Le pont du Nord

Le pont du Nord

DVD - 2015 | French | Panoramique = Widescreen.
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Marie has just been released from prison, and encounters the paranoid loner Baptiste. They follow Marie's ex-lover Julien 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.
Publisher: New York : Distributed by Kino Lorber, [2015].
Edition: Panoramique = Widescreen.
Branch Call Number: PONT
Characteristics: 1 vidéodisque (128 min) : son., coul. ; 12 cm. + 1 livret.
1 videodisc (128 min.) : sd, col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet.

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v
voisjoe1_0
Sep 13, 2015

For serious film fans only! Jacques Rivette, one of the giants of the French New Wave, directed this film of Marie and Baptiste, two women possibly entangled in some kind of mystery plot. From the very first shots of Baptiste on a motorcycle we get the idea that something strange is going on and the film seems to be a surreal takeoff of films with a mystery and adventure plot. I will have to watch a second Rivette film to get a better idea of what he is doing. Ninety percent of Americans will make this their first and only Rivette film. One hour has been cut from this DVD version, but the remaining two hours is probably two hours too many for most viewers. Look for the "dead" person who starts getting off the pavement before the camera has left the scene. A mistake, or a joke on the audience?

j
jimg2000
Apr 05, 2015

I like the pair of actresses but the streets of Paris, circa 1981 was captivating. As in those days of big brother "Maxes", we now have big data from all the intelligence communities with their own list of "people of interest." The extra on the landmarks in the film was worth watching. I like those lions, at: Denfert Rochereau, on the pont Alexandre III, lions of ‘Le triomphe de la Republique’ (Dalou), the place de la République, rear entrance of the Hôtel de Ville, Davioud's Fontaine aux Lions ... See link to the montage of places in "Summary".

p
pl8
Feb 16, 2015

Imagination still beats special effects. In an early scene leather-clad Bapstiste circles stone statues of lions all over Paris on her scooter, staring them down. No dialogue, no exposition, we hardly know this character. Yet like Bapstste, we anticipate these lions suddenly coming alive and attacking the city and we understand that she is ready for them. No CGI, no explosions, no muppets, just human imagination, and yet we understand it and can almost see it happening. Both Bulle and daughter Pascale Ogier play two misfits who find themselves in the middle of a vague conspiracy (is it the government, the mob, terrorists, bank robbers, a secret society?....we never find out) and react to it with pure whimsy and fantasy. With a map of Paris that they decide is a Snakes-and-Ladders like board game, they travel as though pieces in the game, battle dragons and various thugs named Max, and contemplate the control they have over their own lives. Its a lot of fun to watch.

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j
jimg2000
Apr 06, 2015

Max to Marie: I haven't seen your file. But there are lists. A number of lists. When they start crossing off names, they go on till they're all gone. Stories like yours make everyone's life more complicated. You're supposed to disappear, so disappear!

Max to Baptiste: Breathe, breathe... It's a fight, but it's life too, you have to breathe. ... Never forget that a Kata is a fight with imaginary enemies. You'll never do anything if you don't feel it for real. ... It's not just a little shout, instead you really express yourself.

j
jimg2000
Apr 05, 2015

Marie: Power rules the daylight hours, might rules the night.
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Baptiste: Fine, once is an accident. And then twice is chance. But three times? That's fate.
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Baptiste: The air stinks, evil does the rounds, the Maxes are everywhere. Their gaze chases anything that moves.
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Marie: When I was little I lived in the country. The first time I said, "What a beautiful white horse," they all laughed at me. So, they explained to me that there were no white horses, and no black horses. That horses can be dark grey, pale grey, dark chestnut or light bay. Horsehair comes in different colours. You should know that, Baptiste.
...

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j
jimg2000
Apr 05, 2015

Extra, pictorial of selected old Paris in the film:
http://www.thecinetourist.net/le-pont-du-nord-locations-identified.html

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