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Moon in the Gutter [Blu-ray] [Import]

 R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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BETTY BLUE director Jean Jacques Beineix's terrifically atmospheric and vastly underrated adaptation of David Goodis' noir classic stars Gerard Depardieu as a raffish longshoreman who mourns his raped, suicided sister amongst the bars and sleazy dives of the seedy Marseilles waterfront. When mystery girl Nastassja Kinski goes slumming in his neighborhood, Depardieu is bewitched by her beauty and soon learns she may know something about the identity of his sibling's attacker. Updates writer Goodis' dark urban underworld into a color-coded dreamland of nightmarish regret and longing, yet still somehow faithfully retains the essence of the original novel. Delirious, audacious and unashamed of its breathtakingly stylized sets.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A lesser film from J-J Beineix but still enjoyable April 28 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film trails behind 'Diva' and 'Betty Blue', the two most known films, and highly rated, from French director Jean-Jacques Beineix whose film career seemed to peak in that time period, and then went downhill. It starred a young Gerard Depardieu and Nastassja Kinski. The character played by GP was traumatized when his sister was raped and then committed suicide, and he was obsessed with seeking out the rapist. Kinski played a rich girl who entered into his life. She was one pretty actress at that time.

Many scenes showed the typical J-J B characteristics - the lighting, the frame composition - which I enjoyed. The plot is flawed and parts of the film were drawn out (the film is over 2 hours long). But if you are a Beineix fan, like I am, you still get something from it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stylized film bordering on a dream... April 27 2014
By Edmonson TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
"The Moon in the Gutter" (1983) is directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix (Diva, Betty Blue).
The movie takes place mostly in a lower class neighbourhood, or at the docks where Gerard (Gerard Depardieu) works, and focuses on the women in his life, including his tigress girlfriend, Bella (Victoria Abril), as he tries to make sense of his sister's death. When Gerard meets Loretta (Nastassja Kinski), a wealthy amateur photographer, she seems to reveal a better, ideal world, beyond his squalid life. This is emphasized in a billboard image of a tourist destination that is seen behind Loretta as she drives up to his house. This stylized and melancholic film, with a wonderfully eclectic soundtrack by Gabriel Yared, is beautifully lit and directed. Its often dream like quality reflects a complex world of disillusionment, and hope where convalescence resides.

The blu-ray is actually closer in quality to what one would expect from a dvd given its lack of detail. The special features include an interview with the director (16 min), movie stills, and the director's first film "Mr. Michel's Dog"(15 min).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Moon in the Gutter--brilliant French existentialist Noir Sept. 6 2008
By Richard L. Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This brilliant film is an example of existential angst wrapped up in a modern Noir type of packaging. It was not truly appreciated when released in the theaters but is well worth watching and owning. The film is so engrossing that the reading of the dialogue is not wearisome as some foreign films are. The directors stylistic use of images to hint at and suggest deeper themes is truly artistic. Not only that, the book it is based on is an often overlooked novel by one of America's less appreciated authors David Goodis. He has often been the author of books chosen for the films. His 1st novel DARK PASSAGE was, of course, a challanging vehicle for Bogart. You will not regret purchasing the film. But PLEASE read the book too. You will never regret the experience of seeing the lonely of the loser struggling against all odds just to survive as a descent man in a world set against him. Good acting by Gerard and Natasha as well. Money well invested.

Richard Leo Jackson
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed and flawed, but visually striking and worth a look April 27 2010
By Kardius - Published on Amazon.com
I really wanted to like this movie, since I'm an admirer of Diva and Betty Blue, and I'm a huge fan of the three leads (Gerard Depardieu, Nastassja Kinski, and Victoria Abril), but, despite the wonderful production design and the intriguing noirish setup for the storyline, there was no getting around the fact that the movie doesn't work as a whole in the current version. It's clear to see why it was critically panned upon release. As it is, the film is a series of beautiful but disjointed scenes, with exceptional acting, that drags at certain points and fails to fully develop its main characters.
Gerard Depardieu is at his best and he has rarely looked so hot in a movie. Beineix shot some of the most flattering close-ups I have seen of him. Nastassja Kinski was at the peak of her beauty, and as always is a striking presence, but sadly there's not much character development to her part. Best of all is Victoria Abril, rightfully nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Cesar, who brings an much needed energy to the film, even if she's playing a stereotype. The scenes between Depardieu and Kinski are the most visually beautiful, but the acting honors go to the ones with Abril and Depardieu. It's amazing that Kinski and Abril were so young (23?) when they shot this film, since they bring an emotional complexity and maturity, expressed in very simple gestures, that I cannot imagine in any contemporary young actress.
To sum up, I recommend checking it out for the visuals and the acting, but it's flawed. It would be wonderful if somehow the edited scenes were to be found somewhere and Beineix could do a better, longer edit, like he did with Betty Blue.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor image quality Jan. 8 2012
By M. Hafner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The transfer used for this disc is of very poor quality and not representative of the quality of the photography of this film. It's not worthy of a Blu Ray release since it's even below good DVD quality. Calling it HD is misleading. There is no HD detail there nor the proper look and texture of 35mm film.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By rsoonsa - Published on Amazon.com
Jean-Jacques Beineix recently stated (transl.) "An auteur does not speak the truth" and here, within this enormously powerful film, he but flirts with reality, while most of the director's creative fires feed upon his singular employment of colour and set design. The style of Beineix, as a cinematic architect, may be designated as Rococo with, as he avers, a preeminence of (transl.) "atmosphere over narrative", fostering an element of whimsy, greatly enhanced by his recognition of a symbolic authority resting upon commercial advertising and its adjuncts. A studied development of exaggerated imagination marks the film, each frame being carefully composed for a production that originally extended to over four and one half hours, in the face of Beineix' assertion that he abhors filmic structuring. This organizational factor, at least in part, stems from an obligatory reflex of the director as recognition of the film's source, a novel by David Goodis, wherein the action occurs primarily at and about dockside Philadelphia, transferred here to an undesignated Marseille, and with the novelist's prototypical women intact, one, Loretta (Nastassia Kinski), angelic and carnally unattainable, ("you are pure" declaims Gerard Depardieu to her), the second, Bella (Victoria Abril) triumphantly lusty and possessed of will such as the work's protagonist, Gerard Delmas (Depardieu) apparently does not have. Delmas is compulsively drawn to the site of his sister's gruesome death by her own hand following her sexual violation, hoping to discover keys to what prompted her suicide, to the identity of her assailant, and to a rationale behind his own obsession. Thus is formed a basis for a plot, such as it may be, yet style is properly victor over substance with this undervalued and enigmatic piece that is nearly all filmed in studio, the greatest portion lighted by arcs and photo floods, with scoring contributed in elegant and operatically motival fashion by Gabriel Yared, and paced throughout, as Beineix describes it, with (transl.) "slow gestures forming the choreography."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars aesthetic appeal Nov. 28 2012
By .fgd - Published on Amazon.com
This film is georgeous visually. It is mostly shot as night; full of rich colours like through a glass art- nouveaux lamp against a back-drop of shadows. The sets are pleasing as is the camera work. So is the music. Nastassja Kinski is in the full bloom of her youth. She has to be one of the most exceptional beauties within the film industry. There is a very sensual shot of her in profile and she talks in French ( naturally as her mother was French) in a steady gentle erotic voice She has a good chemistry with a young Gepardiu. Out-side of holding my attention as a grood actor I am always trying to solve the connundrum of how a man whose not particularly handsome can be so attractive. I liked the other cast members. Gerrad's girlfriend is erotic especially how she repeatedly rams a car sitting the wrong way on a swing. Or they seem like characatures of sorts which adds interest. There is a suspected rapist creepy; high-strung and degenerate who would have been perfectly played by Klaus Kinski. This would have been a surreal touch to a film with surreal on its periferys in any case.
I notice the pace and plot were criticised. I suppose you have to adjust as the film has a flow of its own; a slow delirium quality like moonlight on water as its name implies although I did not find it slow or dis-jointed maybe because I was always feasting on it visually:( and aurally and musically)
The secret is not to attempt to trace this film ontop of a conventionally structured one. It is arty and will deliver in compensation ie: character development- it doesn't occur in real dreams so why would it in a dream-like film.?
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