Continuing their mission to shine a light on obscure and rare cinema long lost to wide audiences, Radiance Films has announced the Blu-ray debut of Jean-Denis Bonan’s A Woman Kills. Restored and available in a limited edition Blu-ray (SRP $34.95), rediscover the little-seen French murder mystery February 7, 2023.
Filmed in the tumultuous events of May 1968, Jean-Denis Bonan’s A Woman Kills never found distribution due to controversy around the director’s first film and producer Anatole Dauman (The Beast, Hiroshima mon amour) was unable to find distribution for the film for 45 years until Luna Park Films brought it back to life in a new restoration. Now released on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere, audiences outside of France can finally experience this utterly singular film, a new wave-influenced serial killer film that presents its narrative in an almost true crime approach yet focuses more on the psychological aspect with echoes of German Expressionism and Franju, set to a discordant, jazzy score.
The Blu-ray of A Woman Kills will feature a brand-new HD restoration of the feature, along with newly-produced and archival bonus features for fans to devour. Radiance Films will release the Blu-ray on February 7, 2023.
A series of prostitute murders disturbs the public with the thought of a serial killer on the loose. Hélène Picard, a prostitute, is sentenced and executed for the murders, but shortly thereafter similar crimes continue. Executioner Louis Guilbeau meanwhile develops a relationship with the investigating officer, Solange, who soon learns Louis may not be who he says he is.
A Woman Kills: 69 minutes / 1968
France / French w/ English Subtitles
The Blu-ray of A Woman Kills will come with a number of exclusive newly-commissioned and archival bonus features. These include:
- 2K restoration of the film from the original 16mm elements
- Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
- Audio commentary by critics Kat Ellinger and Virginie Sélavy
- Introduction by Virginie Sélavy
- On the Margin: The Cursed Films of Jean-Denis Bonan (Francis Lecomte, 2015/2022, 37 mins) – a newly updated documentary programme featuring director Jean-Denis Bonan, cinematographer Gérard de Battista, editor Mireille Abramovici, musician Daniel Laloux, and actress Jackie Rynal
- Short films by Jean-Denis Bonan: La vie brève de Monsieur Meucieu (1962, 13 mins), Un crime d’amour (1965, 6 mins), rushes of an incomplete film; Tristesses des anthropophages (1966, 23 mins), Mathieu-fou (1967, 18 mins), Une saison chez les hommes (1967, 16 mins)
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm
- Limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and scholar Catherine Wheatley, writer and broadcaster Richard Thomas on the short films, writing on gender identity tropes in A Woman Kills and the horror film, an interview with Francis Lecomte, the French distributor who rescued the film, newly translated archival reviews and film credits