Writer and director Marcel Pagnol died in 1974, but since the mid-1980s, movies based on his works have probably done more to create the popular image of Provence than virtually anything else. In 1986 Jean De Florette and Manon Des Sources were huge hits, followed in 1990 by La Gloire De Mon Pere and Le Chateau De Ma Mere, which now come to Blu-ray for the first time in a set that includes both movies.
Based on Pagnol’s memoirs of his youth, the two films cover everything from his birth to what happened to his family in later life, but mainly concentrate on a time during his early adolescence. Both films are rather episodic, looking at different stories from Marcel’s youth, most of which highlight the difficulties of growing up and the conflict between the old ideas on religious and class authority, and a new republican sentiment that was sweeping France in the early 20th Century. [Read more…]