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Archive for January 11th, 2011

by Allan Fish

(France 1969 250m) not on DVD

Aka. Forbidden Love

Why must you, cruel one, inflame my wounds?

p  Georges de Beauregard  d  Jacques Rivette  w  Jacques Rivette, Marilu Parolini  ph  Alain Levant, Etienne Becker  ed  Nicole Lubtchansky  m  Jean-Claude Eloy

Bulle Ogier (Claire), Jean-Pierre Kalfon (Sebastien), Josée Destoop (Marta), Michèle Moretti (Michèle), Dennis Berry (Dennis), Yves Beneyton (Yves),

There’s something almost sado-masochistic at work here.  Ostensibly it’s a film about a marriage, and about that marriage’s disintegration, but as with so much of Rivette it’s a lot more besides.  This was truly the pivotal film in his career.  It was the film that turned him from the meticulous director of Paris Nous Appartient and the rigorous La Religieuse into the intelligentsia darling of the seventies.  It all really began here.

            Claire and Sebastien are a married couple working on a production of Racine’s ‘Andromaque’ when Claire, cast in the role of Hermione, stops and walks off the stage mid-rehearsal complaining at the invasion of the modish TV cameras there to record the creative process.  Sebastien is thus left with wondering how to keep the production alive, and how to deal with the gradual crumbling of his marriage, during which time Claire undergoes a form of equal parts breakdown and epiphany. (more…)

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