LiA will be the first of many Albert Brook’s films to be released on blu-ray. I would love to have “Defending your Life.”

    • Dr. New Jersey

      For me after Lost in America, all time great, comes Modern Romance. Brooks wasn’t looking to be loved.

      • azmoviegoer

        Agreed. DYL was the first one I thought of but MR is a classic as well.

      • Grampappy Amos

        Yes, he could accentuate the negative as well as any self deprecating comedian ever could

  • Buck Swope

    hagerty was sneaky hot. her and kathryn harrold were the starting forwards on my 80’s all-underrated team

  • Patrick Murtha

    Nice to know that you are a Bresson fan, Jeff. Au hasard Balthazar and Pickpocket are all-timers for me, and I have great respect for the entire output.

  • THX11384EB


    That is all.

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    • brenkilco

      What will Stalker look like on blu? Better? Or is the muddy, murky, smeary look of the dvd just the way it was shot?

  • pjm

    Remember seeing “L’Argent” in Boston in 83. As intensely profound as film making gets. Bresson was airlifted from the 10th century to the 20th, I think.

  • JoeS

    Bresson wasn’t prolific, but he was a true cinema original. And, his fatalism was deeply felt, and never seemed calculated to elicit cheap emotions. And, to end with DEVIL PROBABLY and L’ARGENT seemed fitting.

  • Spicerpalooza

    “The Desert Inn has heart. The Desert Inn has heart.”

  • Chris Willman

    Glad they are sticking with the classic “Lost in America” poster art. How often does Criterion do that?