Release the French sci-fi film Hu-Man (1975) on home video
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This petition is to convince BFI Video Publishing to release the French sci-fi film Hu-Man (1975) on home video for the first time in a dual-format Blu-ray/DVD edition. The only fiction feature of documentary director Jérôme Laperrousaz starring Terence Stamp and Jeanne Moreau is a film experience urgently needing a home release.
Hu-Man received a limited theatrical release in France on 1st October 1975. Despite favourable reviews from critics, the film failed at the box office. However, it was later shown at fantasy and science fiction festivals in Vannes and Clermont-Ferrand, nominated for Best Sound at the 1st César Awards in Paris, garnered critical acclaim at the San Sebastián, San Francisco and Belgrade International Film Festivals and won the Grand Prix Golden Asteroid at the 14th Trieste International Science Fiction Film Festival in July 1976; also at Trieste, Terence Stamp was awarded the Silver Asteroid for Best Actor. After its moderate success on the domestic and international festival circuits, the film aired twice on French television on 18th August 1977 on the regional channel FR3 and on 16th January 1981 on the national channel A2's programme Ciné-club before disappearing for nearly twenty years since its second broadcast.
In 1998, Irish film director, historian and critic Mark Cousins interviewed Terence Stamp for the BBC TV series Scene by Scene. Sometime during this episode they watch and discuss clips from Hu-Man that show Stamp's character in different dangerous situations, all filmed for real without special effects according to Stamp. The segment of the episode showing the scenes is included above with the clips starting at 01:21. These scenes gave viewers possible leads to track down the film, but without success as they tried contacting Mark Cousins and Terence Stamp's agent to find its whereabouts, but they never got a reply from Cousins and Stamp's agent couldn't help.
The film is notoriously hard to find and watch and the reasons for it only being commercially released in France in cinemas and on television, its limited and very sporadic distribution in and between French and international film festival cinemas and on TV (local and British, in both its full-length form and clips that were shown on the Mark Cousins show) and more importantly never being released on any home video format in France or anywhere else are unknown, though possible copyright issues have been suggested.
On 8th May 2013, a 25-minute edited short version of Hu-Man screened as part of a Terence Stamp Season at BFI Southbank. The taster screening introduced by Stamp himself and the film's director Jérôme Laperrousaz was very well received and gave audiences a sample of something rare and special. When asked online by an audience member why the full-length 105-minute version couldn't be shown, BFI Southbank replied: ''the director did have a print but it was very faded, and time and costs restraints meant we were unable to present a properly restored print. However, we worked together with Jerome Laperrousaz and Terence Stamp to make something happen for the retrospective, and the result was about 25 minutes worth of colour-corrected clips projected digitally.'' Considering the film's cult status and demand, if the BFI can edit and remaster a quarter of its footage for the exhibition then surely they can restore and release the entire movie on home video.
The proposed dual-format edition is to include both versions of the film, but above all a restored print of the complete version with French and English soundtracks and subtitles and secondly the short version that played at BFI Southbank; the edited form too because it inspired this petition as it reconfirmed the movie's existence after being believed lost for many years. Special features to be included in the edition are to be at BFI Video Publishing's discretion because the distributor always includes an array of extras with its releases.
I the petition starter have been interested in the film for a long time, ever since reading about it in Phil Hardy's The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies (1984) and most reviews were very positive, describing it as a ''visual feast'' and praising the performances of the cast. Unfortunately though, I have never seen it even in its truncated version apart from the clips shown on the Mark Cousins interview which look incredible. There are many who have been wanting to see the film again for decades and others like myself for the very first time in its entirety.
Those who attended the Terence Stamp Season were honoured to have seen a 25-minute version of his legendary Hu-Man and it would be a crime if the entire film doesn't get a remastered home video release soon. After all, Stamp risked his life to make it and its existing print is reportedly quite faded and in danger of decaying even further which makes a restoration critical. Therefore, I appeal to all film fans out there to sign and share this petition with others because if it becomes successful, it will lead to a home release of this rare cinematic gem.
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