Film Reviews

The Bride Wore Black (1968) / She Dies Tomorrow (2020) – Radiance Films – Blu-ray Review

It’s like Christmas for physical media collectors at the moment, and Radiance Films is our Santa, with a ton of great movies being released on disc in great packages.

The latest wave includes two fascinating pictures: one a cult classic from one of the great filmmakers of cinema, and the other a sophomore effort from a talented young indie director. These are Francois Trauffaut’s The Bride Wore Black and Amy Seimetz’s She Dies Tomorrow.

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Released in 1968, The Bride Wore Black follows a widow (the great Jeanne Moreau) as she hunts down five men involved in the death of her husband on their wedding day.

This probably sounds familiar, as it was a huge influence on Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill duology where Uma Thurman also hunts down five people involved in the death of her husband on their wedding day. Moreau even has a notebook where she crosses their names off. It’s always interesting when films that are huge influences seem difficult to get hold of, while those that sprout from their source are widely released in the mainstream.

© 1968 United Arists / Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica.

Anyway, The Bride Wore Black is a terrific film, despite apparently taking a while to find an audience. It’s a thrill watching the fabulous and gorgeous Moreau on her rampage, and the wonderful wit in the picture, especially its final image. It also has an absolutely gorgeous score by the legendary Bernard Herrmann, which gives the film such a great sense of effervescence.

She Dies Tomorrow is a fascinating movie with a wicked sense of humour and an intangible sense of metaphysicality that makes it worth several watches. It’s essentially a mumblecore horror that follows a woman who has just moved into a new house who suddenly feels like she’s going to die the next day. She tells this to her best friend, who then feels the same, and then she goes to a party where subsequently, the guests and hosts feel the same.

It’s a strange, strange film and it’s not particularly accessible at first. The performances are improvised and have a note of imperceptibility to them, which adds to the overall odd atmosphere of the picture. It almost feels like a kind of Richard Linklater film in the way it connects all the characters, but with a desperate ambition of ennui.

The Bride Wore Black is presented with a 1080p transfer that looks and sounds wonderful. She Dies Tomorrow is understandably cleaner looking and sounding given its age. Both discs come with the kind of thoughtful extras we’ve come to expect from Radiance.

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The Bride Wore Black has vintage interviews with Truffaut and Moreau, a video essay on Truffaut and Hitchcock, and a short film by Truffaut. She Dies Tomorrow has an audio commentary by critic Anna Bogutskaya, a video essay by critic Anton Bitel, a making of featurette with Seimetz and the cinematographer, and new interviews with the two lead actresses from the film.

Another winning pair from Radiance. The Bride Wore Black is particularly good, and both films come in great presentations with fantastic extras. Recommended.

The Bride Wore Black and She Dies Tomorrow are out now on Blu-ray from Radiance Films.

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