Wexner Center for the Arts

Le Pont du Nord


“The most alive movie I saw at the festival (New York Film Festival 1981). Leaves me with a whole album of indelible images and unnerving emotions.”—Jonathan Rosenbaum

Viewed as a “comeback” film of sorts for Jacques Rivette, the noir-ish Le Pont du Nord follows the adventures of a middle-aged woman just out of prison (Bulle Ogier) and a moody, scooter-riding younger woman (Ogier’s real-life daughter, Pascale). After the two meet by chance, they find themselves in possession of a mysterious briefcase that leads them on a series of excursions through Paris. That the film was shot in 16mm and on the cheap in the streets of the city only serves to complement Rivette’s typically improvisational style. Although well received on the festival circuit in 1981, Le Pont du Nord didn’t receive a US theatrical release until this year. (129 mins., 35mm, in French with English subtitles)

This is the July 2013 film in the Wex’s ongoing, monthly Film History 101 series.