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Paris nous appartient (Paris belongs to us)
Rivette’s first full-length feature is a cross between a time-capsule – Parisian Left-Bank society at its most self-obsessed, mixed with a good dose of cold-war paranoia – and an intriguing game to which no one tells you the rules. Anne, a provincial student, is invited to an arty party by her brother. Her first instinct is to leave immediately. But she doesn’t, and is inexorably sucked into a mystery involving an American political refugee, a self-destructive femme fatale and a Spanish activist. Starting with a shot from a train coming into the city, the film is as much about its setting – a long-vanished Paris full of fleabag hotels and corduroy-clad intellectuals – as about its story.