Paris nous appartient

Remarkable first feature from cinematic visionary Jacques Rivette, brilliantly capturing the mood of paranoia and uncertainty of the Cold War period.

The remarkable first feature from the great cinematic visionary Jacques Rivette, probably the least known of the major French New Wave directors.

Anne, a student in Paris, becomes involved with a group of her brother’s arty friends and gets sucked into a mystery involving Philip, an expatriate American escaping McCarthyism; Terry, a self-destructive femme fatale; theatre director Gerard; and Juan, a Spanish activist who apparently committed suicide, but was he murdered? Philip warns Anne that the forces that killed Juan will soon do the same to Gerard, who is struggling to rehearse Shakespeare’s Pericles. Anne takes a part in the play in an attempt to help him and also discover why Juan died.

Rivette started making his first feature in 1957 and completed it slowly over a period of two years, as money allowed. Finally released in 1961, Paris nous appartient brilliantly captured the mood of paranoia and uncertainty of that Cold War period. Rivette’s rarely seen debut is one of the most important and far-reaching of the early New Wave films.

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 Waver directors Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Demy, a striking musique concrète score, and stunning cinematography in black and white, which manages to be luminous and ominous at the same time.

Special features

  • New filmed introduction by Jonathan Romney on Rivette and Paris nous appartient.
  • Le coup du berger (Rivette, 1957, 27 min).
  • Illustrated booklet with a review by Tom Milne; feature by Louis Marcorelles, originally published in Sight & Sound; director biography.

Product information

    • Certificate

      12

    • Colour

      Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Running time

      140mins

    • Subtitles

      English, English for the hard-of-hearing

    • Original aspect ratio

      1.33:1

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD656

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