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LE PONT DU NORD (Masters of Cinema) (DVD)

Jacques RIVETTE    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £17.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Jacques RIVETTE
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Eureka
  • DVD Release Date: 29 July 2013
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CGZ6C04
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,377 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

SYNOPSIS The culmination of New Wave master Jacques Rivette ' s legendary middle period (which ranged from L' Amour fou through Out 1, C éline and Julie Go Boating, Duelle, Noroît, and Merry - Go - Round), Le Pont du Nord envisions Paris as a sprawling game - board marked off with tucked - away conspiracies, where imagination and paranoia intermingle; where the hinted - at stakes are sanity, life, and death.

Regular Rivette actress Bulle Ogier stars as Marie, a claustrophobic ex - con who, shortly after wandering into Paris, encounters the wild and potentially troubled young woman Baptiste (Pascale Ogier, Bulle's actual 22 - year - old daughter). Baptiste, a knife - wielding, self - proclaimed kung - fu expert with a drive to slash the eyes from faces in adverts (including, in one instance, those on a placard for Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha), accompanies Marie on her quest to solve the mystery behind the contents of her former lover's (Pierre Cl émenti's) suitcase: an amalgam of clippings, patterns, and maps of Paris that points to a vastly unsettling labyrinth replete with signs and intimations whose menacing endgame remains all too unclear.

Gorgeously shot by the master cinematographer William Lubtchansky, Le Pont du Nord is a free - wheeling, powerful experience whose hypnotic rhythm and ominous undercurrents resolve into a frightening and exhilarating portrait of post - revolutionary, early - ' 80s Paris - and in turn form a prime example of Rivette's uncanny, occult cinema. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Jacques Rivette ' s rare and essential feature Le Pont du Nord on DVD for the first time anywhere in the world.

SPECIAL DVD EDITION
  • Gorgeous new presentation of the film in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • A lengthy booklet with writing about the film by Arthur Mas, Andy Rector, Serge Daney, and Caroline Champetier; writing from the original press - book by Jacques Rivette, and Jean Narboni; rare archival imagery; and more!

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Booklet, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Remastered, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: The culmination of New Wave master Jacques Rivette's legendary middle period (which ranged from L'Amour fou through Out 1, Céline and Julie Go Boating, Duelle, Noroît, and Merry-Go-Round), Le Pont du Nord envisions Paris as a sprawling game-board marked off with tucked-away conspiracies, where imagination and paranoia intermingle; where the hinted-at stakes are sanity, life, and death. Regular Rivette actress Bulle Ogier stars as Marie, a claustrophobic ex-con who, shortly after wandering into Paris, encounters the wild and potentially troubled young woman Baptiste (Pascale Ogier, Bulle's actual 22-year-old daughter). Baptiste, a knife-wielding, self-proclaimed kung-fu expert with a drive to slash the eyes from faces in adverts (including, in one instance, those on a placard for Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha), accompanies Marie on her quest to solve the mystery behind the contents of her former lover's (Pierre Clémenti's) suitcase: an amalgam of clippings, patterns, and maps of Paris that points to a vastly unsettling labyrinth replete with signs and intimations whose menacing endgame remains all too unclear. Gorgeously shot by the master cinematographer William Lubtchansky, Le Pont du Nord is a freewheeling, powerful experience whose hypnotic rhythm and ominous undercurrents resolve into a frightening and exhilarating portrait of post-revolutionary, early-'80s Paris - and in turn form a prime example of Rivette's uncanny, occult cinema. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Jacques Rivette's rare and essential feature Le Pont du Nord on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time anywhere in the world. ...Le Pont du Nord (1981) ( Le pont du Nord )


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic Rivette from 1981 5 Aug 2013
By HJ
Format:DVD
In the booklet Masters of Cinema dedicate this DVD to 'all the Rivettniks' - not long ago such a dedication would have been meaningless as Rivette was the least well known and least popular of the original French New Wave directors, only La Belle Noiseuse and Celine & Julie Go Boating made much impression outside France. But his profile seems to have risen a lot in recent years, to the extent that he belatedly now has a large cult following - 'Rivettniks' I guess. This is partly because his later films have been more mainstream (eg the brilliant Secret Defense 1998) but also because the DVD era has allowed viewers to really get accustomed to his idiosyncratic style (the BFI release of Rivette's debut Paris Nous Appartient 1960 being particularly useful).

Theatre is usually seen as the opposite of cinema, so Rivette is almost unique in setting the 'artificiality' of theatricality within cinematic 'realism' - a juxtaposition which creates all kinds of weird effects and does admittedly take some getting used to. Le Pont du Nord is an archetypal Rivette film with the actors 'acting out' various playful scenarios in real locations: two women wander around Paris, their wanderings determined by a game / map they have found - while at the same time they are subjected to (and fight back against) an all-pervasive state / terrorist / gangster surveillance conspiracy. Or maybe they are just paranoid and crazy.

Apparently an earlier version of the film was called Paris is Slipping Away and in the DVD booklet Rivette says the film was originally supposed to represent bruised and battered May 68 generation survivors encountering the arrival of the 1980s.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thirty-Year Wait. 5 Jun 2013
Format:DVD
Thank you to the Masters of Cinema Series for releasing this film.
I saw it thirty years ago and it has stayed with me ever since.
How well it survives the test of time remains to be seen, so the
five stars is an act of faith but also an award for the adventurous
policy of the distributors.
Rivette is undoubtedly a major influential figure in World Cinema
but I would remind people that he, like Truffaut, gives himself the
modest (lower case) mise en scene credit at the end. Not for him the
pompous, grandiose "A film by" authorial title that is common-place
today and often unearned and unwarrented. His roots are in the theatre
and he knows that it is a group enterprise. He brings together a
regular team of writers, actors and technicians so it would be much
fairer and more accurate to see him as a superb conductor leading
a small orchestra of soliosts. Viva la bande de Rivette!
PS What about Out 1 now?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snakes and Ladders 29 Jan 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Daylight is for power, the night for violence." There is menace all about us. Innocence is that which is unwary and therefore destined to fall. To fail to recognize evil because of a pretense of normality will ensure disaster. Hidden from us are the serial "coincidences" which make up our seemingly "free" movements.We can move this way or that, but time is not linear and the future may not necessarily lie ahead. There is an older woman, just out of prison for some kind of political activity. She has hitchhiked to Paris to search for a comrade. In the city she is befriended by a young leather-jacketed priestess of the surreal and dangerous Paris behind the "real one" who vows to protect her, and they wander through the city on paths laid out by a board game they discover in a stolen briefcase. They will find clues but no questions, a body but no reasons; the "comrade" appears and disappears, becoming more menacing all the while. This film is a masterpiece that will haunt you as it has haunted me for almost 30 years. Analyze it at your peril...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere-Else-in-Gooseland 13 Aug 2013
By technoguy VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
Two women,strangers to each other,Marie and Baptiste,meet up by chance and wander the streets of Paris.Rivette has taken an actress well known to him(Bulle Ogier) to act the part,largely through improvisation,of ex-con Marie,who is claustrophobic and cannot bare to go inside closed spaces.The principle of construction is like Celine and Julie Go Boating,day 1,day 2,day 3,day 4.Marie's mission is to find true love,she is driven by paranoid fictions, seeing Paris as a sprawling game-board marked off with tucked-away conspiracies,a return by Rivette to old subject matter,to retrace his steps.The film is a spiral drawn on a map of the city for a Game of the Goose.Between labyrinths and traps,fears and yearnings,there is a constant evocation of perpetual movement of "theoreticalfight against imaginary enemies",taken up by Baptiste(Pascale Ogier,Bulle's actual daughter),a knife-wielding,self-proclaimed karate expert with a drive to slash the eyes of faces in adverts.,who accompanies Marie on her quest to solve the mystery behind the contents of her former lover's,Julien's(Pierre Clementi's)suitcase:an amalgam of newspaper clippings about abductions,killings,robberies,and maps of Paris that points to an unsettling labyrinth of signs and portents whose endgame is unclear.

Now all the above is very much a Maguffin in a film that is beautifully shot by cinematographer Lubtchansky of post-revolutionary Paris.This works due to the natural chemistry of its leading ladies,their interaction,the nature of imagination and memory through a play-within-a-film,the question of what is going to happen to the ladies,the unfolding itinerary of derelict sites,building sites,railway lines,a Paris being destroyed and reconstructed,brought alive through the creativity of play.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paris-Feminine-Conspiracies-Paranoia-Fantasy-RIVETTE 23 Oct 2013
By Muzzlehatch - Published on Amazon.com
Take the notions of gigantic conspiracies which were explored at (great) length in "Out 1, noli me tangere"; add the idea of an obsessive friendship between two women that happens instantly and totally by chance, from "Celine and Julie Go Boating"; set it entirely in Paris like the latter film, and film it in 16 mm like both of these predecessors, but have it take place entirely out-of-doors, as a sort of portrait of the non-touristy side of Paris, the mysterious, decrepit and ancient, and the continually renewing, self-destroying, and rebuilding that any 2000 year old metropolis must undergo. Add the typical moments of quirky humor and bizarre behavior (mostly on the part of the younger of our duo, Pascale Ogier's crazy Baptiste), sudden and surprising shocks of violence, and a typically inexplicable ending - and you've got "Le pont du Nord".

Rivette's first of two features released in 1981 (the other is Merry-Go-Round), this came after a 5-year absence, after the meltdown that ocurred while filming what was to be his four-part "Scenes from a Parallel Life" (only two of the films, "Duelle" and "Noroit", were finished and released). Accounts I've read suggest that the director had a nervous breakdown, and came back a somwhat different filmmaker. I'm not so sure; the tone of "Le pont du Nord" may be a bit more subdued than that visible in some of the previous decade's mad fantasy worlds, but thematically it's pure Rivette, improvisation and storytelling, street theater and evil unseen conspiracies, political machinations never really explicable to the characters, or the audience. It's a bit "light" for Rivette, certainly - cheaper, funnier perhaps, and certainly shorter than his average feature at just over two hours. But there are moments of brooding and dark fantasy that beg to get out, and they end up being some of the most memorable scenes in the film.

The story, such as it is, has Marie (Bulle Ogier, the real-life mother of Pascale) just out of prison for some scheme that we are never quite clear about, but which she claims to have instigated. She is so shaken by her years put away that she cannot bear the idea of being closed-in, thus the excuse for the film to take place entirely out-of-doors. After bumping into Baptiste three times, the younger woman - clearly even in the early part of the film living in her own world - takes it upon herself to act as Marie's protector, because chance has made it so. It turns out that Marie has a friend, or boyfriend, Julien, and Julien is in fact mixed up in something nefarious - and Marie and Pascale fall into this plot, more or less willingly, which ends up involving a strange map of Paris divided into squares that form a spiral. If you've seen a bunch of Rivette films you will probably be amused at how Marie and Pascale interpret the map; if you haven't, you will likely be very confused. At any rate, from about halfway into the film, the story seems to be actually heading towards a kind of conventional resolution - but as always with this director, that cannot be counted on.

What I loved most about "Le pont du Nord", apart from the guerilla feel of the filmmaking, and the very intimate portrait of the many-sided great city that we get, is the way in which it subtly (and sometimes not-so subtly) develops it's notion of an all-seeing, all-knowing government. As the credits roll at the beginning, while the screen is black with the credits starting, we hear unseen helicopter blades - watchers. Throughout the early part of the film, our eyes - and those of the paranoid Baptiste - are drawn to stone lions, passing police cars, people in the street filming...something. Eyes are all around, watching, and ears are hearing. Near the end, we finally get some evidence, but by that point the main story is over, and we're playing a game, a typical Rivette joke on us, and on his characters, and on the notion of narrative itself.

The Ogiers are both wonderful - I hadn't been crazy about Pascale in the couple of other films I'd seen her in, but she embodies a youthful spirit of punk rebellion, a kung-fu pixie with a helium voice, and you can believe just about anything she'll try to do - even slay a real fire-breathing dragon. And her mother at first seems much younger, closer in age, but gradually as the film goes on the distance between the two in experience and emotional make-up becomes clearer, and we don't wonder that the older Marie allows herself to take this strange journey which might have an unhappy resolution. The other characters in the film, nearly all male, are shadowy and indistinct in a sense, untrustworthy, liable to disappear at any moment. Rivette's affinity with noir is stronger here than in any of his previous films I think, save perhaps "Duelle" and his first, "Paris Belongs to Us".

All in all, not my very favorite film from Rivette, and probably towards the bottom of the first tier of his work for me - which still ain't too shabby as there is no director I love more, none whose mysteries I enjoy solving, and not solving, half as much.

THE BLU-RAY: This is the MoC Region B disc, playable in North America only on a multi-region/unlocked player so be aware of that before you buy it; Rivette has been very ill-served in the USA and I wouldn't bet on this showing up anytime soon here, and really given that this is up to MoC's usual standards, why not take the plunge? Given that the original was shot on 16mm, this immaculate transfer looks very nearly as good as a brand-new print must have in the cinema in 1981, for those tiny few who are lucky enough to have been able to see it. The booklet is typically well-done and gets a lot deeper into the magical world of the director than I'm able to here; I wish that MoC had been able to include the director's short "Paris s'en va" from the same year, a sort of behind-the-scenes poetic view of the city which would have been the perfect supplement. Someday...
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious Paris 30 Jun 2014
By A. Koopman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Saw this film in 1981 on German TV and in a Dutch cinema,the same year. 'Le Pont du Nord' is a great movie set in Paris. But none of the famous sites and buildings appear in the movie. There's very little dialogue. In short, a very mysterious movie from the legendary Jacques Rivette. Brilliant play by Bulle Ogier and her daughter Pascale. I've tried to obtain a copy of this movie for years, first on video and later on DVD, but to no avail. Now in 2014 I finally did!!!!
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