Jacques Rivette

Jacques Rivette – Jeanne la Pucelle II – Les prisons AKA Joan the Maid 2: The Prisons [Uncut] (1994)

‘The Prisons’ continues with Jeanne (Sandrine Bonnaire) leading her countrymen in victorious assaults on the English army. But when she is finally captured and put on trial, she finds both her life and the sanctity of her body at stake. Read More »

    Jacques Rivette – Jeanne la Pucelle I – Les batailles AKA Joan the Maid 1: The Battles [Uncut] (1994)

    A part of Joan of Arc’s life. At the beginning, Jeanne (Joan) has already left Domremy, she is trying to convince a captain to escort her to the Dauphin. It ends during Jeanne’s first battle, at Orleans. Meanwhile, Jeanne is depicted more as a warrior than a saint (all cliches are avoided), with only her faith for strength. Read More »

      Jacques Rivette – La religieuse AKA The Nun (1966)

      It was Rivette’s second feature, after the puzzling ‘Paris Nous Appartient,’ and eschewed the nouvelle vague in favour of something altogether more structured, indeed rigorously so. “This film is a work of imagination,” the opening caption informs us, “not a portrait of religious institutions, 18th century or other. It should be viewed from a double perspective; history and romance.” Read More »

        Jacques Rivette – Le coup du berger AKA Fool’s Mate (1956)


        When an unfaithful wife receives a fur coat from her lover as a gift, they must figure out a way to keep the husband from discovering the coat’s true origins. Read More »

          Jacques Rivette – Out 1: Spectre (1974)


          Unheard melodies may be sweet, but unsolved mysteries are about as satisfying as a windowful of succulent food that you can’t afford. Jacques Rivette’s “Out One/Spectre”—which played Saturday and Sunday at the New York Film Festival—is frustrating for two reasons: first, because 4½ hours of hidden motivations is hard on the soul; second, because some of the characterizations and performances are tantalizingly good — hence you really want to understand these people and what drives them. (The movie has been edited down from a 13-hour version that was —and then wasn’t—intended for television.) Read More »

            Jacques Rivette & Suzanne Schiffman – Out 1, noli me tangere (1971)


            Though Jacques Rivette’s Out 1 is often described as a time capsule, it hardly functions as a medium for concrete historical research. The 1971 film takes place in a major global city (Paris in the late ’60s) for all of its 13 hours, but it’s notable for how radically disconnected it is from the quotidian texture of metropolitan life—from matters like what any of its characters do to make a living, how they get around, what their typical routine is, what they eat or drink, or what they do in their downtime. Read More »

              Jacques Rivette – Duelle (une quarantaine) AKA Twilight (A Quarantine) (1976)


              It all began (as things Rivettian tend to do) auspiciously enough. There were to be four films in a series originally entitled Les Filles du Feu (after Gerard de Nerval) before the more expansive Scenes de la vie parallele replaced it. Each would center on a “non-existent myth” of a battle between goddesses of the sun and the moon for a mysterious blue diamond that has the power to make mortals immortal and vice versa. Each film was to be in a different genre: a film noir, a pirate adventure, a love story, and finally a musical – the last-mentioned of whose scenario particulars hadn’t been completely worked out when the four-film project went into production. Two films were ultimately completed – Duelle (the film noir) and Noroit (1976, the pirate adventure). But two days into the shooting of the third, Histoire de Marie et Julien the metteur en scène (as Rivette always chose to call himself, auteurism be damned) suffered a nervous breakdown, and the entire project fell apart – though traces of it linger in Merry-Go-Round (1981, a paranoid conspiracy jape that has everything but the goddesses) and the semi-demi-musical Haut/Bas/Fragile (1995). Read More »