Marianne (Emmanuelle Béart) and Edouard Frenhofer (Michel Piccoli)

The film begins with some people visiting an artist and turns into a duel between an artist and his new model. That new model is Marianne who is reluctantly volunteered to help the artist Frenhofer return to and complete his masterpiece. Once in the studio Frenhofer poses her in strange and uncomfortable positions. She stays naked for the majority of the film and we see her from every angle and he draws her from every angle as well. She starts out defiant, but begins to embrace the artistic process as he breaks down her shields and literally her body.

This is only my second Jacques Rivette film and it to is long. It comes out to be about four hours long. As a whole it doesn’t hold up for the full running time. However, when Frenhofer starts drawing and we see the many varied images of Marianne emerge, we go into a very calm and quietly interested state. It’s here that the film really had me hooked. The relationship between the model and artist which is supposed to be the center just didn’t do it for me. Still, for the drawing sequences I think this film is worth a look. Also, check out Clouzot’s The Mystery Of Picasso if you like the drawing as I did.

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