1 place 2 filmmakers: Rivette & Chabrol in Ermenonville
At the end of Rivette's Paris nous appartient the actors who had been preparing a production of Pericles assemble 'at Jean-Val's place at Antony'. Antony is a suburban town south of Paris, but the film takes us in the opposite direction, north-east of Paris, to Ermenonville. The exact location is a keeper's lodge near the Etang du Désert:
Ermenonville is above all associated with Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who died there in 1778. That Rivette replaced the name that might revive this association with that of Antony suggests that, even if the film ends in a retreat to nature, it is not to be read as in any way Rousseauiste.
A more prosaic reason for going to Ermenonville would be that the parents of the film's cinematographer, Charles Bitsch, ran a restaurant and hotel there, La Croix d'or. For a film with a severely restricted budget any savings on the cost for lodging actors and crew would be appreciable. The film had already economised by using the apartment building of its producer, Claude Chabrol, as principal location.
We don't see the restaurant in Paris nous appartient, and I am only guessing that it was used as a production base for the Ermenonville shoot. We do see the restaurant, however, in a film made at around the same time on which Charles Bitsch was assistant director, Chabrol's Les Bonnes Femmes (1960):
Bitsch had no formal role in the making of Truffaut's Jules et Jim (1962), but his parents' restaurant again served as a production base for a shoot in the area. Not much of Ermenonville that is recognisable made the final edit, though I think this is Ermenonviulle, perhaps the rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau:
Rivette returned there in 1978 for Merry-Go-Round, and though Charles Bitsch was not formally involved in the production, his parents' restaurant was used as a location:
A shot from a hotel room onto the street shows the statue of Rousseau, suggesting that this time that association is a part of the film's imaginary:
A later sequence in Merry-Go-Round is also shot in Ermenonville, even though the narrative implies that this is somewhere near Joinville-le-Pont, some distance away:
Though it is a picturesque town with nearby château, forest and lakes, Ermenonville has not been used as a location as often as I would expect. Renoir used the exteriors of the château d'Ermenonville in Elena et les hommes (1956) and Franju filmed at nearby Chaalis for Judex (1963):
The earliest use of Ermenonville as location I have found is the 1913 Pathé version of the Christ story, in which the sandy expanse known as the 'mer de sable' stood in for Judea:
The most recent I have found is François Ozon's Une nouvelle amie (2014), using the church and cemetery at Ermenonville: