Duelle (une quarantaine) (1976)

Duelle (une quarantaine) (1976)

Juliet BertoBulle OgierJean BabiléeHermine Karagheuz
Jacques Rivette


Duelle (une quarantaine) (1976) is a French movie. Jacques Rivette has directed this movie. Juliet Berto,Bulle Ogier,Jean Babilée,Hermine Karagheuz are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1976. Duelle (une quarantaine) (1976) is considered one of the best Drama,Fantasy,Mystery,Romance movie in India and around the world.

The Queen of the Night battles the Queen of the Sun over a magical diamond that will allow the winner to remain on Earth, specifically in modern day Paris.

Duelle (une quarantaine) (1976) Reviews

  • An Obscure Masterpiece


    This is part one of what was to be Jacques Rivette's four-part project "Scenes de la Vie Parallelle". The idea was to create four different films with a running sub-plot involving a mythical war between goddesses of the Sun and the Moon, fighting for possession of a mysterious jewel. This one was a "film noir" modelled after "The Seventh Victim" (which Rivette screened for the cast before the shooting began) with bits of "Kiss Me Deadly", "Lady From Shanghai" and "Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne" thrown in for good measure. An uncanny mood piece it takes place in a weirdly unpopulated Paris. Jean Weiner (who used to play piano at "Le Bouef sur le Toit") supplies live piano improvisations here, much in the manner of an accompanist for a silent movie. "Noroit" the second film in this series was a pirate adventure movie inspired by "Moonfleet" utilizing Tourneur's "The Revenger's Tragedy" as a frequently recited text --much in the way that Cocteau's "The Knights of the Roundtable" is quoted here. After these two Rivette began "Marie et Julien" with Albert Finney and Leslie Caron, but suffered a nervous breakdown three days into shooting. This brought the project to an end. This year (2003) however, he's gone back to "Marie et Julien" again with Emmanuelle Beart and Jerzy Radzilowitz. Maybe the four-part project will be compeleted after all.

  • A magical experience


    Just as "Céline et Julie vont en bateau" owed a great deal to the American cinema of the fifties,so its follow-up "Duelle" pays homage to certain films of the forties,in particular the work of Jacques Tourneur whose work created the maximum of suspense and fear with the minimum of means.This slight,ghostly tale of two goddesses of the sun and the moon who are permitted to spend only forty days on earth per year has a strange,ethereal quality which recalls the ambiguity and hidden menace of "Cat People".The playing in the lead roles of Rivette regulars Bulle Ogier and Juliet Berto is mesmerising,whilst the settings in a race-track,run-down hotel,a deserted metro station and a dance hall have a seedy,haunted feeling,and while the story might seem rather opaque,Rivette has confirmed that in order to understand it fully it is necessary to read two French novels,"Le Carnaval" and "La Femme celte" which are unfortunately both out of print.

  • Shhh! This film is a secret.


    Duelle seems to have been instantly cursed just by being the follow-up to Celine and Julie Go Boating, to this day the only Rivette film that the average buff concerns himself with ( and oh, how wrongly. ) Having finally gotten a chance to watch the film, I can see why. Where Celine and Julie could furnish a thousand college students with thesis papers on feminine play vs. masculine order, and the construction of meaning through the assumption of various roles associated with gender, and so forth, Duelle drops the intellectual ballast completely. Rivette outs himself as a mystic with this film, closer to charlatan-geniuses like Stockhausen or Rasputin than to Godard. This movie is almost like a Rosetta Stone, more dense and concentrated than anything else he's done, that the future expert will be able to use to decode his work. Rivette's overt and unmistakable belief in the eternal presence of God and Satan on earth makes this film unfashionable to the materialistic tastes of the cultured liberal brute. If it were less sincere, this film could have been one of Rivette's most popular. There is always something special about the first collaboration between a cinematographer and a director who would later go on to make a more-or-less permanent team -- such as Ballhaus and Fassbinder with the equally undervalued Whity -- and Duelle marks the first time Rivette worked with William Lubtchansky, who has been his right arm all the way up until Marie and Julien. Lubtchansky takes Rivette out of the scratchy 16 mm. ghetto and right into glossy, bejewelled Eurotrash, complete with a gliding Ophuls camera and Sternberg lighting. Only Harry Kumel made more stylish, elegant movies in the 70's than Duelle, though they are lesser in terms of content. But Rivette still takes pains, as always, to make the film feel deliberately antique, faded, so that it will be perfect for revival in the interplanetary silent movie theatres of the future. This movie is so attuned to my mental state that I felt like I was writing it as it proceeded, but most people will probably just find it incomprehensible. Rivette revels not in contradictions but in SEEMING contradictions. Bulle Ogier, apparently playing God, counts backwards all the time, kills the hero's girlfriend and attacks another important character with flames, yet she is still God, and still perfect good. There are many lines that will probably annoy non-devotees of French poetry, such as "The dream is the night's aquarium." And what does it mean when Jean Babilee, outdoing Travolta, raises his arm and smashes a dancehall mirror through telekinesis? Why does he wake up in the bottom of a parking garage and talk about killing a sister we've never seen ( not incidentally named Sylvie, like the innocent Sandrine Bonnaire in 1998's Secret Defense? ) Why does he become graceful and muscular, almost superhuman, when Bulle Ogier counts backwards and changes the universe to black-and-white? Why does Juliet Berto keep changing her costume? How do you escape the dancehall? If you know the answers to these questions, then it's time for you to assume the role of Sphinx, and maybe one day join Rivette in the stars.

  • Rivet's equally befuddling but creatively slacker follow-up of Celine and Julie go boating.


    In memory of the passing of Nouveau Vague spearhead Jacques Rivette (1928-2016), let's delve into WOMEN DUELLING, the follow-up of his pièce de résistance, CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974). The story is a convoluted mythopoeia, in modern-day Paris, with a close-knit cast of 7 (where two of them will exit the narrative earlier), it cobbles together a fantasy about two goddesses, Leni (Berto), the daughter of the moon and Viva (Ogier), the daughter of the sun, each year they only have 40 (une quarantaine) days to stay on earth. So in order to be endowed the power to remain here, both are seeking for a magic diamond, which is in the possession of a mysterious man Pierrot (Babilée, an agile dancer ), meanwhile his younger sister Lucie (Karagheuz) and his "ticket girl" Elsa (Garcia), who works in a dance club, are also drawn into the manipulative game instigated by Leni and Viva. Shot with a subdued palette, the picture refuses to grant easy access towards the motivations of its characters at the beginning, audience can only patch pieces of information together after an occult face/off between Leni and Viva in the middle point, then the plot device becomes clear, it seems an ultimate duel between them is inevitably scheduled for the climax, but Rivette mischievously rebuffs a supernatural bravura, and outsources the task to a human being to banish both goddesses out of our universe. As a fantasy piece, Rivette barely avails himself of special effect to sate viewers' triggered expectation, and utilises the more practical sleight of hand (editing, lightning and sound effect) to create the supernatural elements in the film. And there is a ubiquitous pianist (played by Jean Wiener) chaperons the narrative with his improvised music to condense a sublime sensation of mystics and metaphysics, conveyed through the overtly hollow and stilted dialogs. In the main, WOMEN DUELLING is off-kilter, tongue-in-cheek and chicly inviting, a telling testimony that Rivette's cinematic wonderland is sheer one-of-a-kind, and challenges our accepted viewing habits up to the hilt!

  • The coincidence of opposites


    Rivette is relatively precise in his dealings with meaning. He is the most atavistically ceremonious of the Vague, in the sense that his abstraction as a journey leading inwards is always attended by signs and codas that affirm our passage. The transcendent rite of passage, in more ways than one, is about the symbolic enactment that paves the way. The transcendence itself is left to our sphere of experience, but we're at least brought to the doorstep. Oh, there's the improvisational flow that seems to throw people off, that things seem to be randomly bubbling up from nothing without significant plan or substance. The chance encounters in a world that we may recognize, the geography vaguely familiar whose nature is yet ultimately insoluble. There's a lot of that here. As in Celine, it is the breathing space that conducts our preparation to step beyond the mechanisms of reason. We don't reason with it, rather trust its intuitive flow. Like the dream world, it is only the figment of the known world spontaneously arisen as a stage or blank slate for the atavistic portents and divinations of the subconscious mind to be writ. But the rite of passage matters, in spite of the seemingly aimless wandering. Here it is about human effort to bypass the 'wall of paradise' constituted by the coincidence of apparent opposites (good and evil, light and dark, being and non-being). A barrier that obscures vision and traps in a world of names and forms that is only an apparent reality. Rendered in the film as twin goddesses of sun and moon, vying for a precious stone that enables their descend into the human world. The human characters are mere pawns to their schemes; to be seduced, tricked, threatened, or ultimately destroyed. Twin femme fatales, weaving spells in an inverse noir universe magnified into a macrocosmic struggle. The ill-prepared man who chances to steal a glimpse of them in their true form, like in the myth of Actaion who steals upon the Greek goddess Artemis bathing naked in a pool, has his consciousness shattered by the revelation. His mirrored image (the soul, the reflected half) is cracked. The woman who finally shatters the illusionary duality that quarantines human consciousness into meaningless dilemmas, does so by a sacrifice of blood. And this is the problem of the film. So much of it is a stridently symbolic enactment, a matter of ceremony. The sacrifice is, quite literally, a matter of spilling blood upon the symbolic stone and does not flow from anything - it is simply the schematic end of the spiritual myth. Although valuable as insight, the meaning of the film is trapped inside the rituals performed to signify it. Having cracked the outer shell to absorb it, the film seizes to resonate.


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