The Lovers on the Bridge
Les amants du Pont-Neuf
Color, Blu-ray projection source
Leos Carax’s “The Lovers on the Bridge” is one of the most spectacularly romantic films of the 1990s, an exploration of the intense, convulsive relationship between one-eyed artist Michele (Juliette Binoche) and alcoholic street performer Alex (Carax’s longtime collaborator Denis Lavant). Paris’ oldest bridge, the Pont Neuf, is both their home and their stage as they break up and get back together in increasingly explosive reunions, with the detonations becoming quite literal during a jaw-dropping re-creation of the epic fireworks display that marked the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.
One of the film’s ardent admirers, Stuart Klawans of the Nation, declares: ‘The Lovers on the Bridge’ is one of the most splendidly reckless films ever made — the film that might have torn through the mind of Godard’s Pierrot le Fou, after love made him paint his face blue and tie sticks of dynamite to his hair…. While the fuses sizzle near your head, Carax makes a film about orange flames shooting across a black sky; about a subway passage that turns into an inferno; about the thrumming and skittering of a cello sonata, random gunfire, a snowfall out of an old movie musical…. It’s a mistake, a wreck, an absurd imposture — a priceless gift.”
With an introduction and post-film discussion by Pier Marton, video artist and unlearning specialist at the School of No Media. Marton has lectured with his work at the Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum, and the Walker Art Center and has taught at several major U.S. universities.
Webster University’s Centre Francophone