A rare combination of sophisticated movie-making technique (shot in CinemaScope and recorded in stereo) and content that is a veritable ode to the beauty of rural France, the simplicity of daily peasant life, and the nearly wordless intimacy of a lifelong relationship. Recording over a 5-year period, director Benicheti palpably captures the rhythms and rituals of blacksmith Jules Guiteaux and his wife Félicie as Jules dons wooden clogs and leather apron to begin work in his shop, while Félicie tends a vegetable garden and prepares their meals. Awarded the jury prize at the Locarno Film Festival in 1973 and widely acclaimed around the world, the film nevertheless remained unreleased in the U.S. until now. (Synopsis Courtesy of Film Forum)
A lost masterpiece of documentary cinema, Cousin Jules was the result of five years of painstaking work by director Dominique Benicheti and renowned cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn (cinematographer of Truffaut's Day for Night, Tavernier's Coup de torchon and others). They ambitiously photographed in Cinemascope and recorded in stereophonic sound the lives of Jules and his wife. The result is a ravishing, totally immersive work. The film received extraordinary reviews, won the Special Jury Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1973, and was exhibited at many prominent festivals including Moscow International Film Festival, New Directors/New Films and the Los Angeles International Film Expo (Filmex).
Despite a strong festival response, the film did not find a distributor. This was in part due to the fact that most arthouse theaters of the day did not possess the equipment necessary to screen the film in its native Cinemascope format, and Benicheti refused exhibition of the film under any other format. He believed that the drama f the film was best understood on a monumental scale.
Over the years, the original negative and existing copies of Cousin Jules began to disintegrate. Benicheti was in the early stages of restoring the film himself when he died in 2011; a group of the film's most dedicated supporters banded together to raise the funds for the remainder of the restoration work. The exquisite 2k DCP was completed by Arane-Gulliver Labs and was premiered at the 2012 New York Film Festival and proceeded to screenings at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival and other venues around the world.
Main Street Landing Film House (View)
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Burlington , VT 05401