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PARIS NOUS APPARTIENT
aka PARIS BELONGS TO US
UK: BFI (UK Wide)
Cast: Betty Schneider, Giani Esposito, Françoise Prevost, Daniel Crohem, François Maistre, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Demy, Paul Bisciglia, Jean-Pierre Delage, Teresa Gracia, Brigitte Juslin, Noëlle Leiris, Monique Le Porrier, Jean Martin, Henri Poirier, Malka Ribowska, Jean-Marie Robain, Louison Roblin, Andre Thorent, Anne Zamire
Director: Jacques Rivette
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 141 mins
UK Certificate: 12A contains frequent suicide references
UK Release Date: 14 April 2006 (Limited Release)
PARIS NOUS APPARTIENT is the remarkable first feature of Jacques Rivette, the great cinematic visionary and probably least known of the major French New Wave directors.
This twisting, enigmatic tale is like an intriguing game to which no one tells you the rules. Anne (Betty Schneider), a student from the provinces, becomes involved with her brother's circle of arty Parisian friends. An innocent outsider, she finds herself sucked into a mystery involving an American political refugee (a victim of McCarthyism), a self-destructive femme fatale and a Spanish activist who recently committed suicide - or could it be that he was murdered? Gradually, Anne becomes convinced of the existence of a vast, malign conspiracy.
Rivette's disquieting film, suffused with sexual and political tension, is as much about its setting - a long-vanished Paris full of fleabag hotels and corduroy-clad intellectuals - as about its story. It features guest appearances from fellow New Wavers Chabrol, Godard and Demy, a striking musique concrete score, and wonderful cinematography which manages to be luminous and ominous at the same time.
PARIS NOUS APPARTIENT was a long time in the making. Rivette, a prolific contributor to Cahiers du Cinema during the 50s, started shooting it on 16mm in 1957 and completed it slowly over a period of two years, as money allowed. Receiving its premiere in 1961, PARIS NOUS APPARTIENT successfully captured the mood of paranoia and uncertainty of that Cold War period - a mood that persists today.
Rivette's rarely seen debut, one of the most important and far-reaching of the early New Wave films was filmed in black and white.