Yet Another Excellent New Website

I don't think I'll ever forget my one and only (to date) interview with Jacques Rivette. It took place around the time of Duelle and Noroit, two brilliant, unfairly forgotten films. We were having coffee on the upper level of The Ginger Man, which my wife informs me was owned by Preminger stalwart Patrick O'Neal (!); it was the sort of place that a grad student like me could hardly afford, but the Film Festival people were footing the bill, if I recall correctly. Rivette spoke heavily accented faltering English and my French was worse, so the young woman who was translating for us was kept pretty busy. At one point I asked him about the apparent alternation between improvised and scripted films that he had been doing over his last several projects. He said something in French then, before the translator could say a word, waved his hands and said, "No, no, no. I'll show you." He leapt up from the table and proceeded to hop on one foot around us, saying, "If you hop all the time on one foot, you get tired." It was the perfect answer to the question and I caught his meaning immediately.

What made this story come to mind today is the existence of a new website devoted to the work of Jacques Rivette, perhaps the most overlooked of all the nouvelle vague directors and, after Godard, the most important. Order of the Exile: About the Films of Jacques Rivette is labor of love by two film by Daniel Stuyck and Ross Wilbanks, and it includes literally hundreds of pages of difficult to obtain writings on and by Rivette. The site is a black-and-white minimalist epic in the mode of L'Amour Fou, but without the razor blades, and it is a treasure trove. Now if only someone would bring out all his films on disk and arrange more consistent releases for his upcoming work(s) . . . .

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