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 ...
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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
The thing that has always been interesting about Rivette is the different sense of time that he creates through a more slowly developed story, spanning 2-4 hours on screen. Then when a real development comes along, it's such a surprise and pleasure (dare I say "as in real life?"). MARIE AND JULIEN has a mysterious story, but it's not suspenseful--you can guess what's going on fairly early into the film. Pleasure lies in getting to know the characters, watching Marie arrange a room, watching Julien take a clock apart and put it back together--and having your suspicions about the story verified. It's all perhaps more like reading a novel than watching a normal Hollywood film characterized by a tightly formulaic, time-bound 90-minute plot. And it's no accident that Julien is a clock repairman: that big clock he dismantles seems to stand for the very method and structure, and sense of duration, of this wonderful movie. A clock's ticking is supposed to be even, "in beat," but it's interesting too when the ticking is uneven!
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