Manon des Sources (1986)

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Released 11-Feb-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Jean De Florette, Jules And Jim, Wages Of Fear
Trailer-The Children Of Paradise
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 108:36
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Claude Berri
Studio
Distributor
Renn Productions
Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Yves Montand
Daniel Auteuil
Emmanuelle Béart
Hippolyte Girardot
Margarita Lozano
Yvonne Gamy
Ticky Holgado
Jean Bouchaud
Elisabeth Depardieu
Gabriel Bacquier
Armand Meffre
André Dupon
Pierre Nougaro
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Roger Legrand
Jean-Claude Petit


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Manon des Sources (Manon of the Spring) is the second part of the film Jean de Florette. Taking up the story about ten years after the events of the first, Manon (Emmanuelle Béart) is now a young woman. Her mother is back singing in opera houses, while Manon lives with the old couple who live in the grotto near the well on the other side of the hill from the farm. She spends her time herding goats and communing with nature.

    Ugolin and Papet have taken over the farm and are growing rich from farming carnations. Papet decides that Ugolin needs a wife, and Ugolin has been struck by Manon's beauty, so he decides he wants her. Manon, though, has taken a shine to the new schoolmaster (Hippolyte Girardot).

    Manon learns by accident the truth behind the events depicted in Jean de Florette, and she swears revenge on the Soubeyrans. When she discovers the underground source of the spring, she has the instrument of revenge in her hands.

    This film is not quite as good as Jean de Florette, mainly due to the episodic nature of the last part of the film, which feels cobbled together. Marcel Pagnol was inspired by Greek tragedy, and wanted to give the story the same intensity. The final third of the film covers a number of years in a short space of time, and does not convey the tragedy with the same force as the first film. Having said that, this is a minor flaw and this is still a superb film, and a must-see if you enjoyed part one.

    The same high level of filmmaking is on show here as in Jean de Florette. The major differences are that Gérard Depardieu is not present, and the ethereal Emmanuelle Béart is. Her performance as Manon is very good, although her role is relatively marginal. The central roles are Ugolin and Papet, and Auteuil and Montand continue their fine performances here. Hippolyte Girardot is a little bland as the school teacher.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer has the same issues as Jean de Florette, though some of the problems are not as severe.

    The film is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is enhanced for 16x9 displays.

    The film is not sharp at all, though it is slightly sharper than the transfer of the first part. Again, just about every scene is slightly blurry. There seems to be a layer of detail missing. Shadow detail is still quite poor, with a boost given to the contrast.

    Colour is also an issue. The colour seems to be oversaturated, with a slight greenish tinge, not as severe as for Jean de Florette. The actor's faces still look brownish and unrealistic. Bruno Nuytten's cinematography is still not shown in its best light.

    Film to video artefacts are few, with aliasing present at times. There are some film artefacts, including dirt and flecks, but these are kept to a minimum. The film is a little grainy, but this is not excessive either. Telecine wobble is present, but not to the extent of the first film.

    This is a single layered disc. English subtitles are provided, in yellow. The subtitles are well done and translate all of the dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The single audio track is French Dolby Digital 2.0. This is the original audio mix and is reasonably well done.

    The dialogue is slightly sibilant and the full dynamic range is missing but the audio is clear and distinct. Dolby Pro Logic gets some surround information out of the stereo mix, which works well with the musical sequences, but otherwise does little but narrow the front soundstage.

    Music again is by Jean-Claude Petit and, using the same themes as in Jean de Florette, enhances the viewing experience significantly.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio

Theatrical Trailer (2:42)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced, this looks slightly better than the feature film.

Trailers-Jean De Florette, Jules And Jim, Wages Of Fear, The Children Of Paradise

    The usual advertising for past, present and future releases. I only hope that the transfer of The Children of Paradise is better than the trailer, which is in appalling condition.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Again, we have the same issue as for Jean de Florette. The UK Region 2 appears to be an identical transfer to the Region 4. The Region 1 is not 16x9 enhanced, and has the same washed out and artefacted appearance as for the first film. The French version sounds as if it is superior, but it has no subtitles.

    Again, there is no winner so I will call this a draw.

Summary

    A very disappointing release of this fine film. I only hope that someone makes the effort to release this film with the transfer that it deserves.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Saturday, March 13, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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