Up/Down/Fragile

Inspired by the MGM low-budget quickies that were shot on sets left over from other films, Rivette made a musical on his own backlot-the streets, alleys, and everyday haunts of Paris. He brings into this offbeat and energetic work the sense of chance and the interweaving group encounters we find in his other Paris films. Three women—Louise (Marianne Denicourt), just emerged from a five-year coma; ex-moll Ninon (Nathalie Richard); and Ida the librarian (Laurence Côte)—pursue their personal mysteries in the lazy heat of a city summer. More than one of their paths will lead to the chanteuse Sarah (Anna Karina), and to Roland (André Marcon), the ubiquitous Gene Kelly figure of the film. “(Rivette) knows MGM musicals like the back of his hand. But (for him) this knowledge is precious because it enhances and poeticizes real life, not because it offers an alternative or escape” (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader).
—Judy Bloch

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