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540 Ratings

Le Pont du Nord

Directed by Jacques Rivette
France, 1981
Comedy, Drama, Avant-Garde
  • French
  • English


Marie gets out of prison – and can no longer stand to live between four walls. Baptiste comes from somewhere else, or so she says, and intends to live by her own rules. They seem to be united by some indefinable bond, and soon they set off on a bizarre quest that neither can understand.

Our take

Enter the world of Jacques Rivette! In Le Pont du Nord, the New Wave critic-turned-filmmaker literally turns Paris into a game board, a treasure hunt ending in a nasty surprise. Is it real or imagined? A story of friendship? A paranoid conspiracy? Decide for yourself. Paris belongs to us.

Le Pont du Nord Directed by Jacques Rivette
Le Pont du Nord" evokes what the German critic Walter Benjamin, writing about 19th-century French literature, called “the phantasmagoria of Parisian life,” a city in which “no matter what trail the flâneur may follow, every one of them will lead him to a crime.” Benjamin cites a novel where the hero initiates his adventure by following a windblown scrap of paper. “Le Pont du Nord” is Mr. Rivette’s successful gamble that a movie could be made the same way.
March 06, 2015
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Made in the aftermath of Rivette’s nervous breakdown, Le Pont du Nord finds the director recapturing his fondness for actorly interplay and a directing style that always uses its flourishes of movement to match and exaggerate the physicality of his performers. A wry humor creeps into the film.
February 16, 2015
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Like many Rivettes, the movie is a Bechdel Test champion, saturated with relaxed, self-possessed and undefensive womanhood. But most of all it has us dallying with these fabulous women on an almost childlike dream journey to nowhere — a form of play, and playacting — as though there were nothing better to do in the world.
February 13, 2015
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