The Jacques Rivette Collection

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#501 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri May 26, 2017 9:47 pm

Obviously you were not Rivette's target audience. ;-)

dda1996a
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#502 Post by dda1996a » Sat May 27, 2017 3:13 am

Va Savior was at its best when it was about the missing play, less interesting when not.
Maybe what I said was a bit hyperbole, but knowing it was such a sought after film which made me pay a lot to have, only to find it not merely bad, but difficult to watch. I can see why a film is revered while I didn't enjoy it (Antonioni for me atm), but even as a conspiracy lover I couldn't even finish four episodes. I mean show me one person who finds a good reason and actually enjoyed all those rehearsals.

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Satori
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#503 Post by Satori » Sat May 27, 2017 7:01 am

Well, I think that the actors and everyone on set were pretty obviously enjoying the rehearsal segments. A lot of Rivette films have lengthy rehearsal sequences because he and his collaborators are interested in the process of artistic creation and improvisation. Rivette doesn't give you the end result without making you work through the process (if you even get the end result at all). His conspiracy plots are similar: the important part is the journey and the piecing together of the puzzle. This is why it often doesn't matter if the conspiracy is real or not. If it is real to Colin and changes how he lives his everyday life, then that is what matters. In Out 1, the formal structure of the rehearsal segments train you how to read the "conspiracy" part of the film. So the rehearsal segments are absolutely crucial to what the film is trying to do. And if you can't handle the rehearsal segments, you probably aren't going to get much out of the film as a whole.

Rivette very obviously isn't for everyone. I'd cut your loses and move on to filmmakers who you like better. Perhaps you can also understand why fans of Rivette might be frustrated when someone who hasn't even watched all of Out 1 declares that the "emperor has no clothes" and that no one could enjoy or provide a "good reason" for the rehearsal segments. That kind of rhetoric doesn't help anyone.

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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#504 Post by kubelkind » Sat May 27, 2017 10:08 am

Plus, of course, the rehearsal scenes diminish after the first few episodes and (as I remember) are pretty much gone after episode 4, when the "plot" (as it is) kicks in. Seeing a narrative, or the suggestion of a myriad of narratives, emerge from the abstraction of the first couple of episodes was a truly beautiful thing and what I enjoyed most of all when I first watched Out. Though of course you could make a case for the whole film as an "acting exercise" and one that I found fascinating throughout.

dda1996a
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#505 Post by dda1996a » Sat May 27, 2017 10:30 am

Satori wrote:Well, I think that the actors and everyone on set were pretty obviously enjoying the rehearsal segments. A lot of Rivette films have lengthy rehearsal sequences because he and his collaborators are interested in the process of artistic creation and improvisation. Rivette doesn't give you the end result without making you work through the process (if you even get the end result at all). His conspiracy plots are similar: the important part is the journey and the piecing together of the puzzle. This is why it often doesn't matter if the conspiracy is real or not. If it is real to Colin and changes how he lives his everyday life, then that is what matters. In Out 1, the formal structure of the rehearsal segments train you how to read the "conspiracy" part of the film. So the rehearsal segments are absolutely crucial to what the film is trying to do. And if you can't handle the rehearsal segments, you probably aren't going to get much out of the film as a whole.

Rivette very obviously isn't for everyone. I'd cut your loses and move on to filmmakers who you like better. Perhaps you can also understand why fans of Rivette might be frustrated when someone who hasn't even watched all of Out 1 declares that the "emperor has no clothes" and that no one could enjoy or provide a "good reason" for the rehearsal segments. That kind of rhetoric doesn't help anyone.
My wording was erroneous. I meant if there is someone who can explain what those scenes accomplish. As someone who loves exploring every type of film on the spectrum (from Frampton and Brakhage, to Greenaway and Russell to Tarr, Tarkovsky Hsiao Hsien and more slow cinema) its less about seeing something different.
That's why I asked if someone can elaborate more on the importance of those scenes. I don't need a conspiracy to make sense (as my love for Long Goodbye, Inherent Vice and my current enjoyment of reading Pynchon's Crying Lot of 49 can attest) and those were the only scenes that held me. I'm not giving up on Rivette as Va Savior was a decent enough film to make me keep watching him. It's just that I found those scenes utterly purposeless for the viewer. I'm sure everyone on set enjoyed them, as obviously those are most likely things actors go through in acting classes etc.,still doesn't mean it makes for interesting viewing.
Again, that's my thoughts, and would love to hear why those scenes are crucial and why they help train me for what is to come

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swo17
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#506 Post by swo17 » Sat May 27, 2017 10:43 am

Why don't you finish the movie and then see if you can answer your own question.

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ermylaw
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#507 Post by ermylaw » Sat May 27, 2017 11:02 am

I don't see why the rehearsal scenes need to accomplish something. The scenes are there for their own sake -- they needn't have a purpose for the viewer, and they needn't be interesting viewing. I would resist the idea that they serve no purpose, though.

Life is banal, for the most part, except when we impose some meaning on it. And so the film is, in my estimation, about people imposing some bizarre meaning on life by getting wrapped up in an ultimately meaningless (and possibly fictional) conspiracy of some sort. There's no more plot to that side of the film than there is to the rehearsal scenes. Everyone is constantly making it all up as they go along -- sometimes it's interesting and sometimes it isn't. Just like life generally.

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Satori
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#508 Post by Satori » Sat May 27, 2017 12:03 pm

dda1996a wrote:That's why I asked if someone can elaborate more on the importance of those scenes. I don't need a conspiracy to make sense (as my love for Long Goodbye, Inherent Vice and my current enjoyment of reading Pynchon's Crying Lot of 49 can attest) and those were the only scenes that held me. I'm not giving up on Rivette as Va Savior was a decent enough film to make me keep watching him. It's just that I found those scenes utterly purposeless for the viewer. I'm sure everyone on set enjoyed them, as obviously those are most likely things actors go through in acting classes etc.,still doesn't mean it makes for interesting viewing.
Again, that's my thoughts, and would love to hear why those scenes are crucial and why they help train me for what is to come
Okay, but would you read a third of Crying Lot of 49 and then go on goodreads to ask everyone the purpose of all the stuff about the mail? As Swo said, you've got to finish the movie!

It sounds to me as if you are looking for a guarantee that these scenes will ultimately have a purpose in the grand scheme of the film. Yet this is precisely what the scenes are training you to avoid: an acting exercise or a rehearsal sequence will not always have a point. There will be far more false starts and dead ends than epiphanies. Just like an investigation; just like life.

This is why I can't explain these scenes to you. To paraphrase the Balzac professor played by Rohmer in episode 3, all we know about Rivette is there in his films. Watch the film, think about it, and then decide what you think those scenes are doing. Or honestly, I'd recommend that you start with Celine and Julie and Paris Belongs to Us and then work your way up to Out 1.

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knives
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#509 Post by knives » Sat May 27, 2017 12:23 pm

Or Spectre available in the same set.

dda1996a
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#510 Post by dda1996a » Sat May 27, 2017 1:35 pm

I know comparing a book to a film makes for bad rhetoric, but it was like if most of Pynchon's verse would have been unreadable.
Again, I'm not accusing you of being wrong, and I'll take a look at Celine which always interested me. But I do believe every scene in a film should at least have something interesting, at the very least. Yes, I can watch Satantango's long takes because I always find at least one detail interesting. But repeating those rehearsals just makes for a tiring watch, and doesn't add much. I object to the whole "trains you to expect nothing".

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Tommaso
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#511 Post by Tommaso » Sat May 27, 2017 1:36 pm

As John Cage said: “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.” Exactly my experience with the rehearsal scenes in the first two parts of OUT1, and by extension the whole of the film. As Satori writes: it feels like an investigation, like mentally 'scanning' these performances from all sides, discovering ever new details in the interactions etc. Which is why the "Spectre" cut left me disappointed; it's simply too short to allow the viewer to delve as deeply into the things that are shown and that we want to understand, only perhaps to find out that there's nothing to 'understand', which I believe is the point of the film. And then to look back at what a fantastic ride it was to reach this point.

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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#512 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat May 27, 2017 1:46 pm

Tommaso wrote:As John Cage said: “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.” Exactly my experience with the rehearsal scenes in the first two parts of OUT1, and by extension the whole of the film. As Satori writes: it feels like an investigation, like mentally 'scanning' these performances from all sides, discovering ever new details in the interactions etc. Which is why the "Spectre" cut left me disappointed; it's simply too short to allow the viewer to delve as deeply into the things that are shown and that we want to understand, only perhaps to find out that there's nothing to 'understand', which I believe is the point of the film. And then to look back at what a fantastic ride it was to reach this point.
Exactly my feelings about Out1 and why Spectre was so underwhelming.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#513 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat May 27, 2017 5:56 pm

Similarly, I found the short version of Belle noiseuse less interesting than the long one.

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Tommaso
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#514 Post by Tommaso » Sat May 27, 2017 6:42 pm

Of course, but the short version of "La belle noiseuse" consists entirely -and somewhat perversely - of takes NOT used for the full-length version. While these takes are not bad, there probably was a reason why Rivette chose other ones for the 'master version'. So it isn't too surprising that "La belle noiseuse - Divertimento" comes across as somewhat inferior, quite apart from it being only half of the length of the 'definite' version.

Anyway, this procedure is different to "OUT1"/"Spectre", which are two entirely different cuts of the same footage.

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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#515 Post by Noiretirc » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:20 pm

hearthesilence wrote:I would expect anyone who loves Rivette (at least pre-'80s Rivette) to love Out 1 because it really is the apotheosis of his work. Not just the darker aspects of it but also the humor - again, the "big" reveal of Out 1 was such a hysterical pay-off to me that it, alone, justified the extraordinary running time. The fact it took that many hours to get to that revelation made the joke all the more hilarious.
Next time I watch it I will remember this post, because, as fascinating as this film was, I clearly missed "The Big Reveal".

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#516 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:51 pm

The big reveal is when you find out why Jean-Pierre Leaud got the first of many messages that set the film's whole plot in motion.

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All the Best People
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#517 Post by All the Best People » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:30 pm

I wrote about the serial version at some length here. I think it's a fascinating and quite possibly great work on the whole, though I did find the initial 45-minute acting exercise with Lonsdale's group rather unbearable and unnecessarily long (though the length is something of the point). This doesn't bother me in the wide scope of the overall project, and I found the competing rehearsal techniques between the two groups to tie in thematically to overall project; the Lonsdale group is very much about touch and physical contact (they're crawling all over each other in this scene, and have other "mirror" exercises where they almost touch) whereas the Michele Moretti group is less so. At one point Quentin attempts to lead that group in an exercise where voice and touch are separated, and everyone is baffled; later he steps into Lonsdale's group without any problem. Note also the serial's subtitle: "touch me not".

And note that the "touchy" theater group runs into conflict when Bernadette LaFont, an actress most notable for a penetrating gaze, joins the fray. The "previously" still about this is just a close-up of her staring. This brings her into direct conflict with the Lonsdale character, who, after all,
SpoilerShow
even tries to instigate a threesome just by touching hands to foreheads
.
I'm not entirely sure what the "joke" is referred to above about the messages, though it's been about a year since I watched it all. As I recall:
SpoilerShow
It actually was to get The Thirteen back together, though I don't remember why Colin specifically was chosen to motor that.
The finale has one of my favorite scenes in all Rivette, between Bulle Ogier and Bernadett LaFont, the
SpoilerShow
"Stop looking at me like that"/"I'm looking at you normally"
scene.
Last edited by All the Best People on Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#518 Post by All the Best People » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:41 pm

I do think the best intro to Rivette (based on having now seen nine of his films, if we count the two Outs separately) is Celine and Julie Go Boating/Phantom Ladies Over Paris. To quote myself:
[The film's characteristics include] (1) exhibiting a narrational approach where plots seem to materialize out of thin air roughly an hour into the film, only for the viewer to realize the story had been there all along; (2) delving deeply and exuberantly into his thematic obsessions such as (again) doubling, roleplaying, games, performance, creativity, and the nature of spectatorship; and (3) indulging in a host of tonal shifts, from mystery to comedy to thriller to horror
La Belle Noiseuse is also something of a good intro, as it has a more traditional dramatic structure and lacks any of the fantasy and overt parody elements, but at the same time prepares the viewer for a cinema that deeply values duration.

But I initially came to this thread to discuss the American box set, which I bought without having seen any of the films. So far I've watched only Duelle (Une Quarantaine), which I found magnificent and haven't been able to get out of my head. It's truly beautiful in its aesthetic; anyone who might have been turned off by Out's "plain" documentary-style camerawork and flat lighting might be delighted by the Ophuls-inspired camera movements and theatrical lighting employed here. Glamour is a necessary element of the film. In typical Rivette fashion, some time is taken in even unfurling all the aspects of the premise; as I recall, even that quick tag you get on the back of the box and such isn't fully disclosed in the film until roughly 75% of the way through. It has elements of humor, as well, but I really dug on its ancient mythology-cum-film noir plotting and atmosphere.

I wouldn't consider it one of the most optimal entry points to his work, but I'm not sure it's not, either; the "normal" pacing and running time do make it less of a mountain to climb than some of his other great works.

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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#519 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:15 pm

All the Best People wrote:I'm not entirely sure what the "joke" is referred to above about the messages, though it's been about a year since I watched it all. As I recall:
SpoilerShow
It actually was to get The Thirteen back together, though I don't remember why Colin specifically was chosen to motor that.
That's close to what I was talking about, but it's really that whole conversation with Warok and Lucie.
SpoilerShow
If you can recall she goes to visit him, and then Colin drops by (yet again), prompting Warok to gesture to Lucie to keep silent and more or less humor Colin. When Colin leaves, they talk more about Pierre and Lucie asks Warok what's the deal with Colin. Warok then mentions that after Colin's last visit, he talked with Pierre, and Pierre then told him how he had seen Colin around and became "interested" in him. All this is basically discussed in a matter-of-fact tone, with Lucie sort of nodding along like "yeah, that sounds like something Pierre would do," and then it cuts abruptly to an exterior wide shot (it would be the first of many in this scene) as if Warok was going on about Pierre's long-winded explanation. When we return to the conversation, Warok says when he asked Pierre to clarify his interest in Colin, Pierre put it in a way that was characteristic him (or as Warok would describe, using a flowery choice of words that made you want to hit him in the face). He then wondered how many more people were going to come knocking on his door as a result of this game that Pierre has been playing for two years now.

I should note, Warok's tone and delivery and Lucie's dispassionate response had a lot to do with what made this hilarious for me. From my perspective at the time, we've sat through 12 hours of what may or may not be a sinister labyrinthe plot, all of which started when Colin got his first message at the end of episode 1. Now we find out that all this time, Pierre was sort of fucking with Colin. This may have been Pierre's childlike but sweet way of getting the group back together - via a "messenger" rather than just coming out and saying it to his friends - but to involve a complete stranger like this struck me as hilarious. Apparently I was the only one, but hey, it made those previous 12 hours very worthwhile.

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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#520 Post by All the Best People » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:44 pm

Okay, that's basically what I remembered, though I don't remember finding it funny. I found more comedy in Colin's visits to Lonsdale and Warok.

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knives
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#521 Post by knives » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:49 pm

I thought it was quite hilarious as well, though it pushes Colin a little further along the tragic end of the comic-tragic spectrum as the scene just reinforces the idea that Colin is, like most of the characters here to be fair, trapped inside his own head and unable to see the world.


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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#523 Post by All the Best People » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:32 am

After having loved Duelle, yesterday I watched Noroit (Une Vengeance), and I don't know what to make of it. On a moment-to-moment level, it contains many pleasures, with elegant visuals and the performances and on-screen scoring providing a frequently sinister and mesmeric mood. Yet, does it add up? It's not uncommon for Rivette to structure his plots in such a way that they don't even emerge into roughly halfway (or later) into the film, where the prior seemingly disparate elements cohere and coalesce into a subject that drives the rest of the film (e.g. Celine and Julie, Duelle, Gang of Four, and arguably Secret Defense, though as there's an explicit mystery in the plot that doesn't quite qualify). Noroit takes the opposite tack, where what starts off as a straightforward plot gradually dissolves as character motivations become elusive, behaviors depart the rational, and the facts of the story become both so elaborate and scattered that the final ten minutes are rather, for lack of a better word, bonkers.

There is, as is so frequently in Rivette's work, a strong element of game-playing and play-acting here, so I almost wonder if we aren't simply to take the whole thing as a game and dismiss any sort of diegetic reality. But that would feel out of sorts in his cinema as a whole. Also, would that mean anything? And I come back to wondering just what this film adds up to.

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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#524 Post by zedz » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:25 pm

All the Best People wrote:After having loved Duelle, yesterday I watched Noroit (Une Vengeance), and I don't know what to make of it. On a moment-to-moment level, it contains many pleasures, with elegant visuals and the performances and on-screen scoring providing a frequently sinister and mesmeric mood. Yet, does it add up? It's not uncommon for Rivette to structure his plots in such a way that they don't even emerge into roughly halfway (or later) into the film, where the prior seemingly disparate elements cohere and coalesce into a subject that drives the rest of the film (e.g. Celine and Julie, Duelle, Gang of Four, and arguably Secret Defense, though as there's an explicit mystery in the plot that doesn't quite qualify). Noroit takes the opposite tack, where what starts off as a straightforward plot gradually dissolves as character motivations become elusive, behaviors depart the rational, and the facts of the story become both so elaborate and scattered that the final ten minutes are rather, for lack of a better word, bonkers.

There is, as is so frequently in Rivette's work, a strong element of game-playing and play-acting here, so I almost wonder if we aren't simply to take the whole thing as a game and dismiss any sort of diegetic reality. But that would feel out of sorts in his cinema as a whole. Also, would that mean anything? And I come back to wondering just what this film adds up to.
The very end of the film is trippy, sure, but an awful lot of the bonkers was already there in The Revenger's Tragedy. Reading that, or a plot summary at least, is useful prep for watching the film.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: The Jacques Rivette Collection

#525 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:26 pm

I tried reading Revenger's Tragedy, but gave up -- it struck me as pretty awful. ;-)

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