Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 1st, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: France, 1962
Director: Jaques Poitrenaud
Writers: Alain Moury, Jacques Poitrenaud, Jacques Sigurd
Cast: Nico, Dany Saval, Jean Sobieski, Big Joe Turner, Serge Gainsbourg
DVD released: July 12th, 2011
Approximate running time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono French
DVD Release: Mondo Macabro
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Not to be confused with the god awful film that starred Demi Moore. This 1962 French film also titled Strip-Tease features model / singer Nico, who is most known for being a member of the band The Velvet Underground and her work with Andy Warhol, most notably on the film Chelsea Girls. And while she would appear in nearly two dozen film productions, none would give her the chance to show off her acting talents in the way in which Strip-Tease does.
Though there are many elements in this film that are in line with other erotic themed films that were emerging out of France around the same time that Strip-Tease. The way in which they are integrated in this film are anything but atypical of French films from this era. This film’s salacious title Strip-tease can almost been seen as a metaphor, since the film’s protagonist uses her foray into the world of exotic dancing to strip away the parts of her life which she has since moved on from. So anyone expecting a T & A exploitation flick should look elsewhere, since this is a character driven drama that is rooted in melodrama.
As mentioned before, this film is clearly built up around its leading lady and fans of Nico will be greatly surprised by her well rounded performance, that makes her character Ariane’s journey all the more convincing. Not to be overlooked the rest of the cast are all very good in their respective roles, especially Jean Sobieski (Death Laid an Egg, Perversion Story) in the role of a philandering playboy named Jean-Loup, who becomes infatuated with Ariane. Another performance (cameo) of note is Serge Gainsbourg (Slogan), who appears very briefly in the film, his character is playing piano in a bar. He also composed music for Strip-Tease’s score.
Mondo Macabro presents Strip-Tease in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The source used in great shape as contrast and black levels look consistently strong throughout. Details look crisp, there are no problems with compression or edge enhancement.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in French and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. The audio is in good shape as there are no problems with background noise or distortion and dialog comes through clearly.
Extras for this release include a text piece about the film, a text piece titled ‘A brief history of strip tease’, cast & crews profiles and two interviews, the first with Richard Witts (17 minutes 4 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and the second interview with Lutz Ulbrich (14 minutes 15 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). Both interviews cover similar ground, as each participant discusses their various encounters with Nico. The interview with Richard Witts also touches upon various projects that Nico was involved throughout her career, while the interview with Lutz Ulbrich also touches upon Nico’s musical career. In all, both interviews are well rounded discussions that fans of Nico should thoroughly enjoy. Rounding out the extras is the Mondo Macabro preview trailer which includes clips from titles they have currently released or about to release. Overall Strip-Tease gets a first rate DVD release from Mondo Macabro.