New 35mm prints of THE DEVIL, PROBABLY (1977) & LE PONT DU NORD (1981) (double feature)
Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, 2012:
New 35mm print!
THE DEVIL, PROBABLY
1977, France, 95 minutes, 35mm, The Film Desk
Written and directed by Robert Bresson
Starring Antoine Monnier, Tina Irissari, Henri de Maublanc, Laetitia Carcano, Nicolas Deguy, Régis Hanrion
In French with English subtitles
Sat & Sun: 7:30 pm
PLUS, on the same double feature:
Brand new 35mm print
LE PONT DU NORD
1981, France, 129 minutes, 35mm, The Film Desk
Directed by Jacques Rivette
Starring Bulle Ogier, Pascale Ogier, Pierre Clémenti, Jean-François Stévenin
In French with English subtitles
Sat & Sun: 9:25 pm
Notes on THE DEVIL, PROBABLY:
"Constructed as a flashback from news reports of a young man's suspicious suicide, Robert Bresson's splenetic 1977 drama puts the post-1968 world on trial and judges it unlivable. Charles (Antoine Monnier), a quietly imperious sensualist of blazing intelligence, lives idly in a bare garret and does little but brazenly chase women. Essaying the gamut of modern pursuits politics, religion, education, drugs, psychoanalysis he finds them all pointless, and his despair is deepened by atrocious documentary footage of dire pollution that he watches at the home of the writer and environmentalist Michel (Henri de Maublanc), whose girlfriend he steals. Bresson's chilling visions of daily lifeincluding a brilliant sequence aboard a bus that depicts the mechanical world as a horrorsuggest its hostility to the passions of youth. The film, however, offers a near-parody of the tamped-down spiritual universe of Bresson's earlier work: these children of the revolution tremble with uncertainty, and their loose gestures and shambling ways conflict with his precise images. Both the world and Bresson's cinema are in disarray, and the signs of his inner conflict are deeply troubling and tremendously moving."
Richard Brody, The New Yorker
"Even though Bresson has painted a dark picture of wasted youth and beauty, one comes out of the film with a sense of exultation. When a civilization can produce a work of art as perfectly achieved as this, it is hard to believe that there is no hope for it". Richard Roud
Notes on LE PONT DU NORD:
"Mother and daughter performers Bulle and Pascale Ogier star as an appropriately mismatched duo in Jacques Rivette's inventive outdoor fantasy Le Pont du Nord. Much like Bulle's claustrophobic character Marie, Rivette's film can't bear to enter enclosed spaces: in one of its best scenes (captured in a single, breathless long take) Marie swoons and sways her way through an extended elevated train ride, and the film seems to share in her heady mindset, never quite knowing if its setting (a Paris slowly but surely succumbing to modernization) is a paradise or an inferno. It's an intentionally amateur production through and througheven the boom mic intrudes now and again, perversely heightening the sense of fantasy while simultaneously demolishing an already tenuous fourth wall. As the knife-wielding kung-fu revolutionary Baptiste, the late Pascale Ogier (who would later star in Eric Rohmer's Full Moon in Paris) proves to be Rivette's finest and strangest leading lady since Juliet Berto. It's hard to believe this angular, extroverted brunette is the real-life blood relative of her categorically more calm and collected blond co-starin both physicality and temperament they are decidedly antithetical, proving the old adage that opposites do indeed attract. Rivette's fascination with conspiracies and complots is distinctly more shaky in Le Pont du Nord (he's only a few steps removed from Love on the Ground's head-long plunge into twee intellectual mysticism), but the film, which takes place just before the elections that toppled French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, is saved both by its performers and by the tactile qualities of its location photography. Even when the narrative irrevocably, and quite brilliantly, breaks down (with Marie succumbing to the story's mechanics while Baptiste unwittingly leaves them behind), Le Pont du Nord remains a stimulating document of a city in flux."
- Keith Uhlich, Slant Magazine
"Integrating the filmmaker's familiar elements of whimsical, quixotic adventure (Celine and Julie Go Boating), integrated - but unresolved - conspiracy (Gang of Four, Secret Defense, and The Story of Marie and Julien), and liberated bohemianism (La Belle noiseuse, La Religeuse), Le Pont du Nord is an effervescent, ingeniously constructed, and infectiously affectionate paean to the city of Paris. From Baptiste's (Pascale Ogier) hopeful sentiment of arrival after encircling the statue of the Belfort lion in Denfert-Rochereau (a symbol of French Resistance against the Germans) that is reflected in Marie's (Bulle Ogier) literal awakening at a random intersection, Jacques Rivette juxtaposes the theme of rebirth against images of Paris in perpetual state of demolition and construction (a state of constant flux and transition that is similarly captured in Jean-Luc Godard's Two or Three Things I Know About Her) that mirrors Marie's own existential state after being released from prison and an unresolved past of radicalism. Rivette further uses the recurring image of spirals - the serpentine form of a sculptured dragon, the weaving of spider webs (that also reinforces the deceptive, "non-mystery" quality to the film), the characters' labyrinthine pursuit of the contents of a mysterious briefcase carried by Marie's former lover, Julien (Pierre Clémenti), the district map of Paris (that Marie observes to resemble a children's board game) - to illustrate, not only the inextricability of destiny, but also the inherent impossibility of starting over. Set against a shifting and increasingly alien cityscape that, nevertheless, embodies a deeply rooted, cumulative cultural history of resistance and revolution, the film dispels the myth of tabula rasa - a metaphor for a generation's defeated idealism following the May 68 protests - that seeks to propel modernization and progress through flight and ideological amnesia. Nevertheless, Rivette retains the lyrical tone amid the seeming weight of human tragedy through Le Pont du Nord's indelible film-within-a-film epilogue that, like the parting shot in Abbas Kiarostami's subsequent film A Taste of Cherry, serves as a thoughtful document of transience, an affirmation of mundane ritual, and a subtle appreciation of the here and now."
- Strictly Film School
This is a double feature:
your ticket admits you to BOTH films on the program!
New Beverly Cinema (View)
7165 W. Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036