Paris Nous Appartient (12A) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

Jacques Rivette's debut feature, first seen in 1960 and heralding the arrival of the Nouvelle Vague in France, reflects the haphazard history of its making; there seem to be layers of meaning and involvement that a casual viewer could not possibly penetrate.

It centres on a student, Anne (Betty Schneider), who arrives in Paris and is drawn into an intrigue that is somehow related to an American political refugee and a Spaniard called Juan, who has recently committed suicide. At its centre is a production of Shakespeare's Pericles - another mystery play - for which Anne auditions and from which she is then summarily dumped.

Later, Fritz Lang is referenced as a bunch of Parisian dudes gather round to watch Metropolis in someone's back room. Baffled? You will be, and perhaps bored and irritated, too. The film is a vintage record of early Sixties Paris, inkily photographed by Charles Bitsch, but the lofty obfuscation, the vague hints of conspiracy and the jangled musique concrete score eventually exert a lowering effect on the spirits.

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