Le Pont du Nord ★★★

Oh boy. Only my second Rivette after Celine and Julie, in many ways it feels like a polar opposite. In that one, the duo rule over Paris through their magic and imagination, turning it into a playground of delightful cinema. From the get go, Nord feels like a heavy film. It's wrapped up in the pains of the past, both via the political violence of the 1970s and the loss of innocence of its protagonist. So in this one, the girls team up to use the same tools of Celine and Julie to escape the world of Paris, which is pretty much the opposite of pretty, characterized by the posters with eyes that the paranoid Baptiste cuts out and the wrecking balls taking down what's left of the old Paris, as if the old ways are literally crumbling before them. So why the low rating? A question of whether it all adds up to something, perhaps a film that speaks more to Rivette completists than this newbie. It's rigorous tone felt at odds with the magical journey, a film with a lot of invention and care for faces but one I felt distanced to. It's distractingly uninviting and the game in this one feels aimless and well, ultimately pointless. Which is the point I guess? Credit due to Rivette's use of non-classical Paris, the amazing performances by the Ogiers (especially the younger Pascale), and the ugly feeling to it all. Not sure what to make of it's final scene at all, especially the sort of self-reflexive gesture that I didn't feel at all. Would love to revisit again after seeing more Rivette.