LE PONT DU NORD (Masters of Cinema) (DVD)
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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!
" It seems more obvious than ever how much Rivette has influenced a subsequent generation of filmmaker - Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry - and expanded our sense of the possible. " --Village Voice
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Top Customer Reviews
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?
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›