Thursday, May 02, 2013

Rendez-vous

FR © 1985 T. Films / Films A2. P: Alain Terzian. D: André Téchiné. SC+dialogue: André Téchiné, Olivier Assayas. DP: Renato Berta. AD: Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko. Cost: Christian Gasc. Makeup and hair: Susan Robertson. M: Philippe Sarde. ED: Martine Giardano. C: Juliette Binoche (Nina / Anne Larrieux), Lambert Wilson (Quentin), Wadeck Stanczak (Paulot), Jean-Louis Trintignant (Scrutzler), Dominique Lavanant (Gertrude), Anne Wiazemsky (manager), Jean-Louis Vitrac (Fred), Olimpia Carlisi (Olimpia), Jacques Nolot (Max). 87 min. An Institut Français print with subtitles by Lenny Borger viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Juliette Binoche), 2 May 2013.

A furious coming-of-age story of a young actress called Nina (Juliette Binoche), desperately striving to discover herself and her talent as an actress, relentlessly chased by men.

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is the basic text towards the interpretation of which the movie is progressing. Playing a bit role in a boulevard farce, Nina gets acquainted with Quentin (Lambert Wilson), a mentally disturbed actor, now playing in a hard-core life show interpretation of Romeo and Juliet.

As Quentin dies, the master director Scrutzler (Jean-Louis Trintignant) appears at the funeral, and it turns out that in Scrutzler's previous Romeo and Juliet production Quentin had been Romeo and the director's 16-year old daughter had been Juliet. She has died in a car accident; Quentin drove.

Despite Nina's passion, Shakespeare's tragedy does not make sense to the young actress. Scrutzler's advice: "Play love like it's hate".

The decent youngster Paulot (Wadeck Stanczak), in love with Nina, first gets mad at her but finally grows up, overcoming the turbulence of Nina. It's a coming-of-age story for him, as well.

Although Rendez-vous is a sexually explicit movie it is a journey of the spirit. It's about the spirit  stronger than the flesh. Thanks to it, Nina transcends the violent, sadomasochistic maelstrom which Quentin (and even his spirit after his death) is trying to suck her into.

Stark, memorable performances from Binoche and the entire cast.

The print is clean but has a look of being duped or printed from a digital intermediate.

Key quotes from Shakespeare and St. John beyond the jump break:

ROMEO
How sweet is love itself possessed
When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy!

JULIET
(aside) My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathèd enemy.
(William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. (King James 2000 Bible: John 12:24)

Si le grain de blé qui est tombé en terre ne meurt, il reste seul; mais, s'il meurt, il porte beaucoup de fruit. Celui qui aime sa vie la perdra, et celui qui hait sa vie dans ce monde la conservera pour la vie éternelle. (Jean 12, 24-25).

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