A Pure Formality has returned through Kino Lorber’s reissue of the 1994 psychological thriller starring Gérard Depardieu and Roman Polanski. It’s a vastly underrated movie that did not get as much attention as it deserved, although Polanski may have been part of the reason.
Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (the Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso) and featuring music from iconic composer legendary maestro Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Mission), this twisted thriller is focused on the interrogation of a famous but reclusive writer (Depardieu) who is brought in for police questioning on a rainy night following a countryside murder. In an ironic turn, Polanski plays the police inspector tasked with getting the truth from him. What commences is verbal and philosophical sparring between the two as the angry author and the determined inspector butt heads, with an ending you will not expect.
The following is review coverage for my audio commentary work on A Pure Formality. I will add more as other reviews surface. Click on the logo to go to each review site directly.
“The Kino Blu-ray has a new audio commentary by Journalist and author Bryan Reesman (Rock Stars at Home) and he jumps right in discussing how Tornatore can be an acquired taste, meta-physical questions that arise from his viewing, the fact the clock has no hands and the phone lines are always busy, split diopter shots, utilization of the color blue, and he spends quite a lot of time on memory and how inefficient it can be, hallucinations, how A Pure Formality did poorly at the box-office in the US… I liked his analysis, referencing many other films. It was nice to hear him again (enjoyed his previous commentaries on The Deadly Trap, The Andromeda Strain and video essay on The Quiet Earth.)”
“In this new audio commentary, entertainment journalist and author Bryan Reesman shares plenty of interesting information (including some curious anecdotes) about the production of A Pure Formality, its style, and Giuseppe Tornatore’s body of work. The commentary contains numerous spoilers, so it is best to listen to it after you have already viewed the film.”