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



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


Jacques Rivette
Pascal Bonitzer
Christine Laurent
Shirel Amitay


Irina Lubtchansky


Nicole Lubtchansky


Pierre Allio


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)


Venice, Toronto, New York 2009; San Francisco 2010


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