STORY OF MARIE AND JULIEN, THE Director: JACQUES RIVETTE FRANCE 2003 SUBTITLED COLOUR DTS STEREO 150 MIN. Book cinema tickets Following the relatively lightweight charms of Va savoir, Rivette returned to darker material with Marie et Julien. Described by the director as a ghost story, this brooding drama combines elements of the uncanny with the director’s more typical preoccupation with mysteries and conspiracies. Jerzy Radziwilowicz ( Secret defense) plays a solitary clock repairman who is unexpectedly reunited with Marie (Emmanuelle Beart of La Belle noiseuse), a mysterious beauty he met a year earlier. Marie moves into Julien’s cluttered old house-cum-workshop, which he shares with a mischievous black cat named Nevermore. At first the focus is on the gradual reacquainting of the title characters, who are as broken down by time as any of Julien’s clocks. Gradually it becomes apparent that Marie is a very strange creature who seems doomed to repeat past tragedies in her life. Typically, Rivette refuses to spoon-feed his audiences and makes few obvious distinctions between scenes of fantasy and reality. Different or parallel realities coexist and intermingle as the film develops into a hypnotic and finally very moving exploration of the role played by missed opportunities and misunderstandings in affairs of the heart. Beart and Radziwilowicz give wholly committed performances in a film with some surprisingly candid sex scenes. Peter Walsh. Director: JACQUES RIVETTE FRANCE 2003 SUBTITLED COLOUR DTS STEREO 150 MIN.