The trailer for Cousin Jules, which you can find below, sums up its story perfectly. “In 1968, Dominique Benicheti began filming his cousin Jules, a blacksmith living with his wife in the French countryside. Five years later, Cousin Jules was hailed as a masterpiece. It was never publicly shown again.”
Thirty years later, Cousin Jules is finally back in the public eye courtesy of the folks at The Cinema Guild, who were nice enough to give us the lovely poster for the film to première at The Dissolve. And here it is:
The trailer for the film:
It just looks absolutely gorgeous; the folks who restored Cousin Jules really outdid themselves. Even in a box in a window on my laptop, the images just pop off the screen. Here’s an official synopsis:
“A rare combination of sophisticated movie-making technique (shot in CinemaScope and recorded in stereo) and content that is a veritable ode to the beauty of rural France, the simplicity of daily peasant life, and the nearly wordless intimacy of a lifelong relationship. Recording over a 5-year period, director Benicheti palpably captures the rhythms and rituals of blacksmith Jules Guiteaux and his wife Félicie as Jules dons wooden clogs and leather apron to begin work in his shop, while Félicie tends a vegetable garden and prepares their meals. Awarded the jury prize at the Locarno Film Festival in 1973 and widely acclaimed around the world, the film nevertheless remained unreleased in the U.S. until now.”
Despite the acclaim, Cousin Jules never had a distributor; its website quotes a reviewer who blames the fact that the film “defiantly refused to be categorized.” Still beyond categorization, it’s finally coming to theaters on November 27 when it opens at New York’s Film Forum.