StudioCanal, Rialto drum Bunuel reissue

'Bourgeoisie,' 'Chambermaid' among pics to be re-released

Rialto Pictures and France’s StudioCanal are restoring five features from the late Spanish filmmaking legend Luis Bunuel that will be re-released this year.

The pics are “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,” “Diary of a Chambermaid,” “The Milky Way,” “The Phantom of Liberty” and Bunuel’s final film “That Obscure Object of Desire.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to present Bunuel’s films in versions that we think he’d approve of,” said Rialto founder Bruce Goldstein. “And it’s always a pleasure to work with StudioCanal, who are as committed to proper film presentation as we are.”

“Dairy of a Chambermaid,” Bunuel’s 1964 black comedy starring Jeanne Moreau, opens Sept. 22 at New York’s Film Forum.

Bunuel wrote all of these films in collaboration with Jean-Claude Carriere, winner this year of the Writers Guild of America West’s lifetime achievement award — the first foreign-language writer to be so honored.

StudioCanal, which licensed the domestic re-release rights to Rialto, is undertaking extensive restoration and rejuvenation of all five negatives, under the supervision of Michel Rocher and Brigitte Dutray, the company’s chief film and video restorers based in Paris.

Rialto will strike new prints from the restored negatives and has hired Paris-based translator Lenny Borger to write subtitles for each pic. Rialto is also launching an ad campaign for the films that includes new posters.

In the past several years, Rialto re-released from the StudioCanal library Jean-Luc Godard’s “Contempt” (co-distributed with Strand Releasing), Federico Fellini’s “Nights of Cabiria,” Carol Reed’s “The Third Man” and Jean Renoir’s “Grand Illusion” (in association with Janus Films).

Rialto/StudioCanal also plans to collaborate on three thrillers directed by the late Jean-Pierre Melville: “Le Cercle Rouge,” “Bob Le Flambeur” and “L’Armee des Ombres.”

StudioCanal, which owns a library of some 5,500 titles, is involved in remakes, re-issues and stage adaptations of such classics as “The Graduate,” “The Producers,” “Kind Hearts and Coronets,” “The Third Man” and “The Man in the White Suit.”

The company recently co-produced “U-571” with Universal and “Numbers” with Paramount, among other co-production pacts.

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