Va savoir, December 14
Inspired by MGM quickies, Rivette made a musical comedy on his backlot-the everyday haunts of Paris. This offbeat and energetic film thrives on a sense of chance as three women pursue their personal mysteries during one hot, lazy month.
Rivette's elegant comedy of a visiting theater troupe's adventures during a Parisian summer is "all sinuous, cool-to-the touch technique, from its director and the cast. . . . A luminous, humid roundelay as three men and three women tumble in and out of one another's minds, hearts, and arms."-N.Y. Times
Sandrine Bonnaire as Joan of Arc. "Perhaps the only movie that offers a plausible portrait of what the 15th-century teenager who led the French into battle was actually like."-Chicago Reader
Jerzy Radziwilowicz and Emmanuelle Béart star in this mystery (as in Lang)/horror (as in Poe) story that is also "one of the most measured, understanding, mature adult romances in recent movies."-Variety
In this variation on the themes of La belle noiseuse (see December 2), Rivette used outtakes to create an entirely different film.
Rivette's first commercial success (at four hours!) and winner of the grand prize at Cannes is based on a Balzac story. Michel Piccoli is an aging artist and Emmanuelle Béart his young model whose posing begins in wary hostility, escalates to a battle of wills, and finally becomes an emotional collaboration.
One of the seminal films of the French New Wave, with cameos by Godard and others, this is a Langian thriller updated to 1960 in a brilliantly realized Paris. "A masterpiece of Left Bank paranoia."-Village Voice. With short Fool's Mate.
Rivette shifts the action of Emily Brontë's dark 19th-century novel to the wild landscape of the Cévennes in the early '30s for his "beautiful cinematic transposition of the accursed book."-Senses of Cinema
Geraldine Chaplin and Jane Birkin make a lively team as actresses (named Charlotte and Emily, after the Brontë sisters) drawn into a "play" with no final act. Here, "enchantment is discovered not from fairytale, but within life itself."-Time Out
In Rivette's most beloved film, which David Thomson called "the most important film since Citizen Kane," a librarian and a magician go down the Montmartre version of Lewis Carroll's rabbit hole. "The endless, enveloping dream experience movies have promised us since their beginnings."-Village Voice
Free First Thursday Screening! Rivette's illuminating interview with the master director "should be shown in every film school in the country."-Village Voice
The great French film critic Serge Daney accompanies Rivette around Paris in a film by Claire Denis.