Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 16th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Denmark, 1970
Director: Jens Jorgen Thorsen
Writer: Jens Jørgen Thorsen
Cast: Paul Valjean, Wayne Rodda, Ulla Koppel, Avi Sagild, Susanne Krage, Louise White, Petronella, Elsebeth Reingaard, Lisbet Lundquist, Olaf Ussing, Noemi Roos, Anne Kehler
BluRay released: January 25th, 2011
Approximate running time: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A struggling writer and his charismatic roommate spend their days and nights hooking up with various women.
This film was adapted from Henry Miller’s novel Quiet Days in Clichy. Also this film and Joseph Strick’s adaptation of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer were made simultaneously around Paris in 1969. And it should also not come as a surprise that content wise both film’s are very similar. When this film first arrived in America in 1970 it was seized by the authorities as pornography. And even though it would eventually win its case in federal court. The film faded away into obscurity until it was released on DVD in 2004 by Blue Underground.
Structure wise the narrative is pretty straight forward. And while there is a looseness to each scene. There is a lot more going on in this film. Then just a series of random sex scenes. At the heart of this film is a story about living life to its fullest. And while some will dismiss the two main characters Joey, the struggling writer and his friend Carl as misogynists because of the harsh language they use when discussing the women they have slept with. Fortunately there are a handful of moments in this film that counter balance this theory. Most notably a scene where Joey is on a blind date with a women, who feels used up and unwanted. By the end of their date he has made her feel like she does matter. If there is any drawback to the story at hand. Some viewers may be turned off by the lack of progression of the two main characters. When the film ends they are exactly where they started.
From a production standpoint there are not many areas in which this film does not excel. Whether it be its stark black and white cinematography, carefully framed compositions, well balanced pacing and Country Joe McDonalds pitch perfect score that often illustrates what is going on. The area in which this film is most lacking are the performances from its cast. At least there is a rawness to the performances that lends itself to the story at hand. Also even though some of the sex scenes verge into hardcore. They never come off as vulgar or exploitative. Ultimately Quiet Days in Clichy is a superbly realized adaptation that retains the spirit of its source Henry Miller’s novel.
Quiet Days in Clichy comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This transfer like its DVD counterpart was sourced from original vault elements. The source material is in superb shape as contrast and black levels look consistently great throughout. Details look crisp, there are no problems with compression or DNR and there is a healthy layer of grain throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. The audio sounds clear and evenly balanced throughout. With the film’s score benefiting most from this audio mix. This release comes with three subtitle options, English SDH, French and Spanish.
Extras for this release include a interview with musician Country Joe McDonald (11 minutes 10 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), two interviews with Henry Miller’s editor and publisher Barney Rosset, the first interview is titled ‘Dirty Books, Dirty Movies: Barney Rosset on Henry Miller’ (17 minutes 17 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and the second interview is from a episode of Midnight Blue that Barney Rosset appeared on (25 minutes 1 second -4:3 full frame). The interview with Country Joe McDonald covers the score and its after effects on his career. The interviews with Barney Rosset cover how he got into publishing, his numerous legal battles with the United States government, Henry Miller and the film Quiet Days in Clichy. All of the extra content is presented in HD. The Barney Rosset Midnight Blue appearance is brand new content, while the other two interviews have been carried over from Blue Underground’s previous release. Content not carried over from that previous release includes a poster & stills gallery, talent bios, liner notes and court documents via DVD-Rom. Overall Quiet Days in Clichy is another solid BluRay release from Blue Underground.