The Criterion Collection has announced that they are adding Babette’s Feast to their upcoming slate of Blu-ray releases. The film was directed by Gabriel Axel and stars Stéphane Audran, Bodil Kjer, and Birgitte Federspiel. Babette’s Feast will be available in stores and online July 23, 2013.
In 19th century Denmark, two adult sisters live in an isolated village with their father, who is the honored pastor of a small Protestant church that is almost a sect unto itself. Although they each are presented with a real opportunity to leave the village, the sisters choose to stay with their father, to serve to him and their church. After some years, a French woman refugee, Babette, arrives at their door, begs them to take her in, and commits herself to work for them as maid/housekeeper/cook. Sometime after their father dies, the sisters decide to hold a dinner to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth. Babette experiences unexpected good fortune and implores the sisters to allow her to take charge of the preparation of the meal.
Babette’s Feast was released on March 4, 1988.
- New 2K digital film restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- New interview with actor Stéphane Audran
- Karen Blixen: Storyteller, a 1995 documentary about the author of the film’s source story, who wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen
- New visual essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda
- New interview with sociologist Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson about the significance of cuisine in French culture
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Mark Le Fanu and Dinesen’s 1950 story
Theatrical trailer for Babette’s Feast courtesy Movieclips Trailer Vault