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

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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. Continue reading

Jacques Rivette – Noroît aka Nor’west (1976)

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PLOT DESCRIPTION

After her brother was killed by a notorious all-female pirate gang, Morag dedicates her life to bringing the murderers to justice. Soon, she has become an important member of the pirate gang and has begun acquiring the loyalty of key members. Eventually, she makes her move and challenges the leader, a demi-god (literally), known as “The Daughter of the Sun.” The story of Noroit is based on an early 17th-century tragedy by Cyril Tourneur, and, though it is only the third one filmed, the movie is the concluding episode in a four-part series by director Jacques Rivette. Continue reading

Jacques Rivette – Out 1: Spectre (1974)

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“Very rarely seen, this is the ‘short’ version of the 12-hour Out 1. In editing out a more modest film, Rivette tried to make something as unlike the original as possible. Nevertheless, Spectre is one of the greatest achievements in the cinema of duration and narrative pattern. As much an admirer of Lang as of Renoir, Rivette sought to combine ‘storyness’ with the most evident virtues of real time. His films begin to respond to the affinity between real life and movie—going on, nearly forever, free and open to any event—while gradually guiding this mass of material towards the kinds of design that we, the viewers or the readers, cannot help but see. Out 1: Spectre begins as nothing more than scenes from Parisian life; only as time goes by do we realize that there is a plot—perhaps playful, perhaps sinister—that implicates not just the thirteen characters (including Léaud, as the mystery’s self-styled detective), but maybe everyone, everywhere. Real life may be nothing but an enormous yarn someone somewhere is spinning.”

—David Thomson Continue reading