New high definition digital transfers of the feature and the shorts
Blanche (Blu-ray) Arrow
One of the greatest of all medieval films, not least for its utterly distinctive realisation of a recognisable yet alien world, Walerian Borowczyk’s third feature was widely hailed as a masterpiece from the moment it first appeared and is still regarded as one of his greatest films.
Based on Juliusz Słowacki’s 19th-century play Mazepa but relocated to 13th-century France, Blanche tells the story of the beautiful young wife (Ligia Branice) of a nobleman many decades older (French acting legend Michel Simon). As innocent as her name suggests, Blanche becomes the unwilling centre of attention in a power struggle between her husband, the visiting King and his page, the latter a notorious womaniser. Its unique visual style resembles a medieval fresco, and its period-instruments soundtrack, adapting the ancient ‘Carmina Burana’ song book, was years ahead of its time.
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