L'Air De Paris Review
The FilmIt's difficult to watch L'Air de Paris without making connections with Marcel Carné's previous film, Therese Raquin. This is largely because Roland Lesaffre, whilst only in a supporting role, was quite the most interesting thing about that film and here his character that was struck down by fate there seems to have been magically resurrected. Here, the ex-soldier down on his luck finds hope and a possible escape through a star-crossed romance and a career in boxing.
The film ends on a very tacked on note, which stinks of compromise. After spending one hundred minutes telling about class and the smashing of dreams, albeit with a lighter tone than his earlier work, the story ends with a seemingly noble sacrifice. Rather than leave things in a state of breakdown which seems inevitable given the dynamics of all we have seen, Carné chooses to redeem everyone by putting them back in their place. You can read this as cynicism or apathy but for such a romantic director as Carné this made me very edgy.
Transfer and SoundThe transfer provided here is of a similar quality to Optimum's previous release of Therese Raquin. There is some damage to the print in terms of marks and hairs but very little to become distressed about. The black levels are very sound and there is an agreeable amount of film grain apparent. Edges are not emphasised, and the image is pleasingly sharp and detailed.
Discs and Special FeaturesThis is a single layer, region 2 encoded disc. The menu is poster art in the same vein as the DVD's cover art and the sole special feature is a trailer for the film. The trailer sells the film pretty much as an upbeat comedy that reunites Arletty and Gabin, and proves that advertising people never change in their misrepresentation of a movie where both are supporting players and the tone is not optimistic.
SummaryCarné's later films are shadows of former glories, but L'Air de Paris is well made and involving if a little melodramatic. This disc has a very good transfer and other releases of the film are rather hard to find.
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Last updated: 18/04/2018 20:19:54