Le Pont du Nord
Directed by Jacques Rivette
Le Pont du Nord
Le Pont du Nord (1981) is an entrancing puzzle film with the city of Paris as a continually shifting game board. It is one of director Jacques Rivette's most mysterious and haunting works, a dark companion piece to Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974). Marie (Bulle Ogier, L'amour Fou, Maitresse) has just been released from prison, and encounters the paranoid loner Baptiste (Pascale Ogier, Full Moon in Paris). They follow Marie's ex-lover Julien (Pierre Clementi) and his talismanic briefcase as Paris begins to open up to them as a series of enigmatic clues. The city is a labyrinth of possibilities but no certainties, a place of fantastical fables (here be dragons) and the brute realities of the street. Shot on luminous 16mm at exclusively outdoor locations by the great cinematographers William Lubtchansky (Shoah, Every Man for Himself, Regular Lovers) and Caroline Champetier (Holy Motors), Le Pont du Nord is surreal, gorgeous and heartbreaking, and is surely one of Rivette's greatest works.
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