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The Lovers on the Bridge (Version française) [Import]
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How can a movie be so ludicrous and so ecstatic at the same time? The Lovers on the Bridge stars Juliette Binoche as a street person (there, in a nutshell, is the ludicrous part) who was formerly an artist, but began to go blind and whose life fell apart as a result. She hooks up with a homeless street performer (Denis Lavant) who lives on a bridge in the middle of Paris that has been cordoned off for repairs. He falls madly in love with her; she can't bear the thought of being close to anyone. Both are more than a little irrational. But this banal scenario is merely the pretext for a series of lush and stunning images--including midnight water-skiing, fireworks displays, wandering through falling snow, burning posters in subway tunnels--and richly committed performances from the actors. It's not quite as overwhelming on video as it is on a movie screen, but there's such a gushing of emotional images that it's hard to resist the angst and yearning passion. Though the film dives into some cliches, it manages to avoid others; when Binoche's wealthy family starts looking for her, a frightened Lavant tries to keep her hidden away, and you really don't know whether their relationship can possibly survive. An unusual and sweeping film--and an example of the power of visual images to create a state of rapture. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was fortunate enough to see this first in a theatre (the Walter Reed at Lincoln Center) so the full impact of the beauty of the film came through better than would be possible on a home system. However, I bought the DVD from Amazon UK several years ago and it is well worth owning.
Following Boy Meets Girl (very good) and Mauvais Sang (wonderful,) the followup to Lovers on the Bridge which was Pola X was staggeringly disappointing and undiciplined. Worth owning largely for Scott Walker's brilliant soundtrack I could only look at it aghast and wonder what happened.
There is nothing even scheduled by Carax in the new "improved"(?) Amazonified imdb. We can only hope that he returns with something even approaching having the sense of wonder and intensity of this masterpiece.
Not just worth owning, but utterly mandatory.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Upon the film's opening we see Alex, a homeless street performer, collapse in a drunken stupor and get practically run over. In the same breath, we see Michelle walking through the streets carrying a portfolio of her artwork. Next thing you know, they are sharing a bridge and concealing secrets and falling in love. Michelle is suffering from a severe disease that is corroding her eyesight and has obviously wreaked havoc on her life (since it becomes rather obvious early on that she at one time was wealthy) and so now she is living a life of destitution. Michelle is distant and reserved and obviously shielding herself from affections, but Alex thrusts himself into her life and starts to (rather aggressively) build a relationship with her. They complement one another and draw each other out in ways that others could not.
But love is never easy, especially if you're homeless.
Binoche and Lavant build very complex characters and develop them thoroughly throughout the film, even without letting us know their pasts entirely (there is still much mystery left to Michelle's past, even at the film's closing). We feel as though we know them inside and out, and that is a feat in itself. Really though, this is Leos Carax's story and his film and he carries it marvelously. The film is visually enriched by sharp cinematography and an understanding of the importance of emotional conveyance through imagery.
This is a love affair that is far removed from what we are used to. It isn't glamorous or lavish and yet it feels all the more earnest and sincere. When the film ends, you will most definitely be moved!
depiction of homeless life in Paris then, by turns, it's romantic, sweepingly beautiful, fable-like and nearly tragic.
All the actors are spellbinding as are the visuals of Paris. Many moments, including the breathtaking sequence
of the lovers speeding down the Seine surrounded by magnificent fireworks; their balletic, drunken dance on
the bridge; his fantastical, gymnastic fire-eating performance are unforgettable. The bold, passionate choices
of the director and the mesmerizing performances make you believe that even when life seems hopeless,
love is still possible.
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