Archive of films The Story of Marie and Julien / L' histoire de Marie et Julien

France / Italy
2003, 150 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2004

A watch repairman, used to the ticking of the clock and the thought that he is the master of his own temporal affairs, must sing a different tune after reencountering a former love.


Lonely Julien Muller looks completely ordinary, just like his half-empty house with its watch repair shop. Later we begin to regard his profession symbolically, not so much because of the odd, blackmailing relationship he has with a demonic "madam," but rather because of his ties to the mysterious Marie. A year ago, fate brought them together, but then Marie vanished without a trace. Now she has reappeared just as inexplicably. They move in together and Marie fluctuates between moments devoted to love and passion and those filled with aloof and icy numbness. She seems like someone come from a world where time has no value, nor anything built upon it or which grows within it… And Julien, used to measuring everything by the hands of the clock, stands helpless before a revealed mystery… The film creates its particular tension by transforming an everyday environment into a deceptive labyrinth containing magic elements which sends barely perceptible signals to its characters.

About the director

Jacques Rivette (b. 1928, Rouen), one of the initiators of the French new wave, first caused a sensation with The Nun (La religieuse, 1965), an original adaptation of Diderot´s novel of the same name in which he (the author as well) courageously disregards various church taboos. This film was an early indication that Rivette would not follow the path chosen by his famous contemporaries. He was interested in neither socio-political aspects of the present day nor in fashionable existential themes. Instead, he turned to the world of sophisticated narrative structures, the kind which art creates. In his films, clearly fictitious plots and exemplary characters mingle with fragments of actual facts, fantastic visions and intellectual speculation. Bizarre coincidences and mysteries become elements of reality with disturbing matter-of-factness. Selected filmography: Celine and Julie Go Boating (Céline et Julie vont en bateau, 1974), The Beautiful Troublemaker (La belle noiseuse, 1991), Secret Defence (Secret défense, 1997).  


Celluloid Dreams
2, rue Turgot, 75009, Paris
Tel: +33 149 700 370

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Jacques Rivette
Screenplay: Christine Laurent, Pascal Bonitzer, Jacques Rivette
Dir. of Photography: William Lubtchansky
Editor: Nicole Lubtchansky
Producer: Martine Marignac
Production: Pierre Grise Productions
Cast: Emmanuelle Béart, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Anne Brochet, Nicole Garcia, Bettina Kee
Contact: Celluloid Dreams


Roman Paul

Producer, Sales Agent


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