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Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights Three re-mastered and
  newly restored master-
  pieces — Wuthering
, Gang of Four
  and Love on The Ground
  — by acclaimed French
  New Wave filmmaker
  Jacques Rivette, contem-
  porary of luminaries such
  as Francois Truffant and
  Jean-Luc Godard, have
  been released on DVD for
  the first time anywhere in
  the world...”

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL music echoes throughout this melan-cholic retelling of Emily Brontë's gripping, much-loved classic love story, Wuthering Heights (also known as Hurlevent — 'Windswept': the name of Catherine's home), that shifts the backdrop from the wild Yorkshire Moors to France, between
the Beaume and the Vidourle, in 1931. Interesting it most definitely is.

The doomed lovers, now Catherine Sevenier (Fabienne Babe, De Sueur Et Du Sang) and Roch (Lucas Belvaux, Madame Bovary), are very
much 20th Century people and parts of this tragic tale have been streamlined and updated with Rivette's masterly touch. For those who worry about missing the passionate and vengeful Heathcliff — don't, because Roch is every bit as dark and attractive and as wickedly vengeful as the original gypsy waif.

The opening credits are very atmospheric, with a background of a thunderstorm, but the sun shines for the opening scene as Catherine and Roch — who was brought to Windswept by Catherine's father when he was only three months old, without any explanation of where he came from — declare their love and commitment for each other.

The two are as wild and as free and untamed as the land on which they live and the only fly in the ointment is Catherine's bullying drunkard brother Guillaume (Olivier Cruveiller).

Catherine and Roch are forced apart when Catherine hurts herself
while the two are secretly watching the neighbouring Lindons — brother Olivier (Olivier Torres) and sister Isabelle (Alice de Poncheville) — playing tennis. The Lindons make her welcome, but Roch goes back to Windswept, leaving her alone to accept overtures from the devoted Olivier.

When Catherine returns she is changed. She has become a young
lady, fashionably dressed and receiving Olivier when he comes calling. Then, much to Roch's chagrin, Olivier finally asks Catherine to marry
him. As they become closer one of the men who work on the land —
and who is a little sinister — is full of prophetic, biblical warnings.

Catherine says she'll marry Olivier because Guillaume has made it degrading to marry Roch. "It wasn't my destiny to marry Olivier…
I don't love Roch — it's deeper than that; I am Roch. For me he's always present. If I marry Olivier I can help Roch."

And so it begins — a tragic tale of love lost; of jealousy and hate;
of ghosts and madness. But most of all it is a moving, intriguing and unusual take on Emily Brontë's classic. In French, but with clear
English subtitles (and time to read them!).

Also featuring Sandra Montaigu as Hélène and Philippe Morier-Genoud as Joseph, Wuthering Heights will be released by Bluebell Films as a director's cut version on 25 February (2008) at an RRP of £14.99 | Language: French (subtitled).