Join 3,559 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Jacques Rivette
January 29, 2011 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Jacques Rivette, who emerged in the 1950s... as one of the primary filmmakers of the French New Wave, is the most underappreciated (and under-screened) of this legendary group. Rivette’s deliberately challenging, super-size films defy easy assimilation, and demand a level of attention unusual even to his compatriots’ works. In addition to being considered difficult, however, Rivette’s body of work is also, arguably, the richest of the New Wave era, possessing an intellectual inquiry and humanity unmatched in the French cinema of his time.

Roger Ebert includes La Belle Noiseuse (nsfw pix of Emmanuelle Beart) in his Great Movies collection. [Better to torrent the full version than settle for the 2-hour version titled Divertimento.]

Another good starting point is Céline and Julie Go Boating.
posted by Joe Beese (11 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is there a good reason why Céline & Julie isn't available on DVD in the U.S.? It's such a fantastic movie, but I'm always surprised at how poorly known it seems to be. His recent films have been wonderful as well . . .
posted by with hidden noise at 12:42 PM on January 29, 2011


Is there a good reason why Céline & Julie isn't available on DVD in the U.S.? It's such a fantastic movie, but I'm always surprised at how poorly known it seems to be. His recent films have been wonderful as well . . .

Céline & Julie was owned by New Yorker Films. A DVD release was slated, and I knew of at least one person who had contributed materials for the special features before New Yorker went under in 2009. They've returned since then, but it'll likely be a while before they start handling their old catalog again.
posted by alexoscar at 12:57 PM on January 29, 2011


I saw 'Celine & Julie' at the HFA many years ago. It was wonderful, and I've wanted to revisit it.

Relieved that this isn't an obit post!
posted by pxe2000 at 12:58 PM on January 29, 2011


Also fruitful: pretty much anything by the mad Rivettians of Mubi's Daily Notebook.
posted by alexoscar at 1:00 PM on January 29, 2011


Relieved that this isn't an obit post!

Pretty sure one will (unfortunately) be coming soon. Rumor going around is that he has been in very bad shape since before Around a Small Mountain -- everyone expected he'd die before Chabrol did. I've heard from more than a few people in the know that he has Alzheimer's.
posted by alexoscar at 1:02 PM on January 29, 2011


There's a very nice John Ashbery review of Out 1: Spectre (in Selected Prose, seems available entire on Google Books) that suggests he could have had a fine career as a film critic. Still kicking myself for not getting tickets in advance for the screening of the full Out 1 at MOMA a couple years ago.
posted by with hidden noise at 1:36 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, Céline et Julie was partly remade as Desperately seeking Susan, so it's kinda available in the US and you can blame Rivette for boosting Madonna's career.
posted by elgilito at 2:06 PM on January 29, 2011


It's actually quite easy to create new Rivette fans, especially among males. You simply show them a photo of Emmanuelle Beart and tell them that this woman will be totally naked for most of La Belle Noiseuse's 4-hour running time. Et voila!
posted by grounded at 3:23 PM on January 29, 2011


possessing an intellectual inquiry and humanity unmatched in the French cinema of his time

Sure, because those idiots Resnais and Godard understood nothing of intellectual inquiry nor of humanity. See also: Eric Rohmer.
posted by Wolof at 7:10 PM on January 29, 2011


I enjoyed Ne touchez pas la hache but it was incredibly slow and, as you mention in the FPP, difficult. It probably didn't help that I was flexing my listening skills and watched it without subtitles. The highlight for me was the late Guillaume Depardieu's incredible performance, and I think it's a film I'll probably end up revisiting it. Thanks for the post!
posted by nonmerci at 7:55 PM on January 29, 2011


I saw La Belle Noiseuse in a theatre when I first moved to LA. That was well over 2000 movies ago and it is still memorable [and not just because of the nudity]. The length no doubt has something to do with that. But it is a very satisfying movie with a strong ending. Many of Rivette's films are memorable and effective because he engages the audience [in part] with the film's length.
Celine And Julie Go Boating is available on DVD in Region 2 for a reasonable price. And if you look in the right places well you can easily find it available in the US.
posted by Rashomon at 9:58 AM on January 30, 2011


« Older Jimmy Page, age 14, plays skiffle on BBC TV in 195...  |  YaCy is a p2p search engine. I... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments