Positioned somewhere between Bresson's immortal Journal d'un curé de campagne and Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster, Maurice Pialat's staggering Sous le soleil de Satan [Under the Sun of Satan] addresses the torrent of spiritual and intellectual turmoil unloosed among the denizens of a little country parish. It is a film by turns calm and violent, buoyant upon the tears of mercy and gurgling with the blood of the Lamb.
Gérard Depardieu (Loulou, Le Garçu) is the self-abasing curate tortured by questions about his role in God's plan — before an encounter with a material Satan touches off a powerful revelation. At the crux of his vision is Sandrine Bonnaire (A nos amours., Police), the madly profligate brewer's daughter whose fate ruptures in a blast of gunpowder and the slash of a razor. As events unfurl, Maurice Pialat himself provides witness as the seasoned cleric who pronounces the words: "God wears us down."
One of the great films of faith made by a non-believer, Sous le soleil de Satan left an indelible mark on spectators from the very moment of its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987 — where it won the Palme d'Or for Best Film.
SPECIAL TWO-DISC EDITION INCLUDING:
• Gorgeous new anamorphic transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio
• New and improved English subtitle translations
• Isabelle aux Dombes [Isabelle in La Dombes] — Maurice Pialat's first film, an 8-minute work from 1951 • Congrès eucharistique diocèsain. [Diocesan Eucharistic Congress.] — an 8-minute short film by Maurice Pialat from 1953
• 11-minute 2003 interview with star Gérard Depardieu, conducted by former Cahiers du cinéma editor-in-chief, and current director of the Cinémathèque Française, Serge Toubiana
• 13 minutes of footage from the press conference for the film with Pialat and cast, directly following its debut at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival
• 7-minute interview with Pialat and Depardieu, directly after receiving the Palme d'Or award for Best Film at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival
• 54-minute 1983 television programme dedicated to the film, featuring lengthy interviews with Pialat speaking about the film and his career, and esteemed Catholic writer André Frossard
• 14 minutes of footage shot on the set of Sous le soleil de Satan
• 55-minute featurette containing excised scenes and alternative versions of sequences from the film, commented upon by editor Yann Dedet, apprentice editor and future director Cédric Kahn, and screenwriter and assistant Sylvie Pialat
• Original theatrical trailer for Sous le soleil de Satan, along with trailers for the six other Maurice Pialat films released by The Masters of Cinema Series
• 36-page booklet containing a new translation of a massive 2000 career-spanning interview with Maurice Pialat, and more
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