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By Film Threat Staff | March 29, 2004

Kino on Video is proud to release for the first time on DVD and VHS an all-new restoration of Marcel Pagnol¹s THE FANNY TRILOGY. Considered “one of the most cherished love stories of the century” (American Film Magazine), THE FANNY TRILOGY can now be appreciated in a four-disc box set bringing all three feature films from the trilogy‹MARIUS(1931), FANNY (1932) and CÉSAR (1936)‹together with a fourth disc bringing a wide variety of special features including: a 74-minute documentary about the trilogy, 88 minutes of exclusive audio commentary by Marcel Pagnol, original theatrical trailers, and much more. Also included is an illustrated essay by French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier (THE CLOCKMAKER, CAPITAINE CONAN) on Marcel Pagnol¹s oeuvre.
With the recent sound and picture cleanup supervised by the Pagnol family, the immense appeal of the world and characters of the French provinces can be again appreciated in its pristine original quality. Much like the great 1930s and 40s films of John Ford and Frank Capra, Pagnol¹s THE FANNY TRILOGY brought to the screen an entire set of previously unrepresented archetypes and astonished worldwide audiences and critics alike.

Perhaps best known for his FANNY TRILOGY, Pagnol originally wrote MARIUS, FANNY and CÉSAR for the stage. Each play ran a record-setting number of a thousand performances and were as popular as they were critically revered. This unexpected success allowed Pagnol to adapt his own material into screenplays and produce three feature films, each based on one of the plays. The Fanny Trilogy, also known as the Marseille Trilogy, was later adapted into a 1955 Broadway musical named ³FANNY² and into a memorable Hollywood film.
Seen today as a seminal and highly influential love story, THE FANNY TRILOGY reflects Pagnol¹s love and curiosity for the less industrialized south of France; he was born in Provence in 1895. Bringing to the screen a fresh combination of unpretentious dialogue and a unique kind of romantic realism, Pagnol¹s cinema was seen during the 1930s as separate from the developing avant-garde French cinema, which experimented with sound, image and their possible connections with language and politics.

But even if Pagnol once claimed that cinema was merely “the art of imprinting, fixing and diffusing theatre,” he inadvertently dethroned the high-drama‹and high-class‹subject matters common to 1920s French cinema by introducing a fresh look at the everyday activities of the working class. THE FANNY TRILOGY not only took Europe by storm but also brought Provence¹s market stalls and distinct French dialect to the forefront of the European art/cinema scene. Seventy years after MARIUS, FANNY and CÉSAR were originally released in theatres, THE FANNY TRILOGY DVD box set presents properly restored versions of Marcel Pagnol¹s most famous films to a new audience of filmgoers as well as scholars and fans of the famed 1930s French cinema.
For more info, visit the Kino on Video website.

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