Nuits blanches sur la jetée
his mid 80s, Paul Vecchiali enjoyed a surge of
productivity, making three low-budget features within two years.
in Nuits blanches sur la jetée (“White Nights on the Pier”) he pays tribute to
two of his revered idols – Jacques Demy and Robert Bresson – by adapting the Dostoevsky story “White Nights” that has also served Luchino Visconti (Le notti bianche, 1957) and
James Gray (Two Lovers, 2008) well.
is a tale made for cinema, staging the four nights in which a man (Pascal Cervo) falls in love with a woman (Astrid Adverbe) who waits, hopelessly, for another man to arrive
as he promised …
version of this story has at least three obligations: it must show the accelerated
path to intimacy between a man and a woman across four, talk-filled evenings;
it must have a liberating scene of music and dance; and it must invent its own
way to show the crushing moment of narrative dénouement.
Vecchiali does not disappoint
on any of these challenges. Working with his familiar ensemble of highly
disciplined actors and technicians, he creates touching, nocturnal dialogue
scenes that are rigorously sculpted in their découpage. He introduces – when
we least expect it – a magical intrusion of song and dance. And he brilliantly
twists the ending to match the technological landscape of our modern world.
Nuits blanches sur la jetée is among Vecchiali’s best works.
MORE Vecchiali: C'est l'amour
© Adrian Martin October 2015