Jacques Rivette (1928–2016)
February 1, 2016 4:34 AM   Subscribe

Rivette may be the most important filmmaker whose works have been most difficult to see on home video. LA BELLE NOISEUSE has been around because naked Emmanuel Béart, but I don't think the amazing and relatively accessible CÉLINE AND JULIE GO BOATING ever even made it to DVD.

I have the just released boxed set of his 13-hour OUT 1, which was retrieved from apparent oblivion only in the last few years, and I have been looking forward to digging in. He must be the godfather of Slow Cinema.

I guess all we have left of the French New Wave now are Varda and Godard. End of an era.
posted by Mothlight at 5:57 AM on February 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

Paris Belongs to Us is on Hulu Plus and is on my personal watch list but as Mothlight said not much else is easily available.
posted by octothorpe at 7:12 AM on February 1, 2016

Here's an Indiewire article pointing to six titles that are available for streaming. Better than I thought!
posted by Mothlight at 7:27 AM on February 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by Cash4Lead at 7:30 AM on February 1, 2016

I just watched parts of OUT 1 in December. Despite its length it is incredibly watchable and I had to pull myself away to do other things. Hopefully his death sparks a renewed interest in his work. It is a shame that so many of his films are not easy to find.
posted by matcha action at 7:49 AM on February 1, 2016

Does anyone know if the version of Out 1 on Fandor is the newly restored version?

You can stream the new version on Kino Lorber's website, but they use some janky third-party digital distribution system from an alternate universe where streaming boxes don't exist and people are happy to spend $50 to "own" a 12-hour film they have to watch on their laptop.

You can also rent "episodes" of the film for $5 a pop. If I get a chance, I'll take a chance on that and report back on the experience.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:43 AM on February 1, 2016

Ian, I just checked it out and Fandor definitely has the new transfer. As far as I know, until last year the only way to see OUT 1 on video was to torrent an old recording of it from Italian (?) television, so I think anyone streaming it will be working from the same new master.
posted by Mothlight at 9:44 AM on February 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by gudrun at 11:13 AM on February 1, 2016

After posting this, I thought that at least one of Rivette's films should be rewatched. The one I chose was "La bande des quatre" (1989), one of the more easily available ones. The film is described as a drama following four women at stage school; but, as always with Rivette, the question becomes: what, where, and how is the drama? Who enacts the drama? And: who enacts exactly what? Instead of my own words, here are some of Gilles Deleuze's that originally appeared in the Cahiers du Cinema in 1989, "Rivette's Three Circles":

"We are all rehearsing parts of which we are as yet unaware (our roles). We slip into characters which we do not master (our attitudes and postures). We serve a conspiracy of which we are completely oblivious (our masks). This is Rivette's vision of the world, it is uniquely his own. Rivette needs theater for cinema to exist: the young girls' attitudes and postures constitute a theatricality of cinema which, measured against the theatricality of theater, contrasts with it and emerges as perfectly distinct from it. And if the political, judicial, and police conspiracies weighing on us are enough to show that the real world has become a bad movie, then it is cinema's job to give us a piece of reality, a piece of the world. Rivette's project -- a cinema that opposes its theatricality to that of theater, its reality to that of the world, which has become unreal -- rescues cinema from the theater and the conspiracies threatening to destroy it."
posted by sapagan at 10:52 PM on February 1, 2016

Rivette tops out at 9 comments!? Guess la nouvelle vague ain't what it was.
posted by Mothlight at 8:55 PM on February 4, 2016

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