Tuesday, 13 November 2007

PARIS NOUS APPARTIENT/Paris Belongs to Us (1960)

Win some, lose some. Back in the late Sixties a moviegoing friend told me that he though Jaques Rivette's PARIS NOUS APPARTIENT was one of the most boring films he'd ever seen. Naturally I couldn't wait to see it. For some reason it has taken me until now to catch up with it and I have to say that my friend's judgement on the film seems pretty sound. Yes, yes, I know it is greatly admired in some circles and is regarded as a key film of the nouvelle vogue, but it didn't work for me. A young girl(played by the extraordinarily ordinary Betty Shneider) is a member of a theatrical troupe who endlessly rehearse Shakespeare's "Pericles" - the forthcoming production of which seems to hold the fate of the world in its hands. She learns by accident of a conspiracy which her fellow actors and her brother seem aware of but are unwilling to explain to her. People die, are suspected of treachery and nobody seems willing to accept any events at face value. Well, I own up to slipping off to dreamland several times while attempting to watch the film and this did not help my understanding of the plot (which is obviously meant to be cryptic) but neither did the film make me want to wake up and pay attention. The disc from the BFI contains also an earlier short film by Rivette (COUP DE BERGER) from 1957 and an interesting appreciation of the director which initially sparked my interest but which was totally negated by watching the film itself. Rating **

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

The "extraordinary ordinary Betty Shneider" is now officially my favourite phrase of the week!!! Tee hee!!!

Oh, and if the "nouvelle vogue" cinema is anything like "nouvelle cuisine", I believe I'll pass.