Blu-ray Review: MODEL SHOP

MODEL SHOP was directed by Jacques Demy from a screenplay he co-wrote with Carole Eastman and stars Anouk Aimée, Gary Lockwood, Alexandra Hay, Carole Cole, Severn Darden and Tom Fielding. The score is by Spirit/Lou Adler/Various Classical.

Model Shop (1969) offers the great French filmmaker Jacques Demy’s take on America of the era, and specifically, on Los Angeles.  Bringing his celebrated character, Lola (the divine Anouk Aimée, reiterating her eponymous role from Demy’s 1960 film), to the City of Angels, he introduces an American, George (Gary Lockwood, giving a sensitive performance): unemployed, broke, about to be drafted to Vietnam, and suddenly madly in love with Lola, a woman he has only briefly glimpsed. As George searches for his potential amour, Demy gives us a portrait of the city that captured his heart in the same, lightning-bolt way.

Model Shop follows George (Gary Lockwood), a twenty-something, unemployed, unmotived man who is down on his luck and he just can’t seem to get things right. He’s broke, on the outs with his pretty girlfriend Gloria (Alexandra Hay) and about to be drafted in the Vietnam War. Gloria has been patient with him but her patience has run out because he has no drive to do or to be anything and she’s burnt out on his mooching ways. George ends up making his rounds around the city hoping to borrow a little money from a few of his friends but he all he gets are reminders that he already owes them.

What happens is, the beautiful French model Lola (Anouk Aimee) catches his eye at a Model Shop and he instantly falls for her, so much so he begins to follow her around the city. The two actually end up hitting it off and Lola not only shows George some interest in return but the two end up having a romantic fling and this is just what the young man needed. The two get to know all about each other in a short amount of time and the attention Lola gave George lights a fire inside him. The fling is short-lived because Lola has to leave but in the end George gets a hint that his bad luck may finally be changing.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features a candid shot from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the candid shot. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about Model Shop by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any serious issues with the video and audio. This is a really nice upgrade for an obscure title like this.

Bottom line is, Model Shop was an okay watch about life in California during the free love movement the late 60’s. I never even knew there were places where you could go and take pictures of beautiful strangers like this. It’s kind of creepy if you ask me, but that’s a long time ago. Like most hippies, this young man has very little going for him and absoutely no drive to improve his life in any way. He gets a little kick in this short-lived romance that he has with this interesting French model that teases that his run of bad luck may finally be coming to an end. With everything that’s going on with this young man, there’s also the threat of being drafted in the war that’s looming over his head. Is this an anti-war movie? No, I don’t think so because it never goes that far. It’s more of a day in the life of about this unmotivated young man who’s been down on his luck. There’s definitely a much needed sex appeal about it courtesy of the two actresses, otherwise the movie would be mediocre at best. Model Shop is now available on Blu-ray and has a limited edition run of 3,000 units.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 97 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (2.0 on some players)

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include Twilight Time’s isolated music track, two TV spots and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Isolated Music Track
  • TV Spot #1 (00:19)
  • TV Spot #2 (00:12)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (00:59)

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