Hurlevent

Sunday, 15 November 2009

hurlevent

hurlevent

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hurlevent

Let me introduce you to a small film. It had a quiet birth in cinemas in the 1980s and an even more sedate reception when it was finally re-released a few years ago. Jacques Rivette's Hurlevent is perhaps my favourite film from my thesis. In honour of me becoming a doctor this week, I want to offer an intimate and personal review of the baby of my thesis.

This is a French adaptation of Wuthering Heights by a director who was one of the founding members of French New Wave cinema. When I first heard of it four years ago, I was expecting a typical French New Wave film. It is not. It is quite apart from any other French New Wave films I've seen, and every other adaptation of Wuthering Heights.

This is the Wuthering Heights of my mind. Stark, uncomfortable, uncompromisingly honest, ascetic, and beautiful in its own violent way. I still remember the first time I saw it. Rivette doesn't need to invest in grandeur to depict beauty. Instead, he focuses on the contradictions of intimacy. The first thing you notice is the silence. There is hardly any dialogue or music. And when the music does come, it is all gypsy wailing. But perhaps what I love most about it, is that it is kind. Rivette painstakingly tries to depict women in ways that are not reductive or sweeping generalisations. This is indeed a rarity among New Wave directors.

I hope I've convinced you to see the film, if you haven't already done so ...

12 comments:

heleen said...

Hmmm, your review made me curious. I'll look for it next time I'm going to the local movie store!

even eve said...

i love that first picture. mountains and a blue dress.

Sundari said...

Definitely interesting. And I haven't seen any of his films. Only a bunch of Godard and Truffaut films. Will try to find it. I'm also so glad I read Wuthering Heights!

Eliza said...

you convinced me to see it, there is no doubt :) it sounds wonderful. i love from the bottom of my heart the adaptation of wuthering hights from 1993, but i might love this one as well. i shall see. thank you so much for sharing it with us all! ♥

gracia said...

Convinced? Yes! More than. Your words coupled with those cinematic stills has more than convinced me. Shall hunt for this for summer treat.

Mary-Laure said...

How is it that I never heard of this movie... I've always adored, and I mean ADORED, Wuthering Heights so this looks interesting. Love Emily Bronte's poetry, too.

ashley said...

wow, my arm is twisted, i adored wuthering heights and those images look dreamy. x ashley

A red lipstick said...

Hila, I've given you a blog award and some questions to answer!
Have a great weekend, and Shabbat Shalom!

Des said...

I've never heard of this film and it sounds excellent. I will definitely see it, and thank you so much for the recommendation.

Hila said...

I'm so glad I've managed to convert you all into lovers of Hurlevent :) I hope you enjoy it!

Len said...

Hi Hila!

Thanks for your nice comment on my lace necklaces via Loveology!
Recently I visited your site scrolling over her blogroll! I also love old(er) movies. But it is hard to find them! I am looking for Fille sur le pont (with Vanessa Paradis) for ages. Have you seen it?

Love Lennebelle

Hila said...

Yes, I have seen it - it should be available on amazon, have you tried there? And there's always ebay too.