Sundays and Cybele
January 29, 2012 9:34 AM   Subscribe

In 1962, the New York Times called it a masterpiece, and it won the Oscar for best foreign film that year. If you can't see it any other way, one reviewer on IMDB will rent a theater and screen it for you - if you don't mind a trip to Melbourne. Sundays and Cybele (Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray) is worth tracking down, however you manage.

The film treats delicately of the love between a psychically wounded man, who is capable of violent as well as tender impulses, and a schoolgirl who has been abandoned by her family. The viewer, along with the film's male protagonist, is initiated by the girl into a world of pagan magic created by her imagination, and which is of course in conflict with the world outside. The film might also be seen as an allegory of Viet Nam at the time the film was made.

The cinematography is at times experimental, in service of the film's portrayal of the male lead's disturbed state of mind. The soundtrack is an early effort by Maurice Jarre, and sound design is an important element of the film. The screenplay features (French, subtitled but easy to follow) dialog written by the writer of the novel that the film is based on, and never falters. The director, Serge Bourguignon, made only a handful of movies after Les dimanches, his debut. I can't imagine how he could have surpassed it.

Released on DVD by Sony only in 2009, it is still difficult to get a copy that's licensed for viewing in North America.

Because of the theme of romantic love between an adult and a child, it may not be suitable viewing for everyone.
posted by not_that_epiphanius (8 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
It looks like it's actually impossible to get a copy that's meant for NA... those links are to region 2, PAL versions, which you'll need a region-free, PAL-converting player (or a PC/MAC and some software) to watch. The Italian (Region 2, PAL) DVD seems to be available on for about $15.00, and is sold directly by them, which probably means the DVD is still in production there. Shipping is about $26.00, but maybe another retailer is cheaper. The title is different, 'The Man Without a Past.'

Recommended region-free DVD player
posted by Huck500 at 10:23 AM on January 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

If only there was some simple way to find and download out of print movies.
posted by benzenedream at 10:23 AM on January 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I guess since it's OOP here...

If you're in Italy, buy the DVD!
posted by Huck500 at 10:59 AM on January 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'll have to check out this movie, but the scrubber within a scrubber* on long Youtube movies is awesome!

I don't know the technical term but I mean the fact you can get a higher resolution scrubber right above the long scrubber.
posted by geoff. at 11:26 AM on January 29, 2012

The english subtitles that can be found here work on the YouTube version linked above.
posted by elgilito at 12:02 PM on January 29, 2012

The english subtitles that can be found here work on the YouTube version linked above.

Just hit the CC button on the YouTube video and you get subs.
posted by Huck500 at 12:29 PM on January 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I saw this post this morning and was intrigued. I checked my local university library (Where I will have to relinquish my rental rights soon, waa). They had it for rent, and surprisingly not on hold for a class, so I just went and got it. It's a brand-new, super nice DVD that I am the first person to rent... and it's from Korea! Region 3, which I can hopefully somehow play on my macbook.

Also I saw that various local libraries had the movie too, but on VHS only.

Good to know it's floating around the internet if I somehow can't get the DVD working.

I really like the enthusiasm of the Australian IMDB poster - "I own this movie!!!!" Can't wait to watch it.
posted by ghostbikes at 4:47 PM on January 29, 2012

Region 3, which I can hopefully somehow play on my macbook.

If you put it in there, it'll give you the option to change your dvd drive to region 3. You get 5 changes, so you can change it back when you put in a dvd from your region. There are also firmware hacks that let you change regions whenever you want to for many Mac drives.
posted by Huck500 at 7:30 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

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