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André S. Labarthe
The former famous painter Frenhofer lives quietly with his wife in his countryside residence in the French Provence. When the young artist Nicolas visits him with his girlfriend Marianne, Frenhofer decides to start working again on a painting called 'La Belle Noiseuse', which he gave up a long time ago. And he wants Marianne as a model. The ensuing creative process will change the characters' lives. It will become a struggle for truth and meaning, and the question about the limits of art will arise. Written by
Jens Bertheau <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Frenhofer mentions a sculptor, Rubek, and his model, Irene, who both died in Norway. This is a reference to a play by Henrik Ibsen, 'When We Dead Awake'. See more »
In Frenhofer's studio, the position of Marianne's legs changes between the long shot (right leg bent and forward) and close shot (left leg bent and forward) when Frenhofer is telling them that they will be unhappy as well. See more »
Can watching paint dry be riveting, interesting, and compelling? Can looking at a beautiful woman who is naked for almost three of four hours long movie be not erotic? Is it possible to watch the movie where an Artist creates sketch after sketch of his model in preparation for a painting and many scenes run in real time and not become bored but instead be totally absorbed by the painter on the screen and how he was progressing with his work? Jacques Rivette's "Le Belle Noiseuse" is certainly not for every taste but I found it immensely rewarding. It is one of very few films where creative process with all its tension, uncertainty, selfishness and self-centering of an artist who once he began working is nearly oblivious not only to his model's discomfort but to the feelings of the ones close to him have been shown on the screen with such truthful passion, technical excellence, and tremendous acting. Michel Piccoli as an aging painter Edouard Frenhofer, once famous and productive, Jane Birkin (Liz)- his much younger wife and a former favorite model, and Emmanuelle Béart as Marianne, the young, bright, and intensely intelligent woman whose presence awakened Frenhofer from semi-lethargy and made him want to paint again were unforgettable.
The film also explores a vital for any artist subject what is more important, the process of creating a work of art or the result?
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