A million years ago, back in 1983, I made my first trip to Paris. Jet-lagged beyond imagining I found myself on the Champs-Elysee in the exact spot where Fred Astaire stood at the start of the “Bonjour Paris” number in Funny Face. Shortly thereafter my wobbly legs took me to a very nice left bank restaurant (can’t recall the name) where I sat down to dinner — even though it was lunchtime. Directly acoss from me — very much like a stage set was a banquette. It wasn’t empty long for before my appetizer was served Bulle Ogier entered and sat down. Gobsmacked by the sight of the Goddess
I was further overwhelmed when Jacques Rivette came in and sat down next to her. The lengthy history of these two is legendary
as she modestly explains it –
But those of us familiar with the filmography know it’s ever so much more. Consider for example this abbreviated re-edit of Le Pont du Nord
That Ogier may have been a special favorite of Rivette’s shouldn’t detract in any way from the grandeur he elicited from the diverse likes of Juliet Berto, Bernadette Laffont, Francoise Fabian and Jeanne Balibar. For among “women’s directors” (once a slur, now a glory) Rivette combined the elegance of George Cukor with the savagery of Todd Haynes mixed in a unique way producing results like –
There were also men –
Jacques Rivette has left “The Other House” Were there candies under his tongue? I’d like to think so.
But here he is anyway –
As one would expect of one of the Cinema’s Supreme Masters there’s a website devoted to writings by and about him — plus interviews
On it you’ll find his seminal review of Kapo (Timelier than ever in light of that Carriage Trade snuff movie Son of Saul )
His ineffably strange review of Lang’s Beyond A Reasonable Doubt (entitled “The Hand” ) Plus, amidst a great number of other items of interest Me on Duelle
Jacques Rivette is entirely without precedent. In his lifetime on Raoul Ruiz was comparable to him in cinematic intelligence. Now both are gone and I don’t see anyone following in the footprints they left behind.
And now to sing us out with a song Rivette used to close Va Savoir Andrea Bocelli