On a mission to reinstate the Spanish king Ferdinand VII, French General Armand de Montriveau leads his troops to a Spanish island. For five long years he has scoured every convent in Europe and the New World in search of a woman he once loved desperately who has now disappeared without trace. Here at last, he finds her. He asks to speak to the nun, Thérèse…
Paris, five years earlier. The restoration has triumphed, ushering in an era of hypocrisy, superficiality and avarice. Antoinette de Navarreins, the coquette wife of the Duke of Langeais, is a product of the epoch. Armand de Montriveau falls hopelessly in love with her the moment he sees her, and it would appear that his love is reciprocated. However, the duchess makes use of all her fashionable wiles to toy with his affections. Montriveau tries in vain to obtain irrefutable proof of her love for him, but Antoinette rebuffs him, hypocritically citing religious grounds. During a ball, Armand points to Antoinette’s neck and recalls a trip to West minster: “Don’t touch the axe” were the words of the guard on showing him the weapon used to behead Charles I. From this moment on, Armand de Montriveau decides to ignore his inamoratas and do everything in his power to get his revenge… —Berlinale
Jacques Rivette was born in Rouen in 1928. In 1950, he began attending the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin in Paris, and contributed articles to its bulletin, the Gazette du Cinema, edited by Eric Rohmer. During this time he embarked on his career as a filmmaker with his first short films, Aux Quatre Coins (1950), Le Quadrille (1950), and Le Divertissement (1952).
Rivette’s friendship with Rohmer led him to begin writing articles for the new film journal Cahiers du Cinema. Here he met and became friends with Claude Chabrol, Francois Truffaut, and Jean-Luc Godard. At Cahiers he became one of the first to champion contemporary American cinema as opposed to the staid French “cinema of quality”, then prevalent. He became known as a fierce advocate of the auteur theory and praising the work of such directors as Howard Hawks, Nicholas Ray, John Ford, and Robert Aldritch.
In the mid-1950’s he continued his filmmaking education by serving as an assistant… read more
The work of a Master. Rivette and Balibar (in an amazing performance) tease out the virgin coquette's contradictions without cheating any of her complexities. Rivette eschews the purple of the book but clarifies its relation to 2 of his own themes: the Great Love that cannot be begun or ended; and private spaces which restore personal sanity even while replicating the maddening demands of society as in a mirror.
On one level, a variation on La Belle et la Bete where Depardieu is both a human and beastial Marais and Balibar is Maria Cesares as Antoinette de Langeais. Yet also a Lubitsch romance under the gaze of Lang. Protagonists constantly seen walking though doors but never into, or out of, bed, while games which disguised their motives ultimately reveal their obsessions and "the pace that kills along the road to ruin."
Each of the Notebook's writers were given the opportunity to submit their ten favorite films of 2008 given at least a week's theatrical run
Each of the Notebook's writers were given the opportunity to submit two lists of their ten favorite films of 2008. One is restricted to films
Ne touchez pas la hache 2007
The film is an adaptation of the second of a trilogy by Honoré de Balzac entitled The Duchess of Langeais with the collection called… read review