Up, Down, Fragile

  • Dir: Jacques Rivette

  • France, 1995, 169 mins, 35mm

  • Cast: Marianne Denicourt, Nathalie Richard, Laurence Côte, Anna Karina

Rivette’s charming tribute to MGM’s lowbudget musicals of the 1950s infuses itself in an essence of the musical genre, all while flouting its expectations. Set in Paris – the “nexus of magical encounters” (Jonathan Rosenbaum) – Up, Down, Fragile centers on three women: Ninon, a working-class girl taking up a job as a moped-riding messenger; Louise, an upper-class woman finding her bearings after a five-year coma; and Ida, a librarian who seeks her birth mother via a halfremembered tune. Via impromptu intersections and seemingly random tangents, the characters interact, dance and sing – blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, and between actual sets and real locations. As in other Rivette films, the actresses created their own characters, and here, also wrote some of the songs.

12/11/2017 (Sun): Post-screening talk with William Lau




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