Around a Small Mountain (image 1)

A spellbinding ode to the theatre of everyday life and the actors who prance in and out of its cirque.

Erik Morse, San Francisco Bay Guardian

Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Around a Small Mountain 2009

36 vues du Pic St-Loup

Directed by Jacques Rivette

“French New Wave alumnus Jacques Rivette offers a ramshackle road trip across France’s Languedoc region with an underperforming circus troupe in this effervescent miniature.” — Time Out. With Jane Birkin.

France In French with English subtitles
84 minutes

Director

Producers

Maurice Tinchant
,
Martine Marignac
,
Luigi Musini
,
Robert Cicutto
,
Ermanno Olmi
,
Sergio Castellitto
,
Margaret Mazzantini

Screenplay

Jacques Rivette
,
Pascal Bonitzer
,
Christine Laurent
,
Shirel Amitay

Photography

Irina Lubtchansky

Editor

Nicole Lubtchansky

Music

Pierre Allio

With

Jane Birkin (Kate)
,
Sergio Castellitto (Alexandre)
,
André Marcon (Marlo)
,
Jacques Bonnaffé (Clémence)
,
Julie-Marie Parmentier (Margot)
,
Hélène de Vallombreuse (Wilfrid)
,
Tintin Orsoni (Barbara)
,
Vimala Pons (Tom)

Festivals

Venice, Toronto, New York 2009; San Francisco 2010

Elsewhere

New Wave veteran Jacques Rivette sets a tentative late-life romance between a performer and an intrigued admirer in a tiny ramshackle circus travelling around France’s Languedoc region.

“The 81-year-old Jacques Rivette’s brisk, richly textured diversion stars Jane Birkin as a member of a travelling circus and Sergio Castellitto as a dapper drifter who… falls for her and insinuates himself into the confidences of the small troupe. Rivette lovingly films the performers at work – half the movie shows the artists who are, as their leader says, ‘the last of the classics’ working out a timeless routine – and dramatizes, with a sly charm, the crucial role that a sensitive outsider (a critic of sorts) plays in their art. Elements of the past bubble to the surface and the clowning turns deadly serious as Rivette elaborates a new twist on his lifelong theme: the inseparability of identity from acting, of life from theatre.” — Richard Brody, New Yorker