Elizabeth sends telegrams to her old boyfriend Ben in NYC and to her younger sister Leo in Rome to join her in Paris, where she is selling her dead father's estate. When Ben and Leo arrive, a mysterious adventure begins.
During the rehearsals for the production of the tragedy Andromaque, the leading actress and her director, a couple behind the scenes, can't find a way to leave their personal problems at ... See full summary »
Anne Goupil is a literature student in Paris in 1957. Her elder brother, Pierre, takes her to a friend's party where the guests include Philip Kaufman, an expatriate American escaping ... See full summary »
A play within a play within a play within a play. Actors perform a play in a house, an audience member invites them to work in his own home improvising a play around his own life. The line between fiction and reality blur.
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 »
How wondrously weird a concoction this is! A swashbuckling, all-woman pirate melodrama in 70s Jacobean drag. (OK, we see a few men round the edges, but their role is purely decorative - like Olivia de Havilland in an old Errol Flynn movie.) It's been adapted very freely from Cyril Tourneur's play The Revenger's Tragedy, so the soundtrack shifts from French into English for the more lyrical bits of verse. Music is provided by an on-screen chamber orchestra, fiddling away in a corner of a dank Breton castle.
"No," you decide every five minutes or so. "It cannot possibly get any more bizarre than this!" Lo and behold, it promptly does. Bernadette Laffont makes a splendidly wicked Pirate Queen, in the cross-dressing tradition of Joan Crawford in Johhny Guitar or Barbara Stanwyck in Forty Guns. The normally fragile and tremulous Geraldine Chaplin makes a suprisingly ruthless, full-blooded avenger. She must have the most wonderfully long, sinuous hands of any screen performer since Max Schreck in Nosferatu.
An unmissable treat for anyone who has a weak spot for truly deranged cinema, Noroit is widely unavailable these days. Like its companion piece Duelle, it's part of a four-part series that director Jacques Rivette was never able to complete. A great shame! I find both these films utterly compulsive and hypnotic, while much of Rivette's later work is tediously dry and academic. Even in the most dismal of worn-out video copies, taped off some obscure German cable channel at 4 AM, Noroit and Duelle are worth seeking out.
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