THE JACQUES RIVETTE COLLECTION REVIEWED
The Jacques Rivette Collection is pretty crazy. It’s a collection of three films that starts with a female powered take on The Nightman Cometh. From there, we get a pirate movie. There was supposed to be a third film, but Rivette freaked out on Finney & Caron. This resulted Joe Dallesandro and Maria Schneider making a terrible third film about looking for a writer. Did I mention that all three films are terribly French?
I can see the points of influence for people like Lynch and Truffaut. That being said, those guys knew how to tell a story while being vague. Rivette seemed to enjoy crafting films that worked as bizarre trips into WTF Land with a side of pretense. The nicest thing I can say about these films is that the restoration work is on point. Other than that, enjoy your weirdo French films.
- Scenes from a Parallel Life: Jacques Rivette Remembers archive interview with the director, in which he discusses Duelle (une quarantaine), Noroit (une vengeance) and Merry-Go-Round
- Remembering Duelle Bulle Ogier and Hermine Karagheuz recollect their work on the 1976 feature
- Interview with critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, who reported from the sets of both Duelle (une quarantaine) and Noroit (une vengeance)
- Exclusive perfect-bound book containing writing on the films by Mary M. Wiles, Brad Stevens and Nick Pinkerton plus a reprint of four on-set reports from Duelle (une quarantaine) and Noroit (une vengeance)
- 1.37:1, 1.85:1 1080p transfers
- LPCM 1.0 MONO
RELEASE DATE: 5/23/17
- Video - 94%94%
- Audio - 93%93%
- Supplemental Material - 95%95%
- Film Score - 87%87%
The Plot Thus Far
In 1975, Jacques Rivette reunited with Out 1 producer Stéphane Tchal Gadjieff with the idea of a four-film cycle. He would create a quartet of interconnected films, each in a different genre. One was to be a love story, another a Western, and there was to be a fantastical thriller and a musical comedy starring Anna Karina and Jean Marais too. Ill health intervened, and only two of the films were completed. Duelle (une quarantine) sees Rivette in fantasy territory, cross-pollinating Val Lewton, Jean Cocteau and film noir as the Queen of the Sun (Bulle Ogier) and the Queen of the Night (Juliet Berto) search for a magical diamond in present day. Its parallel film, Noroît (une vengeance), is a pirate tale – and a loose adaptation of The Revenger’s Tragedy – starring Geraldine Chaplin (Nashville, Cría cuervos). A third film began production – Marie et Julien starring Albert Finney and Leslie Caron – but Rivette succumbed to nervous exhaustion and shooting was abandoned. When he did return to filmmaking, Rivette borrowed some of the elements of Duelle and Noroît and came up with Merry-Go-Round. Joe Dallesandro (Trash, Flesh for Frankenstein) and Maria Schneider (Last Tango in Paris, The Passenger) are summoned to Paris, which leads to one of the most surreal and mysterious tales in a career that was dominated by surrealism and mystery.