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April 20, 2012


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1. Next month in Paris the Cinematheque is hosting a Bulle Ogier retrospective, which includes all her collaborations with Rivette. Yes, even Out 1: Spectre, which I thought I may never see. I'm in Europe 'til June and flying out of Paris, so hoping to catch Duelle (my favorite Rivette visuals-wise), and Spectre, which screens days before I leave. I can deal with no English subtitles even though my French is basic. Having seen the longer version of Out 1 already will help.

2. I'm currently working on my own Céline and Julie homage in Los Angeles with a RED camera, ironically. I'll see you at Sundance, pal. May the best Metteur en Scene win.


Set up this film on Kickstarter and I am in for $25 - all I want is a Some Came Running tote bag.

other mike

people getting angry at the never ending Girls conversation is silly to me since its going to be on TV on Sunday again. This thing is just getting started. like i am sick of the 2pac hologram talk, so if anyone brings it up again i groan, but if there was a 10 week span of 2pac hologram events, i would kinda have to take it as par for the course. people gonna over talk stuff to death.

warren oates

CELINE AND JULIE IN LOS ANGELES... But wait, they already made that one and it's called MULHOLLAND DRIVE. Good luck anyway, lazarus.

That Fuzzy Bastard

Well, if we're talking about a great "portrayal of feminist and counterculture influenced friendship," can we get a little love for Agnes Varda's ONE SINGS, THE OTHER DOESN'T? One could call it interesting rather than successful (I thought the elliptical editing and grungy musical numbers redeemed any didactic tendencies, yet the Fuzzwife found it just plain boring), but it very much fits that heading. And it's much more aggressive than GIRLS, or Rivette, in being specific in how the friendship depicted was only possible under certain historic conditions. But of course, because it's Agnes Varda, it's even more neglected stateside than the other French New Wavers. Le sigh.


Oates: definitely a lot of similarities there; funny thing is that Lynch claims to have never seen (maybe never even heard of) the Rivette. Which is a little sad, either way. Especially as Rivette has praised Lynch's work before.

Glenn Kenny

Good call, TFB. Some enterprising programmer should revive the Varda while the zeitgeist iron is hot.

warren oates

Forget about THE MATRIX or even WORLD ON A WIRE. The aspect of C&J that's always interested me the most is the sheer brilliant simplicity of its storytelling invention. The creation of immersive alternate/parallel/interpenetrating worlds with the most basic cross-cutting. The fact that it's taken Lynch so long to catch up with it, whether he's ever seen the film or not, is a testament to how far ahead of his time Rivette was. If guys like lazarus are only now making Amer-Indie riffs on C&J then I predict the film will continue to age well and probably exert an even more profound influence on filmmakers in the years to come as the rest of us grow into a world Rivette has been living in all along.


Well-said. If only Criterion would pull their heads out of their asses and help give the film (and Rivette in general) some attention state-side.

I've been doing my damnedest in Los Angeles to spread the word. I've screened my C&JGB import DVD for various friends about four times over the last four years, as well as Duelle a couple times, and Le Pont du Nord.

David Ehrenstein

Hey it's right here!


"Celine et Julie vont en bateau / Phantom Ladies Over Paris" was put together rather quickly in the wake of long-gestating project called "Phenix" that didn't pan out. That was to have been an "All About Eve" variation starring Jeanne Moreau and Juliet Berto. Rivette and his cast came up with "Celine et Julie" as a replacement. It's one of the most wondrous pieces of cinema ever created.

And now for some overwhelmingly sad news. Jacques Rivette has Alzheimer's disease.

As I trust everyone knows his last film "36 vues de Pic Saint-Loup" was a mere 80 minutes long. That's because Rivette had to cut the shooting short as he was having serious difficulty. His condition has since deegerated to the point that according to filmmaker Benoit Jacquot (who I interviewed two days ago) Rivette can no longer go to the movies as he finds it impossible to retain even so much as a few minutes of audio-visual information and therefore can no longer "follow" films at all.

It's a Death Before Death.

David Ehrenstein

Alas that link no longer works. They've taken "Celine et Julie" down from You Tube.

You can still find a few scenes from it there, however.

david hare

Jesus David you're not always the bearer of such shitty news...


Stuart Galbraith wrote that Toshiro Mifune started showing early signs of Alzheimer's 10 years before his passing.

How many years ago did Rivette start championing 'Showgirls'? Just sayin'.

The Fanciful Norwegian

"Well-said. If only Criterion would pull their heads out of their asses and help give the film (and Rivette in general) some attention state-side."

There's lots of Rivette Criterion probably could and should release -- they've supposedly had Paris nous appartient in the pipeline for a long while -- but Celine and Julie is still with New Yorker and they've never licensed anything to Criterion. New Yorker have said they'll be doing a Blu-ray themselves sometime after the theatrical reissue.

David Ehrenstein

Over and above that what we all really need is Out 1.

Yes it's shitty news, but that's the way things are, alas.

Glenn Kenny

Or "helas," as the case may be.

As much as I agree with Lazarus' sentiment that we need more Rivette up in this domestic DVD situation, the idea that Criterion has its head up its ass because it hasn't snapped its corporate fingers and made it so is, as the concern trolls like to say, unconstructive. And yeah, the soon-to-materialize new print of "Celine and Julie" is a New Yorker Films jam, and given the excellent product the newly relaunched company made of Straub/Huillet's "Moses und Aaron" I'd reckon that a New Yorker Films Blu-ray of "Celine and Julie" would be nothing to sneeze at.

Darren Arnold

David, thank you for posting this news, as unwelcome as it may be. I'd heard Rivette was in poor health but this obviously gives a bit more detail regarding what's going on. One of my other favourite filmmakers -- Claude Jutra -- also fell victim to this disease (albeit at a much younger age).

Anyone who understands French and is interested in the "Phénix" project that David refers to would do well to pick up the Cahiers book "Trois films fantômes de Jacques Rivette".

David Ehrenstein

But Jutra died of AIDS. Not the same thing though the manifestations may in some cases be similar.

Serge daney died of AIDS but he never develop Alzheimer's.

Hauser Tann

Nope, you're mistaken. Jutra died in a motorcycle accident—a suicide. He had Alzheimer's, as Darren said.

Chris L.

There was some chatter here recently about a possible Criterion edition of Bresson's L'ARGENT, which would make my cinematic year. Is New Yorker putting brakes on that as well?

My sympathies also to the great M. Rivette and his loved ones.

The Fanciful Norwegian

New Yorker no longer has any claim to L'Argent. Their rights expired and were picked up by Janus, Criterion's parent company. Janus also got Le procès de Jeanne d’Arc and A Man Escaped.

Darren Arnold

Re: Claude Jutra. As Hauser said, he was involved in a life-threatening motorcycle accident, although his actual suicide -- following him being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's -- was by drowning himself in the St. Lawrence river. It took several months and a full Canadian winter for his body -- his pocked contained a note reading 'I am Claude Jutra' -- to be found. So while he didn't hang around for Alzheimer's to kill him, it nonetheless seemed to be a major (if not the sole) reason to end his life. Another very sad story.


Sorry about my strong words for Criterion; I was under the impression that New Yorker Films was defunct and that the rights were up for grabs.

Having said that, are there any rights at all stateside for Duelle, Noroît, Le Pont du Nord, or Merry Go Round? Did any of that even make it to VHS here? These films don't even have UK releases.

It seems like if Criterion WANTED to put out any Rivette, there would be something available for them to acquire.

Also, regarding Out 1, there is still a listing on Amazon's German site for a 5-disc set containing both cuts to come out this coming November. This would likely not have English subtitles, but if the film was put into any releasable shape then a UK or US version wouldn't be too difficult.

Tom Russell

What I heard re: the rights to New Yorker films when it went out of business was that there was an auction with the entire library in one go, without anyone being told what exactly was in the library-- apparently a lot of New Yorker acquisitions were handshake deals-- and then Technicolor itself (the parent company which was responsible for New Yorker's demise in the first place) outbid everyone, retaining the rights.

New Yorker was re-formed a year or two ago (I think-- that is, I know they were re-formed, but I'm hazy on the timeline).

warren oates

Lazarus, Out 1 is supposed to be coming from Criterion sometime. Hopefully when that international version you saw hits the rest of the world this fall. Criterion also has the rights to Paris Belongs To Us. And Duelle, Noroît, Le Pont du Nord and Merry Go Round would certainly at the very least make an awesome Eclipse set, but who knows if they have any plans or rights for those.

The Siren

God knows I worship Criterion but I'm never comfortable with having them be the court of last resort for All Great Movies Missing on DVD. They've got a bottom line like anyone else, and fundamentally they're the good guys and not the problem.

I know from off-the-record conversations about rights tangles (not, I should emphasize, with anyone at Criterion), and also from my interview with Lee Tsiantis of the Time-Warner legal department, that there's often behind-the-scenes stuff going on with trying to get rights for certain movies. Sometimes you think nobody cares about a film you yearn for, and then you find out that somebody has, in fact, been working his ass off to get that very film out of whatever limbo it's stuck in. I'm not Pollyanna but I have to remind myself of this every time I whine, and I whine a lot.


Warren: Let's hope that Rivette doesn't get relegated to Eclipse (as much as I adore that sub-label), but that's exactly what they did with Daisies without even having the decency to give Chytilova her own set like Shepitko or Ackerman. And Daisies is easily deserving of top-tier treatment, a landmark title as important as anything from even the French New Wave. At least the region 2 release from Second Run gave us a charming video interview with the director.


While DAISIES did deserve a more prominent treatment (ditto the upcoming PUTNEY SWOPE Eclipse), that Czech New Wave box is too awesome to speak ill of.

There have long been rumors of a Criterion OUT 1 release. But I'll take it on any label that wants to treat it with some TLC.


Does anyone know who has the rights to THE TRAVELLING PLAYERS, where the New Yorker version never made it DVD? Is anybody going to say something nice about Criterion now that THE ORGANIZER is on DVD? (Aside from Dave Kehr's good review yesterday?]

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