Screened as part of NZIFF 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