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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:40 pm 
I believe this was also conceived as a sequel to Out 1 - a sort of "Paris 10 Years Later" that showed the true outcome of May '68, which was (if my rudimentary understanding of French politics is correct) pretty grim. Which makes the sense of play in the film very satisfying. I find the film to definitely encapsulate what is so great about Rivette - it's very light and very heavy at the same time; it just depends on what angle you look at it from.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:44 pm 
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I believe this was also conceived as a sequel to Out 1 - a sort of "Paris 10 Years Later" that showed the true outcome of May '68, which was (if my rudimentary understanding of French politics is correct) pretty grim.

Well, it was promoted as a remake of OUT 1, but I'm not sure if there is much truth to this. Perhaps it was conceived of as a sequel, or at least as some sort of relative to OUT 1. I see PARIS NOUS APPARTIENT and OUT 1 as already being pretty related, and all three films depict people who see Paris from a somewhat delusional or paranoid perspective... but that unlike CELINE & JULIE or DUELLE we are never really privvy to their world, and so we can't help but judge some their actions as being the products of mentally unstable individuals. It makes all three films pretty dark at times. It's also worth pointing out that all three films were released in 10 year increments (61, 71, and 81), and so there is some symmetry there as well.

The "Paris 10 Years Later" line is interesting. My understanding was that Rivette wanted PARIS S'EN VA to appear in PARIS VU PAR... 20 YEARS LATER, but that it was rejected. I don't know if there is any truth to this, but I thought it was worth mentioning given your initial comment.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:54 pm 
You mention their dates when linking all 3 of them. It's interesting - if memory serves me, the films open each with the dates in which they're taking place, a feature I can't remember in any other Rivette. As an aside, I also really like in Out 1: Spectre how after it states the date, a title card tells us "Location: Paris and its double". Seems to encompass all three of the films under discussion.


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:23 pm 

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justeleblanc wrote:
Quote:
I may as well ask here: what's this film like? I've never seen a Rivette and would love to support MOC and blind-buy, but I have no idea what to expect. Could someone briefly clue me in?

The film draws on many stylistic, narratological, and thematic elements that occur in his earlier films (particularly CELINE & JULIE), though this film is pretty accessible and certainly not a bad way to introduce yourself to his work. It's also slightly shorter than his other films, which is an added bonus for an introduction.

While not a remake, PONT DU NORD is similar to PARIS NOUS APPARTIENT. If you can you should try to watch PNA in advance, though in my opinion PDN has a simpler and better executed construction... particularly fewer character and less exposition.


I'm a Rivette fan, but I prefer Celine and Julie, Duelle, and Pont du Nord to Paris Nous Appartient. I appreciate all that he's trying to accomplish in the latter film, but it was with Juliet Berto and Bulle Ogier that Rivette really hit his stride and found his voice, so to speak. Paris Nous Appartient just doesn't 'work' for me, and I've tried at least three of four times. There's just something 'static' about the film. It just doesn't 'move', and I don't necessarily mean that it should 'move' in a narrative sense. With respect to Paris Nous Appartient, I often get the sense he's 'noodling' without figuring out what it is he wants to say or where to go. Then again, Rivette's always been a bit of a 'noodler', not that that's always a bad thing necessarily. He's essentially the Bela Bartok of cinema.


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:16 pm 
I'm not sure I'd call it "noodling", if only for the immense struggle that took years to bring the film to the screen, but I tend to agree with you. I feel with that film Rivette is an artist looking for a form for his vision. It's very much a prototype for the Rivette film in terms of theme - we see a girl struggling with a plot that seems real, but may very well be fiction depending on how you look at it. Like what Barthes said about looking out a car window and seeing the passing landscape, but readjust your eyes and you see the glass. I feel like the performances aren't up to his standards for sure, which Rivette blames on the dialogue. I believe that logic is what brought him to L'amour fou - which is when he hit his stride. It was perfect material for him. Two different ways to look - one, usually "reality based", 16mm cinema verite, and the other, usually signifying fiction, 35mm camera on tracks. Rivette, of course, inverts this and has the 16mm film the fiction (literally readings from a centuries old play over and over) and the 35mm film "reality" (the actors' and director's life offstage). The lines begin to blur over the course of 4 hours, so you're not really sure what is fiction and what is reality - in the end, the terms don't mean much anyway. That, to me, is the true start of the Rivette film. Every film thereafter follows that logic in some way.

I know that was rather longwinded, but I guess I can only say what I think is wrong with Paris nous appartient by saying what is right with L'amour fou, a film I find infinitely more complex. So in short, rrenault, I agree with you!


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:50 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:49 pm
With that said, I've always admired the way Rivette 'fetishizes' Paris without naively Romanticizing the city, but then again, all the New Wave filmmakers share that trait, although Rohmer never really indulged in Paris fetishization the way Rivette and Godard did. The Paris of Pont du Nord even feels true to the reality of today in some ways.


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 10:16 am 
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I see Paris nous appartient as the best P. K. Dick film ever (even if it is not near the top of my Rivette list).

Why has L'amour fou never made it to home video in any form? (Saw it screened live once at the Harvard Film Archive -- luckily with the intermission respected).


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 10:49 am 

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Perhaps it's just me, but I get the sense the general atmosphere of the city of Paris changed a lot more between 1960 and 1970 than it has since 1970. But it probably depends on the neighborhood. The Marais is fairly trendy, but there are parts of the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and even seventeenth arrondissements that feel as though they haven't really changed since the students laid down their Molotov cocktails.

With that said, many of the French New Wave films made me realize how little I knew. How many North American tourists take their time to wander the ninth or tenth arrondissement, nevermind the fifteenth or Canal Saint Martin. Truffaut had me wondering where the f**k Place de Clichy was after I'd already been to Paris like a dozen times!


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:44 am 
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rrenault wrote:
With that said, many of the French New Wave films made me realize how little I knew. How many North American tourists take their time to wander the ninth or tenth arrondissement, nevermind the fifteenth or Canal Saint Martin. Truffaut had me wondering where the f**k Place de Clichy was after I'd already been to Paris like a dozen times!
My wife and I did a fair amount of wandering of both the 10th and 15th arrondissements (as we stayed at b&bs in each) and also wandered along the Canal St Martin from Place Stalingrad (or therabouts) back down to the Seine. We went to the 9th but I don't believe we actually wandered around much.


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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:26 am 

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I just caught this at the theater and was perplexed at the black and blue grid lines that showed up on a few shots towards the very end of the film during the martial arts lesson. I've searched online but came up with no answers, but have the feeling its something obvious that I don't know about. Is it the point of view of some type of surveillance camera?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:39 pm 
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A clip from the upcoming release


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:45 pm 
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swo17 wrote:
What a great film. ;~}


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
swo17 wrote:
What a great film. ;~}

Absolutely. You can look at an 'inconsequential' scene like that and know immediately that this is a filmmaker who knows what he's doing and is in complete control, even though it's just a couple of characters walking along some streets.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:42 pm 
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It's that ineffable sense of being in good hands, of viewing the efforts of a strong assured vision that I'm always on the lookout for, especially with new (to me) filmmakers. And it's the sort of thing I've become increasingly fascinated by while rewatching the work of older masters I'm famaliar with, like Hitchcock. Not the big showy visuals he's often associated with, but those bread and butter shots that occur in so many other countless films -- ordinary POV shots of people looking at things, for instance, or the montage of a character watching/following someone else, etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:50 pm 
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warren oates wrote:
It's that ineffable sense of being in good hands, of viewing the efforts of a strong assured vision that I'm always on the lookout for, especially with new (to me) filmmakers. And it's the sort of thing I've become increasingly fascinated by while rewatching the work of older masters I'm famaliar with, like Hitchcock. Not the big showy visuals he's often associated with, but those bread and butter shots that occur in so many other countless films -- ordinary POV shots of people looking at things, for instance, or the montage of a character watching/following someone else, etc.

A couple of recent examples of this for me were:

- Rewatching The Birds on Blu. It's not a film I'm inordinately fond of, and the big special effects / suspense scenes were neither here nor there for me (and some, in fact, seemed to be rather clunkily staged / executed), but the bread-and-butter stuff of characters moving around the sets, and the way Hitch created a strong sense of place, were just beautiful.
- Seeing the 'memory game' scene from Days and Nights in the Forest extracted in a documentary (was this on the Music Room disc?), getting such extreme pleasure from it, even stripped of all context, and aching to see the parent film again.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Can I add that the transfer of Le Pont du Nord in this clip also looks very nice? I can't wait until this released next month! It seems to be the summer of Rivette...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:59 pm 
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I can't wait either. And I really hope that someone can take "Jeanne La Pucelle" out of AE's hands and finally release that masterpiece in a transfer that does justice to it. Very strange that the French didn't do it yet, given that most of the French arte Rivette releases tower so much above any other versions released elsewhere.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:01 pm 
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swo17 wrote:

The image looks be to slightly squished vertically, no?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:33 pm 
not perpee
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justeleblanc wrote:
The image looks be to slightly squished vertically, no?


Looks like it might be the old square/rectangular pixel chestnut when preparing video files for upload to YouTube, ie. if it's PAL: 720x576 instead of 768x576.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:30 pm 
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This comes out in a couple of weeks; any word on additional specs?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:51 am 
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What A Disgrace wrote:
This comes out in a couple of weeks; any word on additional specs?

This is it:

• 56-PAGE BOOKLET containing new writing by critics Francisco Valente and Sabrina Marques; a director's statement by Jacques Rivette, and six questions for the director by Jean Narboni, from the film's original press book; a parallel-text translation of the traditional French children's song "Sur le Pont du Nord"; vintage writing on the film by Serge Daney; excerpts from a long interview with Rivette conducted by Serge Daney and Jean Narboni; the complete script for a short-film homage to Rivette by actress and filmmaker Kate Lyn Sheil; and rare archival imagery.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:10 pm 
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DVD Beaver.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:00 am 
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Blu-Ray.com


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:11 am 
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I watched Le Pont du Nord last night (my first Rivette) and really enjoyed it. I’m eager to watch it again to get my thoughts a bit more organized and to better understand certain parts, but I’d like to get my preliminary reaction down in the hopes of maybe getting a discussion started.

I was reminded a lot of Vigo while watching Le Pont du Nord, because it seems to me like such an enthusiastic embrace of freedom. The freewheeling actions of the characters are unfettered by any obligations to a logical plot. For instance, Marie (just out of prison) and Baptiste decide on a whim to treat the mysterious maps as a board game. It’s a decision that has no real-world logic and yet has the importance of determining everything that will happen to the protagonists, but it works in the anarchic world of the film.

Another way that Rivette manages to capture this sense of freedom is with the sound. In some scenes, wind or traffic will overwhelm the sound mix. In others, the beautiful noise of children carelessly playing offscreen can be heard (in this way, the film reminds me of Tati). The overall effect, though, of these wild sounds is to create a mood that feels organic and unrestrained by typical film sound standards. The synchronization of these sounds with the all-exterior images of crumbling back-alleys of Paris and open fields (sometimes filled with construction equipment as ominous signs of things to come) only serves to emphasize the freewheeling, off-the-beaten-path atmosphere.

I was reading one of the few reviews on IMDb (I know), and was surprised to see one person say that he felt Le Pont du Nord took itself too seriously. I’m glad to read that others here appreciate the film's humor. I laughed out loud at times, such as when Baptiste faces off with the dragon. In fact, the carefree, playful attitude of the characters (particularly Baptiste, of course) reminded me a great deal of Daisies.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Of course, the ending (as with the last two lines of the children’s song from which the film takes its name) seems to put an unexpected, dark finale to Marie and Baptiste’s escapades, but I’m still working out exactly how to interpret it.


Does anyone else have any thoughts on the ending or anything else about the film? I’m eager to read other people’s reactions, but am surprised to see no one commenting since the release of the blu ray. Also, does Masters of Cinema still put their booklet essays online? I’m at work without my copy of the blu, and I can’t find the essays for Le Pont du Nord on their site.

(Edited for one very pesky spelling error!)


Last edited by Emak-Bakia on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:29 am 
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Pont du Nord is one of the films on my (purely honorary) top 5 films list -- alas, I have not yet had the time to watch the new Blu-Ray. (Long-ago I bought a multi-standard VHS player, just so I could watch the French video of this -- and a few other things only available in PAL and SECAM format).

My feeling with (most of) Rivette's films is that "experiencing" (and maybe reflecting) is more appropriate than "interpreting".


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