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 Post subject: Re: Jacques Rivette
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
All the Best People wrote:
one could even consider it a third part of a trilogy following Paris Belongs to Us and Out 1 (I read the section on the film in the Mary Wiles monograph on Rivette after watching this and she made the same argument, actually).

I don't know why everything always has to resolve into trilogies. Rivette has made a number of films revolving around the same concerns (basically: vague conspiracies + theatre), so why not include La Bande des Quatres and Va Savoir? Those two films actually fit more closely with the earlier pair than Le Pont du Nord does.

One thing I love about Rivette's cinema is that he has these very consistent strands running all the way through his career, which get mixed and matched in all sorts of ways. Sometimes the same handful of elements come into play in a similar combination as before; sometimes there's a fresh and delightful confluence; sometimes there's a messy pile-up - but it's all Rivette. Artificially demarcating small conceptual gulags among the works seems counter to his actual film practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Jacques Rivette
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:08 pm
zedz wrote:
All the Best People wrote:
one could even consider it a third part of a trilogy following Paris Belongs to Us and Out 1 (I read the section on the film in the Mary Wiles monograph on Rivette after watching this and she made the same argument, actually).

I don't know why everything always has to resolve into trilogies. Rivette has made a number of films revolving around the same concerns (basically: vague conspiracies + theatre), so why not include La Bande des Quatres and Va Savoir? Those two films actually fit more closely with the earlier pair than Le Pont du Nord does.

One thing I love about Rivette's cinema is that he has these very consistent strands running all the way through his career, which get mixed and matched in all sorts of ways. Sometimes the same handful of elements come into play in a similar combination as before; sometimes there's a fresh and delightful confluence; sometimes there's a messy pile-up - but it's all Rivette. Artificially demarcating small conceptual gulags among the works seems counter to his actual film practice.

I think what unites these three is that they are all specifically about Paris at a certain time politically and culturally to a greater extent than some of the others. It's obviously unofficial and just a way to think about the films.


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 Post subject: Re: Jacques Rivette
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
I wouldn't say that the three you mention are any more Paris (and/or time) specific) than the other Paris-connected films (like Gang of Four or Va savoir). Pont du Nord is my favorite Rivette film (FWIW). ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Jacques Rivette
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:08 pm
I'd be interested to read why it's your favorite.


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 Post subject: Re: Jacques Rivette
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Why do I love PdN so much? One, the interplay between mother and daughter playing not-quite-compatible, chance-met, temporary comrades. Two, the exploration of out-of-the-way (now probably mostly vanished forever) corners of Paris. Three, the pacing. Four, everything else. I first saw this (and long knew it) only in unsubbed form -- and even bought a multi-standard VHS player to play this and a few other otherwise-unfindable, but must-see (for me) films. It also helped that I had a crush on Bulle Ogier ever since I saw her in Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (when this first came to the theaters in the US).


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 Post subject: Re: Jacques Rivette
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:32 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:25 am
Pont du Nord is my favorite too. It connects all his usual elements - his interest in the occult, critique of extreme leftwing politics, love of Paris, two women creating a game from scratch, intriguing conspiracies - and weaves it into a wonderfully tight package. I wish the film would go on for another two hours.


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 Post subject: Re: Jacques Rivette
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:26 pm
Recommendations for books about Rivette, please. There aren't many.

Mary M. Wiles' book was a disappointment, since she spends most of the time talking about Rivette's influences, rather than the films themselves.

Morrey and Smith's book is much better, with interesting analyses of how he structures his narratives, and the role that games, chance, and conspiracy theories play in them. I just wish it didn't so often descend into academic nonsense, like "it is precisely the nexus between performance and non-performance that allows Rivette to . . ."

I've heard good things about "Jacques Rivette, secret compris." Is it worth a read?


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 Post subject: Re: Jacques Rivette
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:47 am 
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spoon99 wrote:
Recommendations for books about Rivette, please. There aren't many.

Mary M. Wiles' book was a disappointment, since she spends most of the time talking about Rivette's influences, rather than the films themselves.

Morrey and Smith's book is much better, with interesting analyses of how he structures his narratives, and the role that games, chance, and conspiracy theories play in them. I just wish it didn't so often descend into academic nonsense, like "it is precisely the nexus between performance and non-performance that allows Rivette to . . ."

I've heard good things about "Jacques Rivette, secret compris." Is it worth a read?

I don't believe Secret Compris has been translated to English, which is too bad as it sounds the most intriguing. I have both the Wiles and Morrey/Smith and have been working through them in fits and starts -- the organization of the Morrey/Smith makes it a bit tough if you have gaps i his filmography, which many of us do, given the inconsistent availability of some of Rivette's films, and the over-academic language you reference can be a bit of a drag.

The Rosenbaum-edited Rivette: Texts and Interviews is available as a PDF online, and a nice resource, though I believe the bulk of it is now available online from other sources (such as jacques-rivette.com).


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 Post subject: Re: Jacques Rivette
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:43 am
Secret Compris is indeed very good. In terms of pure information, particularly about Rivette's early years at Cahiers, it is the best by far. It also has some great testimony from old colleagues from the Cahiers crew, like Charles Bitsch, who I believe visited Rivet in Rouen when he was sick and recovering with his family in the mid-fifties (if I recall, there is something mentioned by Truffaut in an old issue of Cahiers from '54 or '55 about wishing Rivette good luck in recuperating or something); Bitsch was shocked not only that Rivette even had parents or a family, but also that they were so normal - he couldn't relate this normal family life with Rivette's single-minded intensity for cinema.

Anyway - Secret Compris is great but only in French. Wiles' book was a disappointment. I really love Morrey and Smith's chapter on Rivet's criticism - in fact, I think it's one of them best things ever written about him. The book loses steam for me after that. I also think it's hard to adopt an overall critical concept to link all of Rivette's work to explore in a full length book. Secret Compris takes a highly personal and idiosyncratic approach to Rivette's work - that coupled with the amount of great, unique stories of Rivette in the '50's makes it the best on Rivette by a long way.


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