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The Duchess of Langeais

Film/Video

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The Duchess of Langeais
Jacques Rivette, 2007
Fri, June 20, 2008 7 PM
Sat, June 21, 2008 7 PM
"This is aesthetic bliss on a dizzyingly high level. A masterful, multilayered, sometimes enigmatic work of dark irony."—Glenn Kenny, Premiere

Jacques Rivette, the most elusive of the French New Wave filmmakers, at 80 years of age is as nimble as ever with his third—and most faithful—adaptation of Balzac, The Duchess of Langeais. The exquisite Jeanne Balibar plays the title character who frequents the most extravagant balls in 1820s’ Paris and leads on a smitten Napoleonic general (Guillaume Depardieu) in a hot and cold game of dueling seductions. The film’s French title literally translates as “Don’t Touch the Axe” and that provocative phrase gives a sense of the film’s treatment of love in the alternating throes of repression and danger. (137 mins., 35mm)

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