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Love 'Amour'? Check Out These Classics Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva

Features
by Beth Hanna
January 3, 2013 12:50 PM
1 Comment
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Emmanuelle Riva in "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" and Jean-Louis Trintignant in "The Conformist"
Octogenarian French acting legends Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva give stunning, energetic performances as a married couple facing the bitter end in Michael Haneke's critically lauded, multi-awarded "Amour." Below, a look at some of the classic films that put Trintignant and Riva on the map.

Our TOH! interview with Haneke is here, and the recent New York Times profile of Riva is here.

"My Night at Maud's"
1. “My Night at Maud’s” (1969) Trintignant stars as Jean-Louis, an engineer loner living in the wintry bourgeois provinces in Eric Rohmer’s elegant, talky portrait of relationships and chance. A devout Catholic, Jean-Louis has his ideal future mapped out with alarming certitude -- right down to the pretty blonde stranger he plans to marry. His unshirking path is impeded, however, when he spends Christmas night with a sexually confident, cards-on-the-table divorcee (Francoise Fabian). Nestor Almendros’ crisp black-and-white cinematography paired with Rohmer’s unusual editing style, which lets shots linger on faces during long conversational sequences, affirmed a brilliant, ongoing director-cinematographer collaboration. It is the second feature in Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales.

2. “Hiroshima, Mon Amour” (1959) This early staple of the French New Wave was 32-year-old Riva’s first screen credit and Alain Resnais’ first feature, shooting both to international stardom following the 1959 Cannes film festival. Riva gives a performance at once bright and anguished, playing an unnamed French actress in Hiroshima, Japan, for a film shoot. She meets and falls in love with a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) over the course of one feverish day and night. As the two wander a city that seems in a delicate state of repair and yet perversely ordinary, captured by remarkable location shooting that serves as an historical document, Riva excavates personal wartime memories from the debris of her past.

3. “The Conformist” (1970) In Bernardo Bertolucci’s stylish adaptation of Alberto Moravia’s novel, which garnered the director an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, Trintignant stars as Marcello, an inscrutable young man so traumatized by a sexually abusive childhood experience that he becomes a murderous pawn for the Italian Fascist movement and a miserable husband to a tittering dimwit (Stefania Sandrelli). Bertolucci’s zany direction and use of punchy, popping 1930s art deco set design is in fine contrast to Trintignant’s performance -- all glassy eyes and mechanical limbs, hiding an abundance of pain.

1 Comment

  • aquarius1271 | January 6, 2013 2:24 AMReply

    where's un homme et une femme?

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