Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Ne Touchez Pas La Hache

La Duchesse de Langeais is the French Wuthering Heights- the story of a life-consuming passion repeatedly thwarted by social convention, religion and the wilful perversity of the two protagonists. First she tortures him, then he tortures her, then she tortures him. A branding iron puts in an appearance- and there is a piratical raid on a convent. Rivette's adaption keeps close to the letter and spirit of Balzac's original, his camera holding the action at arm's length,  turning melodrama into case study.  Balinbar and Depardieu are tremendous. 
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