Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 5, 2012. As epochal as any film made in France in the 1930s, Port of Shadows (Le Quai des brumes, 1938) is a definitive example of the style known as “poetic realism.” The ragged outlines, the lowdown settings, the romantic fatalism of the protagonists, the movement of the story first upward toward a single moment of happiness and then down to inexorable doom—the hallmarks of the style had germinated in some form or other through the decade, but in Marcel Carné’s third feature they came together as archetypes. Similarly, Port of Shadows and the other examples of poetic realism in the cinema owe little to Émile Zola, but neither do they have anything to do with dinner jackets, cruise ships, or independent incomes. We work hard to protect your security and privacy.
The only other extra is a brief introduction by professor and film critic Ginette Vincendeau, who touches upon the film’s tragic central romance and profound influence on American noirs.
Five stars for the film but only three stars for the Blu-ray restoration, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2012, "Life is a curious thing.
Get info about new releases, essays and interviews on the Current, Top 10 lists, and sales. A gun battle soon breaks out—some gangsters are after Michel Simon, sporting the beard he wore seven years earlier in Jean Renoir’s La Chienne, (1931)—and you can’t quite tell whether it’s meant to be sinister or comical or both.
Naturally, too, everything that is good in life will unravel, quickly and dramatically. Carné was an ambitious if somewhat erratic auteur, capable of spectacular masterpieces (Children of Paradise [Les Enfants du paradis], 1945) as well as of second-rate exercises (most of his work after the early fifties). An awful lot of them involve men from nowhere headed in the direction of destiny (think Humphrey Bogart, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Clint Eastwood), and this one is no exception: Gabin plays an army deserter, about whom we learn little other than that he served in Indochina and doesn’t care to remember it. But whose dream is the viewer actually witnessing? The dark, fatalistic themes Carné established with Brumes would be continued, both in the same year’s Hotel du Nord and, more directly, 1939’s Le Jour se Lève. This led to roles in silent films, but it was with the advent of sound that Gabin found his true calling—even if his quiet stoicism was what he would become best known for. Naturally she and Gabin’s character will find love, however briefly, and naturally he will protect her from predators, who include Simon, ostensibly her guardian, and the chief gangster—Pierre Brasseur, in the grand tradition of sadistic weaklings. The English translation of the title is ‘Port of Shadows’, particularly appropriate, as this is one of the earliest films that could be described as a genuine ‘Film Noir’. His work with director Julien Duvivier would prove his most important: they collaborated on two successful films in the midthirties (Maria Chapdelaine and La bandera), but it was their third, Pépé le moko, that, in creating the romantic criminal antihero archetype, shot Gabin into the stratosphere. Get info about new releases, essays and interviews on the Current, Top 10 lists, and sales.
After all, the story occurs in a strangely stylized place the film wants us to believe is the bustling port of Le Havre. The first masterpiece of this sublime poet film maker. © 2008-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. The truck driver almost hits a dog, and Jean grabs the wheel to avoid it. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon.
Subsequently, they sent me a request for a review of this very disc.
And you know what I mean with it.
Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. The poetic aspect will be immediately apparent to contemporary viewers, although the genre’s claim to realism may be a bit more difficult to fathom. Kino's release sources a newer 2K restoration, apparently using the original camera negative for most of the film, a safety negative for bits later cut out by censors.
As Michael Atkinson has written for Criterion, “Without its iconic precedent, there would have been no Humphrey Bogart, no John Garfield, no Robert Mitchum, no Randolph Scott, no Jean-Paul Belmondo (or Breathless or Pierrot le fou), no Jean-Pierre Melville or Alain Delon, no Steve McQueen .
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