The Lovers on the Bridge | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Lovers on the Bridge

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This 1992 French feature by Leos Carax (Boy Meets Girl, Bad Blood) could be the great urban expressionist fantasy of the 90s: like Sunrise and Lonesome in the 20s and Playtime and Alphaville in the 60s, it uses a city's physical characteristics to poetically reflect the consciousness of its characters. Carax daringly and disconcertingly begins the film as a documentary portrait of the homeless in Paris, but it becomes a delirious love story between two people (Denis Lavant and Juliette Binoche) who live on one of Paris's most famous bridges and experience the whole city as a kind of enchanted playground, a vision that reaches an explosive apotheosis during a fireworks display over the Seine. To realize his lyrical and monumental vision Carax built a huge set in the French countryside that depicted Pont-Neuf and its surroundings, making this one of the most expensive French productions ever mounted, not to mention Carax's best work to date. Also known as Les amants du Pont-Neuf. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, December 3 through 9.

--Jonathan Rosenbaum

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