Don’t Touch the Axe a.k.a. The Duchess of Langeais (Ne touchez pas la hache)
Dir: Jacques Rivette
France/Italy, 2007, 137 mins, 35mm
Cast: Jeanne Balibar, Guillaume Depardieu, Bulle Ogier
While this hardly sounds like a title from Balzac, that classic origin underpins a 19th century chamber drama of love (perhaps), gambits and games between the estimable Duchess Antoinette de Langeais (Jeanne Balibar) and the warweary general, Armand de Montriveau (Guillaume Depardieu, Gerard’s oldest son). The film’s stark opening, with the Duchess cloistered away an island convent and the general on the other side of iron bars, frames a complicated duet of temptations and feints, actions and rejections, honor and rewards, that belong both to Rivette and to his beloved Balzac. Beyond his sheer elegance of camera, script and pacing, Rivette brings these elements out through the actors who carry the weight of this mighty yet constrained drama.
2007 Berlin International Film Festival, In Competition
7/1/2018 (SUN): Post-screening talk with William Lau
Package Discount: 30% discount to each purchase of standard tickets of both Don’t Touch the Axe and Around a Small Mountain.
- Hong Kong Arts Centre Cinema (Venue)
- HK Science Museum Lecture Hall (Venue)
- Hong Kong Film Archive (Venue)
- The Grand Cinema (Venue)
- The Metroplex (Venue)
- Festival Grand Cinema (Venue)
- the sky (Venue)
- Broadway Hollywood (Venue)
- UA Cine Moko (Venue)
- MCL Telford Cinema (Venue)
- Grand Windsor Cinema (Venue)
- Chinese Subtitles
- Category III
- Post-screening discussion with the director
- Director and/or actor(s) will meet the audience
- Post-screening talk
- Full House
1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.
2. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till one hour prior to respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).
3. While it is the HKIFF’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, HKIFF will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.