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"A maddening yet intoxicating analysis of an aspiring actress struggling to make it in a world of excess and political demagogy pic is a terrific introduction into the controversial legacy of one of world cinema's most gifted, yet impossible to fully deconstruct, filmmakers. It is almost too good to be true - Mondo Vision have assembled a package that will warm up the hearts of many film aficionados who have been hoping to see Andrzej Zulawski's La Femme Publique treated with the proper dose of respect."
DVD Talk
"There is an irresistible drive and passion in this work that few directors can dream of. The personal and the political unite, and the apocalyptic overtones of his other work are present again. I can think of few films that I would find so much to justify each new screening. It is a work of incorrigible drive and impossible emotion that may seduce or repel you, you may love it or loathe it and there is no real no man's land in between. Startling, provocative and brilliant - the work of a very individual heart and soul. This is one of the best releases of the year, a cracking film from the passionate Zulawski and a truly ambitious region free disc from Mondo Vision."
DVD Times
"Anyone who's seen a Zulawski film - and the most likely candidate would be Possession - will know that his work is not for the fainthearted. Distinguished by its huge energy and unrestrained performances, his cinema doesn't rely on conventional psychological development or realistic narrative, but goes for a full metaphysical assault on the senses. La Femme Publique is no exception, with its film-within-a-film and the theme of terrorism batted back and forth between Dostoyevsky and the wave of European revolutionaries who happily resorted to bombs and violence in the late 1970s/early 1980s."
Sight & Sound
"The nihilistic themes and outcome are indeed the core of the film’s intrigue. Paired with the socialist air that circulates through each vibrant frame, the fullness of the characters offers a fresh look at humanity all the way to La Femme Publique's Altman-esque conclusion. Now enjoying its debut among English-speakers, La Femme Publique is again available and is, you will agree with me, among the best transfers this side of BluRay since the advent of the DVD."
"A fairly insane blend of arthouse filmmaking with trash movie exploitation bits thrown in, La Femme Publique seems as interested in showing off Kaprisky's impressive physique as it is in telling a coherent story. That said, the film has some incredibly striking moments and is beautifully made and shot. The set design and camerawork are near flawless while the performances, as quirky as they may be, are committed and appropriately dramatic. The narrative is a bit off but all of these ingredients make for a very tasty cinematic stew."
AV Maniacs
"La Femme Publique is superb cinema; it is a visual feast while also offering an intelligent and thoughtful plot. It is not an "easy" film, but will make you think about, debate and consider what you have seen. I consider this a significant work which at last has been made available in a top notch edition. The Mondo Vision release of La Femme Publique is nothing short of superb."
Synergy Magazine
"Melodrama isn't simply raised voices in a Zulawski film, but also a life-or-death struggle of passion where acting isn't simply about delivering a performance in a film (or within the film-within-a-film) but setting off rapturous elation and mad agony to the hilt. In other words, Zulawski buys into the idea that we're living inside plastic bubbles and the best thing to do is place boundless limits on self-expression. Femme Publique is a love letter to actors, who Zulawski vividly admires for charging fearlessly into his material. The camera in Zulawski's film careens wildly into scenes, pushing forward into the sets and actively pursuing the actors. Most of Femme Publique is shot from daring low angles that render Kaprisky a kind of totemic goddess or a lost soul amidst dizzying and cavernous European buildings, spiral staircases, and dilapidated columns."
Slant Magazine
"There's enough angst and melodrama to keep you engaged, and as with other Zulawksi epics, stand your ground and you'll be rewarded when it all gels (kind of) towards the end. Sex and violence are part of Zulawski's oeuvre and both punctuate LA FEMME PUBLIQUE's erratic pacing at regular intervals. It's a film that's filled with memorable set-piece scenes. Many of which are regular ingredients in Zulawski films: action taking place on a spiral staircase; the location of decaying streets; poverty-stricken dwellings; smoke-filled sets; political unrest; the themes of identity and role-playing; the endless screaming and crying; the melodramatic score (provided to perfection on this occasion by Alain Wisniak). Perhaps only Argento has plagiarised his own career more.
The film is presented uncut in a gorgeous anamorphic 1.66:1 transfer. Strong blacks and accurate flesh tones work alongside sharp detail to provide a solid, grain-free presentation that puts to shame a lot of films on disc that are half the age of this one (25 years and counting). LA FEMME PUBLIQUE is a sterling effort from Mondo Vision, acting as a hugely promising statement of intent in terms of title and superb quality presentation. If you're a fan of the man then all the usual ingredients are here to love, and he's never been better served on DVD."
Sex Gore Mutants

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