La Belle noiseuse  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

La Belle Noiseuse is a 1991 film directed by Jacques Rivette and starring Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin, and Emmanuelle Béart. Its title means "The Beautiful Troublemaker". The film is loosely adapted from the short story "The Unknown Masterpiece" by the nineteenth-century French writer Honoré de Balzac.

The plot concerns a famous but reclusive painter, Frenhofer (Piccoli), who lives quietly with his wife and former model (Birkin) in a large château in rural Provence. When a young artist visits him with his girlfriend Marianne (Béart), Frenhofer is inspired to commence work once more on a painting he long ago abandoned - La Belle Noiseuse - using Marianne as his model. The film painstakingly explores Frenhofer's creative rebirth, using lengthy real-time takes of the artist's hand (provided by Bernard Dufour) working on the canvas.

The film had a good critical reception, and occasioned much comment on Béart's frank onscreen nudity and Rivette's characteristic use of an extreme running time.

Rivette used alternate takes from the film and made changes in the scene order to produce a 125-minute version, La Belle Noiseuse: Divertimento, for television; it was also released theatrically in 1993.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "La Belle noiseuse" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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