Jacques RivetteFrance240 minutes1991ColourFrench
NEW DIGITAL RESTORATION!
Absolutely essential: a new digital restoration of Jacques Rivette's magnum opus, a mesmerizing story of sexual betrayal, artistic paralysis, and the creative process. Michel Piccoli plays Frenhofer, a famous but long inactive painter who has sequestered himself in a country chateau with his wife Liz (Jane Birkin), a taxidermist nursing her own secret hurt. When he meets Marianne (Emmanuelle Béart), the sullen girlfriend of a young acolyte, Frenhofer finds his creative impulse suddenly renewed. Isolating himself in his studio with the young woman, the artist uses her in increasingly cruel ways as the model for his unfinished masterwork, which began as a portrait of his wife. As Liz monitors her husband's artistic renewal with escalating unease and jealousy, the painting becomes the centre of a vortex of conflicting wills. "The best film I have ever seen about the physical creation of art, and about the painful bond between an artist and his muse" (Roger Ebert).