aka THE STORY OF MARIE AND JULIEN
Movie Review by Alice Castle
Starring: Emmanuelle Beart, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Anne Brochet, Bettina Kee, Olivier Cruveiller
Director: Jacques Rivette
“Twenty seven years ago, there were very few so-called fantastic films. That was not considered ‘mainstream’ at all. Today, on the contrary, we are drowning in fantastic films…”
– Director Jacques Rivette.
Rivette (VA SAVOIR) first started work on his film HISTOIRE DE MARIE ET JULIEN in 1976 but after two days of filming he gave up on the project, only to pick it up again twenty-seven years later. Julien (Jerzy Radziwiolwicz) is an introverted clock-maker living alone in a rambling but beautiful Parisian house with his cat. He is drawn out of his insular world by the prospect of blackmailing a woman who he has discovered is importing fake antiques. His motive for ‘getting rich quick’ is unclear and seems strange for such a solitary, intense man. Just as he seems about ready to close the deal and secure a small fortune he meets Marie (Emmanuelle Beart) and falls passionately in love.
Marie is a mysterious, gentle creature – sometimes distant. As Julien is drawn more and more in love with her, she seems to push and pull away. He wants to find out why she is such an enigma, but the truth is not at all what he expects. When Rivette talks about fantasy in film – he means the supernatural. The supernatural elements of the story unfold and Beart and Radziwiolwicz play their roles with passion and sensitivity.