|A ghostly Emmanuelle Beart in Marie and Julien.|
My education in the films of Jacques Rivette continues. As I understand it Rivette had been trying to make The Story of Marie and Julien since the 1960s, at that point to star Albert Finney and Leslie Caron, but the film never materialized until 2003. It was to be one of his last completed films. It shares a similar formal quality with Rivette’s Secret Defense (1998), a revenge thriller that has the detached feel of a mathematical proof. Marie and Julien is enlivened by the fact that it’s both a love story and a ghost story. Marie and Julien’s love affair is in the Romantic/Gothic tradition of Pelléas and Melisande, Vertigo, and Washington Irving’s “Adventure of the German Student,” with an ending that owes something to fairy tales like Pinocchio and The Velveteen Rabbit: the undead Marie (Emmanuelle Beart), moved to tears by the suffering of her lover Julien (Jerzy Radziwilowicz), magically regains her mortality. It’s too reserved and sane to be top-tier Rivette, but its restraint is appropriate to the somberness of the plot, and it has an erotic edge that one normally doesn’t encounter in his films—with the possible exception of La Belle Noiseuse.
|The Story of Marie and Julien: Nevermore (Gaspard) in the clock.|
|Merry Go Round: Joe Dallesandro with kitten.|
|Celine and Julie Go Boating: The cat watches.|