Not Rivette’s best, but ‘Le Pont du Nord’ still worth a look

Bulle (left) and Pascale Ogier in “Le Pont du Nord.”
Bulle (left) and Pascale Ogier in “Le Pont du Nord.”the Film Desk

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Le Pont du Nord

The real star of Jacques Rivette’s “Le Pont du Nord” is Paris, but it’s hardly the Paris of Woody Allen or “Amelie.” Shot in early 1981, the film captures a city in flux -- old buildings are ripped apart by cranes and much of the action takes place in vacant lots and on construction sites. The whole movie seems made of rebar.

It’s a fitting landscape for a film that seems a summary of its maker’s obsessions. “Le Pont du Nord” is one of the lesser-known works by this most mysterious director of the French New Wave, and its appearance at the Harvard Film Archive is worthy of note. Rivette’s 1974 masterpiece, “Celine and Julie Go Boating,” had a rare revival at the Brattle last year, and for those audiences lucky enough to have seen it, “Nord” may seem like a playful, paranoid retort.

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