"Cousin Jules" was filmed by late director Dominique Benicheti and cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn over the course of five years and released in 1973. It's "neither documentary nor fiction", as described by the director, and follows his cousin Jules Guiteaux (and Jules' wife, Felice) in their day-to-day lives in the French countryside. Jules is a blacksmith by trade and Felice tends to most of the domestic duties. Both nearing 80 years of age, they work tirelessly and rarely speak...and sadly, Felice died during the five-year filming process, which makes the second half of "Cousin Jules" even more solitary than the first. There's no narration and no music, giving viewers a true "you are there" experience. Some may find it boring, others will enjoy the experience.
Filmed in CinemaScope and recorded in true stereo sound (one of, if not, the first documentary to do so), "Cousin Juiles" was exhibited only a few times upon its 1973 release and quickly "retired" by the director since most art-house theaters at the time lacked proper equipment to screen it properly. Now more than 30 years later, the film has resurfaced on DVD and Blu-ray, meticulously restored by Dominique Benicheti and a team of friends and colleagues. Like Felice during the film itself, though, the director died during the lengthy restoration process and it was completed and released without him. In this case, life imitated art and this only adds to the mystique surrounding Benicheti's little-seen gem.
CinemaGuild's Blu-ray offers a fantastic A/V presentation and only limited extras, including a short restoration featurette hosted by the director before his death in 2011. I'd imagine there would've been more extras had he not died unexpectedly, but what we get is entertaining and informative. A true one-of-a-kind release that shines on Blu-ray, but the DVD also offers comparatively strong A/V despite the limits of standard definition.
Just for the record, I wrote separate DVD and Blu-ray releases for this title at DVDtalk.com...feel free to look them up if you'd like.