A grand masterpiece, constructed out of the plane of the screen/camera itself, like the windshield of Jean's little blue car, an extension of (and crutch for) himself. The 180-degree rule made anew as Jean and Catherine vacillate endlessly, the set (the framing of the set) set-off from the camera by a line of demarcation, exemplified most directly in the cuts to the 16mm handheld shots from Jean's camera at the street bazaar.
Nightmares in Pialat's film that often goes unremarked: The French predilection for the seashore, body-exposing and loud; and that couples of that epoch got married like they were taking out a short-term loan.
"There's a man who cries in ORDET, a film by Dreyer." "Why?" "His wife's dead." "Parting's like dying." "But [Catherine's] alive, that's even worse."
At my blog: an essay I commissioned from Emmanuel Burdeau for the Masters of Cinema DVD release, along with translations of two Pialat conversations: