The Lovers on the Bridge Screen 6 articles

The Lovers on the Bridge

1991

The Lovers on the Bridge Poster
  • In Les Amants du Pont Neuf Leos Carax provides the artistic response to Céline’s indictments, all while drawing upon the writer’s own ‘little invention.’ Sharing Céline’s mischievous disdain for conservatism of style and boredom with the sentimental, as well as his contempt for the phony, Leos Carax draws inspiration from the low artistic forms to create his own true ‘emotive account’...

  • Les amants du Pont-Neuf does not ask whether it is possible for love to occur between Alex and Michèle; the whole film is the celebration, the irrefutable confirmation of this as a fact. The real question at the beating heart of the film is: can this romance survive? Can it be prolonged through time? Like Philippe Garrel, Carax is a marvellous director of the ‘birth of love’, and just as haunted by the shadow of its death or disappearance.

  • When Lovers hit French theaters back in 1991, the main focus was on how much its investors stood to lose. Now, nearly a quarter-century after its debut, what stands out are the film’s expressive power, elemental imagery, and bona fide poetry. It lives up to its influences while creating something unique and genuinely moving.

  • Though [Binoche's character is] haunted by a past break-up and her failing vision and he is consumed by suspicious jealousy, director Leos Carax sets the film ablaze with a taste for reckless, fevered extravagance, enlisting the city’s Bicentennial fireworks as a backdrop and igniting all the ecstatic charm of this capital of love and cinema.

  • Carax has never not delighted in highlighting Lavant's acrobatic skillset, but he's never regarded his muse as thoughtfully as he does in The Lovers on the Bridge. In the scene of Alex's fire-breathing busk routine, the camera bobs and weaves along with Lavant's slinking movements, curving down with the leg that the actor slinks out as he falls into a catlike pose. Lavant is transfixing even when just walking, stumbling about with a newborn-like jerkiness that marks Alex as a Lost Boy.

  • On one level, it's a novelistic chronicle of bittersweet love in the vein of Jean Vigo’s romantic/anarchic L’Atalante (1934) and Jean Cocteau’s excursions into modern mythology. On another level, it has powerful documentary elements, most notably in the unsparingly clinical homeless-shelter sequence and in the visionary scene when Hans spirits Michèle into the Louvre for a clandestine look at her favorite painting (a Rembrandt self-portrait) before her eyesight vanishes for good.

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