Another day, another bundle of titles to add to the 4xblu online store. Today’s round includes Johnnie To’s “Sparrow,” “Bound” by the Wachowskis, and “Madame de…” by Max Ophüls.
Generally unappreciated in director Max Ophüls’s lifetime, the stature of “Madame de…” has risen considerably thanks to numerous re-releases since his passing in 1957. American critic Andrew Sarris declared it the greatest film of all-time (it came in at a more modest #33 when Cahiers du cinéma released their list of the Top 100 films in 2008), while Pauline Kael settled for calling this sweeping romance of the Belle Epoque “perfect.” On one level, it’s the story of a pair of earrings that, via a winding set of circumstances, pass in and out of the hands of Danielle Darrieux’s Madame de, her husband played by Charles Boyer, and her lover (Vittorio De Sica), just to name a few. Formally, it’s a triumph in the use of camera movement with few rivals.