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Blanche 1972
Description: Blanche is the young, pure, pretty wife of the Master of the castle, in a secluded land. Each boy is in love with her, including the Lord and his servant Bartolomeo, visiting the Master.
Released: 26 Jan 1972 Director: Walerian Borowczyk Writers: Juliusz Slowacki (from the poem "Mazepa" by), Walerian Borowczyk (adaptation) Actors: Michel Simon, Georges Wilson, Jacques Perrin, Ligia Branice Genres: Drama, History
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Blanche Reviews:

This is an extraordinary firm. Ethereal is a word to describe Blanche, the pretty young wife of the aged master of this gloomy French castle. When the Lord and his entourage come to stay, the Lord and his page inevitably fall for her naive charm. Her stepson, whose love for her is powerful and pure, steps in to defend her honour.Blanche is the innocent victim of these mens affection, and with all this testosterone boiling in the pressure cooker-like environment of the castle, it is inevitable that an avalanche of tragedy could fall upon them. Ultimately, of the main characters, only the Lord is left unscathed.This easy age-old plot is depicted in an equally simple, yet refreshingly down-to-earth manner, gratis from overdramatic soundtracks or unnecessary unique effects. It leaves one with a nice insight into the spartan lives of folks in the middle ages. I particularly enjoyed the melody and can suggest this movie to all those who have a love of history or who are tired of mainstream cinema.


Though fanatics of European cinema are most likely to remember the erotic art movies of Walerian Borowczyk, "Blanche" purposely avoids explicit sexuality. In fact, the movie is a tragic tale of love and lust sans the nudity and sex.(The only nude stage takes zone at the very beginning when Blanche is getting out of her bath.) The plot concerns the Blanche, the young wife of a much older lord, and the tragedy that is the offspring of 4 men's love for her. Her stepson (a very handsome young man) is pure of heart and is madly in love with her. When he expresses his feelings toward her, she refuses to return them out of loyalty to her husband. Thus, Blanche is a very naive and dedicated woman. However, when the lord and his page arrive Blanche is faced with their affections for her...The storyline avoids the cliché "happily ever after" ending. In fact, the only survivor in the entire tale is the king. What starts as a light and airy tale ends on a bleak note. Fanatics of Borowczyk or European cinema in general could look this movie up. It isn't a very quick paced or action filled tale, but the storyline is very well structured and effective. It is a shame that movies aren't made in this vein anymore.


In a globe where excess seems to equate success, it is simple to see why Walerian Borowczyk's films are finally gaining him the recognition he deserves. True, in many cases, what was once considered "smut" by the viewing public is actually regarded as erotic masterpieces, and many of Borowkzyk's films, 'The Beast', 'Immoral Tales', even his art-nunsploitation flick 'Behind Convent Walls', seem to be gaining widespread acclaim. This is thanks, in part, to critics like Tag Kermode, who presented 'The Beast' uncut on the FilmFour channel, and also DVD houses such as Cult Epics, who have released beautifully remastered versions of many Borowczyk films. However, words almost fail me when it comes to the availability of 'Blanche'. This pretty film, a medieval fairytale-cum-tragedy, is worlds away from erotic fare such as 'The Beast', and is Borowczyk's finest hour. And yet, whilst there is a 3-disc unique edition of the latter title, 'Blanche' has never received anywhere near as much care and attention. In fact, apart from a mid-90's VHS ver (which seemed to drop out of the stores as quickly and quietly as it had dropped in, but actually fetches a fairly excessive price on ebay), 'Blanche' is practically impossible to search anywhere. It doesn't even have its own page on Wikipedia! Surely this is a crime vs all cinema lovers, and to Borowczyk himself, who deserves to be remembered as the nice filmmaker that he was, and not just a author of interesting erotica.



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