Jacques Rivette’s controversial and once-banned film The Nun has been digitally restored in 4K in preparation for a September 17 release on DVD, Blu-ray and EST.
Recently selected for Cannes Classics 2018, The Nun, Jacques Rivette’s controversial and once-banned film, will make its way to DVD, Blu-ray and EST in the UK on September 17. A gem from the French New Wave, the film, from a director and critic otherwise known for his contribution to the influential magazine Cahiers du Cinéma, arrives on home media with a bonus film directed by Dominique Maillet devoted to the history of The Nun and its production.
Rivette’s second career film was, on release in 1966, considered an attack on Catholicism by the French government and banned. Rivette denied the accusation and was backed by the film’s star Anna Karina and contemporary Jean-Luc Godard. The film was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival that year anyway and the film was released in 1967 with an over 18 rating in France.
Starring French New Wave favourite Anna Karina, The Nun was inspired by the 1796 novel by Denis Diderot, and sees the young actress play Suzanne, a woman sent to the cloisters by her parents who refuses to take her vows. Locked in a convent against her will, three mothers superior treat her in radically different ways – from maternal concern, to sadistic persecution, and eventually to lesbian desire. Suzanne ultimately becomes an allegorical figure of freedom of speech and revolt.
Remembered as a distinct entry into the French New Wave, The Nun encapsulates the turbulent years of the Gaullist government and political instability of France in the 1960s. Now lovingly restored, the restoration of the film was made in 4K from the original film negative. The 4K resolution reproduces all the information and the details from the 35mm film and re-establishes on screen the beauty of Rivette’s images that boast the delicacy of Alain Levent’s photography. The sound has also been restored from the negative sound (the only compliant element).
The new 4K restoration will be available to own for the first time in the UK on DVD, Blu-ray and EST on 17 September 2018.