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Author Topic: Vidocq - French film with potential  (Read 3461 times)
OHebel Wring
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« on: March 13, 2007, 11:08:28 am »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0164961/

from the IMDB description:

"Paris. 1830. In the heart of the town, Vidocq, a famous detective, disappeared as he fights the Alchemist, an assassin that he has been pursuing for a few months. His young biographer, Etienne Boisset, decides to have revenge on Vidocq's death and takes the investigation on... "

Picked up this one on a whim at the electronics store last night after work.  Shot pretty wonderfully, but there are places where camera movement is too much (plus the wide-angle lens) and makes the viewer actually motion sick.  This may have been part of their goal, though, as the film is a slightly strange take on 1830's Paris.  One of the opening scenes involves two men with full fleets of body guards getting struck by lightning at the same time.  The investigator than comes in to figure out the mechanism for this "accident" which eventually leads him to a serial killer known as "the Alchemist".  Notice the lair toward the end - - SUPER cool steam punk chemistry, as well as the gadget they finally make for the lightning gun.

this one is borderline as it deals more with the mystery and horror than with the gadgets and timeline, but, if you have a couple of hours to kill, you can probably pick it up for cheap.

enjoy.
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 01:22:42 pm »

I spotted this one a while back and ummed and ahhhed about bothering to watch it. I canvassed opinion which suggested either not to bother or that it might be worth a watch. The underwhelming reaction left me looking elsewhere for my cinematic entertainment. Your precis though makes the film sound rather intriguing and I might give it a spin.
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OHebel Wring
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 01:41:50 pm »

its not a master work of cinema, by any means.  and it is VERY VERY french.


but


if you have some time to kill and find it used (or netflick it), it's worth the 1.5 hours, but that's just to see the lab and the lightning machine.
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 01:56:28 pm »

~sigh~ I don't know why I fanny around so much on these matters as I usually always end up watching such things eventually anyway.

Off to the magic lantern slide emporium......
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2007, 04:32:12 pm »

Is a good movie, I love the artistic form and the soundtrack
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2007, 04:47:07 am »

I will admit to owning this film, I heard about it years ago on Apocalyptica's website when they had the hope Vol 2 music video for it. 

That said I am still on the fence about the film, parts of it I loved (like the previously mentioned alchemist lab) and while it is very very French I've read a review or two where even the french thought it was too much on the artistic cinematography.  I love extremely visual films personally, but even i got a bit pushed off by this movie. it just kept trying to be beautiful and it didn't enhance the story at all but instead said, "LOOK!! color and angles!!!."

Of course i'm rather biased, i still think city of lost children is the best French art film I've seen.
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2007, 03:22:55 am »

I just saw this last night, Its pretty fun, really pretty...but also VERY video-y....but I would definitely classify it as almost very Steampunk...especially with all the lightning stuff, the Alchemist's lab, Vidocq's gadgets, and even the style of the film....very VERY stylized.

Its one of the very steampunk-esque French films that ALMOST got it right Wink

The other films are City of Lost Children and Brotherhood of the Wolf...so close and yet not quite.
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OHebel Wring
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2007, 04:03:34 am »

picked up another one the other night called "Arsene Lupin"  cover compared it to Vidocq and Brotherhood of the Wolf.  Its about the son of a master thief trying to figure out who killed his father and where the rumored treasure of the french royalty is hidden.  Great sounding plot, problem is the movie pretty much sucks all around, but again, there are plenty of parts that made me say, "OOOoooh!" in a steampunk sort of a way.

1.)  costumes.  The costumes in this one are amazing.  If you have to see it, pay particular attention to Mr. Lupin's blue wire-rimmed glasses about 3/4 of the way through the film.  Also his "thieves" uniform is pretty killer.


2.)  the boat.  A live-aboard steamship running up and down the rivers of france.  Quite a fun little craft.


that's pretty much it.  Don't bother renting it or buying it, but if it happens to be on TV and there isn't anything else on, it's worth a few moments of your time.
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2007, 05:18:25 am »

Too bad it sucks, It looks pretty damn cool



Sort of Vidocq-esque
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2007, 07:35:38 pm »

picked up another one the other night called "Arsene Lupin"  cover compared it to Vidocq and Brotherhood of the Wolf.


Arsène Lupin is a big sprawling mass of media (including a big anime spin-off franchise), I was going to try and catch the most recent film but seems like it isn't worth the effort. There are some big French language DVD boxsets but it isn't clear what they collect.

I am intrigued by the more fantastical elements in some of the novels but haven't really done much digging.

You can get soem of the novels from Project Gutenberg:
www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/l#a1358
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