Julien lives alone with his cat. He dreams of Marie, and a few minutes later, he sees her on the street and makes a date. He asks her to move in with him, and she does. Her boyfriend is ... See full summary »
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André S. Labarthe
Julien lives alone with his cat. He dreams of Marie, and a few minutes later, he sees her on the street and makes a date. He asks her to move in with him, and she does. Her boyfriend is dead, the rest of her past a mystery. Although they quickly seem to fall in love, she sometimes pulls away suddenly from Julien, is distant, and spends the night in a hotel. She also dreads something imminent and warns Julien that if he missteps, he will lose her and all memory of her. Julien responds by digging into her past: what explains her remodeling an upstairs garret room, her nightly dreams, her fears? What can Julien, now desperately in love, do when he learns why? Can either rescue the other? Written by
French screenwriter, film critic and director Jacques Rivette's nineteenth feature film which he co-wrote with French screenwriters Christine Laurent and Pascale Bonitzer, premiered in the Special Presentations section at the 28th Toronto International Film Festival in 2003, was screened in the Official Selection section at the 51st San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2003 and is a France-Italy co-production which was produced by producer Martine Marignac. It tells the story about a middle-aged clockmaker named Julien who lives in a house in Paris with his cat and who one day whilst going to meet a wealthy woman named Madame X who makes a living of selling false antiquities, runs into a woman named Marie whom he fell in love with one year ago. Julien invites her to move in with him which she agrees to and they resurrect their old passion, but as their relationship grows Julien begins to question Marie's distant and introvert behavior.
Distinctly and brilliantly directed by French filmmaker Jacques Rivette, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated from the two main characters viewpoints, draws a singular portrayal of a woman who unexpectedly returns to her former lover. While notable for it's atmospheric milieu depictions, distinct production design by production designer and actor Emmanuel de Chauvigny, sterling cinematography by French cinematographer William Lubtchansky (1937-2010) and use of sound and colors, this narrative-driven psychological drama and genre varied art film which contains elements of minimalism, eroticism, crime, horror, thriller and comedy depicts a supernatural study of character where the quiet characters that intersects with the films colorful interiors and exteriors moves slowly through labyrinthine halls and staircases.
This vividly depicted story about a romance which is transcended by unearthly forces and dense chamber-piece from the early 2000s where a man has a rendezvous with a mystic and ambiguous woman who has lost her identity, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure which is divided into four contextual chapters, subtle character development and continuity, esoteric and metaphoric dialog by Pascal Bonitzer and Jacques Rivette, enigmatic characters, changing viewpoints and the understated role interpretations by French actress Emmanuelle Bèart and Polish actor Jerzy Radziwilowicz which becomes more and more expressive. An innovating and eloquent mystery by a director with an acute eye for the artistic aspects of cinema whom within restricted frames portrays a unique fable about love.
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