When he died in January at the age of 87, Rouen-born director and critic Jacques Rivette had released a total of 29 films, and had become one of France’s favourite New Wave cinema-makers– inspired by Cocteau, but also heavily influenced by British and American cinema, in particular Alfred Hitchcock.
This brand-new commemorative collection brings together some of his less well-known projects (his “Best Of” has long been available), including his experimentation in television, Out 1, which emerged as an ominous 13-hour cinematic experience, broken up into eight episodes, mixing mockumentary with bizarre melodrama while following a group of actors rehearsing for a production. In some ways, this works better on DVD, when you have the freedom to watch at your leisure. There’s also a much-needed documentary to accompany the feature, The Mysteries of Paris, with all-new input from cast and crew.
Although Out 1 takes up a large expanse of this collection, there are a few golden films thrown in, which have hitherto been unavailable or hard to find. Duelle is a modern fairytale following the hunt for a magical diamond in Paris, while Noroît is a loose remix of Middleton’s Revenger’s Tragedy. The whole package even comes with a new book examining Rivette’s unique oeuvre.
From France Today magazine