Wandering the streets of Paris, claustrophobic ex-con Marie (Bulle Ogier) meets a free spirit in troubled teen Baptiste (Pascale Ogier), and together they set out to solve a mystery surrounding an old map of Paris that Marie finds in the suitcase of her former lover from her anarchist days.
In French New Wave director Jacques Rivette’s Le Pont du Nord, the classic Don Quixote tale is transposed to 1980s Paris. Bulle Ogier (best known for her work with husband Barbet Schroeder in films like La Vallée and Maîtresse) is Sancho Panza and her daughter Pascale (who tragically died just two years after this film was released), is Quixote, while the construction of the banlieues of Paris are the windmills that Quixote feared were giants.
Playing out like a surreal snakes-and-ladders board game involving hinted at conspiracies and paranoia, this mystical, hypnotic film is gorgeous to watch thanks to cinematographer William Lubtchansky’s dawn and dusk shots of a Paris that only Parisians see. The lack of a clear narrative may not be to everyone’s taste, but this is cinema at its purist.
The Masters of Cinema Series special edition Blu-ray features a new 1080p transfer (and a progressive transfer on the DVD) in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio, with optional English subtitles; plus a collector’s booklet, featuring new and vintage writings on the film, as well as rare archival imagery.