Love on the Ground

Love on the Ground (French: L'Amour par terre) is a 1984 French film directed by Jacques Rivette. The film stars Jane Birkin, Geraldine Chaplin, André Dussollier and Jean-Pierre Kalfon. It was released in France on 17 October 1984.

Love on the Ground
Promotional poster
Directed byJacques Rivette
Produced byArthur Cohn
Martine Marignac
Written byPascal Bonitzer
Marilù Parolini
Suzanne Schiffman
Jacques Rivette
StarringJane Birkin
Geraldine Chaplin
André Dussollier
Jean-Pierre Kalfon
CinematographyWilliam Lubtchansky
Edited byNicole Lubtchansky
Distributed byGaumont
Release date
17 October 1984
Running time
125 min
169 min (director's cut)


On the streets of Paris, a man mysteriously collects a group of people, finally leading them into a small apartment to witness a theatre performance. The audience, in close proximity to the actors, become voyeurs. As they walk from room to room, they watch as bumbling Silvano (Bo) attempts to hide his two girlfriends, Charlotte (Chaplin) and Emily (Birkin), from each other in this same crowded apartment. While the actors feel frustrated at the shambles of a set they must work with, the play’s author, Clément Roquemaure (Kalfon), is silently auditioning them for his new play, to be held at his strangely empty mansion. After arriving at the unusual mansion, which has many wildly painted rooms, Charlotte and Emily start to experience disturbing visions, in part due to the presence of a magician, Paul, who also lives at the mansion. As the rehearsal progresses, the two actresses' visions start to unearth a romantic calamity that took place at the mansion. The final performance of the play places the two actresses into a possible tragic re-enactment of the very horror they are only now beginning to understand.[1]



Janet Maslin of The New York Times noted that the screenplay "wittily affords the director a great many opportunities for a brand of gamesmanship that enlivens the film without trivializing it. Mr. Rivette is able to sustain a complex, shifting relationship between the real and the theatrical without losing the film's overriding sense of fun." Maslin continued her analysis; "The process by which Clement's theatrical work is molded to fit reality, and vice versa, is rendered in a clever, entertaining style that fits perfectly with the behavior of the participants, since Mr. Rivette displays a cool ingenuity that matches that of the performers. Even when it becomes entangled in the romances that take shape during the course of the week, the film sustains its trickiness and sophistication." Maslin also praised the casting; "Miss Birkin and Miss Chaplin make an invigorating team, and the combination of their offbeat styles is full of surprises."[2]


  1. ^ Rivette: Love on the Ground / The Gang of Four Reverseshot. Retrieved on 30 July 2011
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet. "Amour Par Terre" by Jacques Rivette. The New York Times. 7 October 1984. pp. 86

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