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Mélo & Khrustalyov, My Car! on Arrow Academy Blu-ray in April

11 January 2019

Arrow Academy’s April releases should put a spring into the step of adventurous cineastes, with Blu-ray releases from masterful French and Russian directors Alain Resnais and Aleksei German. Beautifully restored and packaged with new extras, specially commissioned artwork and lavishly booklets, these luminary films are ripe for rediscovery.

First up is Mélo from master director Alain Resnais, the Bafta and Cannes-winning talent behind Last Year in Marienbad. Pierre Arditi and André Dussollier are celebrated concert violinists and lifelong friends who clash over Sabine Azéma, in a film adapted from Henri Bernstein’s classic play, that blurs the line between cinematic technique and theatrical artifice.

Also in April is Khrustalyov, My Car! from Hard To Be a God director Aleksei German, here delivering a blackly funny, deliriously immersive satire that distils the anticipation and anxiety in the Moscow air as the Soviet despot Stalin lay dying. Yuri Georgievich Klensky, a military surgeon is targeted by an anti-Semitic conspiracy in a one-of-a-kind collision of nightmare and realism.

 

Mélo Blu-ray cover art

Mélo (1986) | Blu-ray | 8 April 2019 | £24.99

Master director Alain Resnais blurs the line between cinematic technique and theatrical artifice in his award-winning Mélo, adapted from Henri Bernstein’s classic play about a doomed love triangle in 1920s Paris. 

Pierre (Pierre Arditi – Love Unto Death) and Marcel (André Dussollier – A Good Marriage) are both celebrated concert violinists and lifelong friends, in spite of their differing temperaments. Pierre is modest, sensitive and content with his lot; Marcel is hungry, driven, and pursues a solo career that takes him to the four corners of the world. After years apart, the two friends reunite when Pierre invites Marcel to his home for dinner. It is then that Marcel first meets Pierre’s wife Romaine (Sabine Azéma – Cosmos), sparking a passionate affair that can only end in tragedy before the curtain falls. 

As thrillingly intimate on film as it was on the stage, Mélo’s César award-winning cast and inventive direction are highlighted in a stunning new restoration, revealing a hidden gem in Resnais’ celebrated body of work waiting to be rediscovered.

Blu-ray Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film 
  • High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation 
  • Original 2.0 Stereo soundtrack 
  • Optional English subtitles 
  • Newly-filmed introduction by critic Jonathan Romney 
  • Archive interview with director Alain Resnais 
  • Archive interview with producer Marin Karmitz 
  • Archive interviews with actors Pierre Arditi and André Dussolier
  • Archive interview with script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot
  • Archive interview with set designer Jacques Saulnier
  • Theatrical Trailer 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Bilge Ebiri

 

Khrustalyov, My Car! Blu-ray cover and contents art

Khrustalyov, My Car! | Blu-ray | 29 April 2019 | £29.99

Named after the apocryphal exclamation of Soviet security chief Lavrentiy Beria as he rushed to Stalin's deathbed, this blackly funny, deliriously immersive satire distils the anticipation and anxiety in the Moscow air, as the Soviet despot lay dying. 

Late winter 1953. The lives of nearly half the planet are in Stalin’s hands. A military surgeon, General Yuri Georgievich Klensky (Yuri Tsurilo), finds himself a target of the "Doctors' Plot": the anti-Semitic conspiracy accusing Jewish doctors in Moscow of planning to assassinate the Soviet elite. Pursued, abused, and marked for the gulags, Yuri is chased and dragged through a Stalinist Soviet nightmare. His desperate, jolting journey encapsulates the madness of the era. 

Directed by Aleksei German, Khrustalyov, My Car! proved wildly provocative when it was screened at the 1998 Cannes film festival, despite being championed as the best film of the festival by the president of the Cannes jury that year, Martin Scorsese. A one-of-a-kind collision of nightmare and realism, German’s film is presented here in a new restoration with a wealth of illuminating extras.

Blu-ray Special Edition contents:

  • New 2K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed 2.0 stereo Russian audio soundtrack
  • Newly translated English subtitles
  • Audio commentary by producer Daniel Bird
  • Between Realism and Nightmare, a new video essay on Khrustalyov, My Car! and the films of Aleksei German by historian and film critic Eugénie Zvonkine
  • Diagnosis Murder: Jonathan Brent on The Doctors' Plot, the academic talks about Stalin's anti-Semitic campaign which provides the backdrop for Khrustalyov, My Car! 
  • Aleksei German, the veteran film historian and critic Ron Holloway interviews the Russian director 
  • German... At Last, an interview with Aleksei German by producer Guy Séligmann
  • Re-release trailer 
  • Double-sided fold-out poster 
  • Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Gianna D'Emilio, an archival essay by Joël Chaperon and original reviews