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DON'T TOUCH THE AXE

France / Italy, 2007 (MIFF 2008, International Panorama)

Director: Jacques Rivette

DON'T TOUCH THE AXE

"A masterpiece... ‘cruel ironies' doesn't even begin to describe it." - Time Out London

The latest in Jacques Rivette's series of adaptations of Honore de Balzac's work is a dramatisation of La Duchesse de Langeais. Set in the salons of 1820s Paris, it chronicles the doomed courtship between a Napoleonic war hero (Guillaume Depardieu) and the Parisian socialite (Jeanne Balibar) who becomes the focus of his seductions. At first she toys with him with all the precision of a chess grand master, but when he launches his counter attack their innocent flirtation quickly turns into a vengeful test of each other's love.

A sly, subtly executed study of the complexity of human desire, Rivette's ultimate thesis is a compelling version of ‘all's fair in love and war'.


D Jacques Rivette P Roberto Cicutto, Martine Marignac, Luigi Musini, Ermanno Olmi, Maurice Tinchant S Jacques Rivette, Pascal Bonitzer, Christine Laurent WS Les Films du Losange L French w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2007/137mins

See also...

STORY OF MARIE AND JULIEN, THE

France, 2004
The Story of Marie and Julien (L' Histoire de Marie et Julien) France'In many of Jacques Rivette's sublime films, enigmas come wrapped in mysteries before eventually disclosing their secrets; The Sto… More »

NUN, THE

France, 1966
“Influenced by the films of Mizoguchi, Bresson, Preminger and Cocteau, The Nun qualifies as cinematic manna.” - Cinémathèque Ontario ... Jacques Rivette's magnum opus was initially banned withi… More »

PARIS BELONGS TO US

France, 1960
The writer, Charles Peguy, once reflected that Paris belongs to those who spend the summer there preparing for the winter season. In the heat of August, and in an empty Paris, Rivette documents the m… More »

LOVE ON THE GROUND

France, 1984
LOVE ON THE GROUND (L'AMOUR PAR TERRE) is probably the most important film Rivette has made since L'AMOUR FOU. the first film in which his opposition to conventional narrative was clearly expressed. … More »

HURLEVENT

France, 1985
Based on Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Jacques Rivette sets a drama laced with hatred, love, revenge and depravity. Although Catherine is in love with Roch, a foundling brought up by adoptive pare… More »

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