Just released from the magnificent Versus Entertainment label in Spain: a gorgeous and beautifully designed new DVD edition of Jean Renoir's 1956 masterpiece Eléna et les hommes [Eléna and the Men], bearing the title Elena y los hombres.
Included across the two discs: Renoir's introduction of the film made for the 1962 series of French television broadcasts. — The extraordinary L'Album de famille de Jean Renoir [Jean Renoir's Family Album], Roland Gritti's 16-minute 1956 documentary screened in French cinemas with Eléna et les hommes at the time of the feature's original release, in which Renoir discusses his family and his father the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir in particular. — And last but not least, the first part (of three) of Jacques Rivette's classic 1967 film made for Cinéastes de notre temps, Jean Renoir, le patron [Jean Renoir: The Boss]. The discs feature removable Spanish subtitles across all elements; in the case of L'Album de famille de Jean Renoir the removable Spanish subtitles appear on black bars to cover up... English subtitles burnt into the master.
The package's physical centerpiece is the perfect-bound, glossy, full-color 72-page book that contains a short 1995 essay about the film by Carlos Losilla; an extract from a 1998 essay by Àngel Quintana; and a full reprint of the conversation that Andy Rector and myself had about the film in 2008 at this blog and at Kino Slang, translated into Spanish by Stefan Ivancic and retaining all the original imagery from the version that appeared at Cinemasparagus. (Earlier today I caught word that Cahiers du cinéma España described the discussion in their review of the release as "a great lesson in cinema.")
You can read our conversation in its original English-language form —
(in the version with my image-selection)
(in the version with Andy's image-selection)
Congratulations and sincere thanks to the entire Versus team who put together this outstanding release: Adrián Guerra, Gonzalo del Pozo, Juan Molero, Nuria Bermejo, Pepe Tito, and Alejandro Miranda.
Above all — if you haven't seen it, watch, rewatch, and rewatch again Eléna et les hommes! It's one of the most sublime films ever made, and must be at least 412 times more three-dimensional than Avatar.