Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 25th, 2005
Release Dates: France, 1961, 1963, 1968, 1973
Directors: Frnacois Chatel, Eddy Matalon, François Reichenbach, Michael Houldey, Marion Sarraut
Cast: Brigitte Bardot, Serge Gainsbourg, Claude Bolling, Jean-Max Riviere, Oliver Despax, Sacha Distel, Manitas De Plato
DVD released: June 29th, 2004
Approximate running time: 120 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4.3 Full Frame
Sound: DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo
DVD Release: Universal/Music Video Distribution
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $25.95
It has been more then thirty years since Brigitte Bardot one of cinemas most recognized sex symbols made her last film. There is an undeniable magic that is with in Brigitte that can not be faked or manufactured. Through her films and countless photographs she has retained her eternal beauty that continues to enchant future generations of fans. Bardot’s beauty often overshadowed her talents as an actress. She had gained international fame with the film And God Created Woman and in 1962 she began the second phase of her career as a pop star.
The 1961 year end special is comprised of four musical numbers one which is an instrumental with the best performance being Noir et Blanc. During this number Brigitte lays seductively on a red carpet in a black dress that shows off her ample cleavage. The 1962 year end special is comprised of 10 musical numbers with the strongest performances being L’appareil a Sous in which Brigitte does the twist and C’est Rigolo which is filled with slapstick comedy.
The main highlight of this collection is the 1968 special The Brigitte Bardot show. Standout performances include the amazing duet with Serge Gainsberg Bonnie & Clyde and Ce N’est Pas Vrai is which we are treated too two Brigitte’s. The best performance from this collection also comes from this special. Once again Brigitte teams up with Serge Gainsberg for the enchanting Comic Strip. The Faces of Paris documentary includes behind the scenes footage as well as showing a more personal side of Brigitte. The final musical number Le Soleil De Ma Vie is change of pace as it shows Brigitte near the end of her film career.
Brigitte as usual is the center of the universe as it is impossible not to be captivated not only by her beauty but the honesty in her performances. There was obviously a lot of thought put into these performances. They are filled with intricate camera compositions and razor sharp editing. The musical numbers vary in quality and styles.
All the performances and the Faces of Paris documentary are presented in their original 4.3 aspect ratio. These specials and performances originally aired thirty to forty years ago and the overall quality varies. There is some minor print damage present still nothing that ever becomes distracting. A few of the black and white performances suffers from lack of detail. The muted colors are not as vibrant as they once used to be. Overall the black and white footage fares slightly better then the color sequences. Considering the age of these performances and the limitations of the source material the quality of the final product is very good.
The original French audio language track has been included and this DVD comes with three audio options to choose from DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital Stereo. The Documentary Faces of Paris has Both English and French Dialog. English subtitles been included for this Documentary. You really can’t go wrong with any of the audio options with the DTS providing the fullest sound of the lot. The audio for this release has been given the red carpet treatment that one might expect a Hollywood Blockbuster to receive. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion. Even though English subtitles have been listed on the DVD case they are only operational during the Faces of Paris Documentary.
An eight page booklet that includes liner notes written by Jean-Eric Perrin offers some incite into the performances and specials included on this DVD. Even though most of the performances are in French only with no English audio options they are still highly entertaining to watch. There are a few instrumental musical numbers and three of the songs are sung in English. Brigitte Bardot – Divine B.B offers a fascinating overview of the many faces of Brigitte Bardot through a series of time capsules that are essential viewing and should be in every Brigitte Bardot fans collection.