David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

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LostInTheMovies
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David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:28 pm

This is such a cool idea for a series. I love the pairings:

https://www.filmlinc.org/daily/lineup-for-lynchrivette-dual-retrospective-revealed/
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby Mark B » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:13 am

Wish I could go to this - there's so much of Rivette's work I've been unable to see, although we seem to have been luckier with releases of Rivette's work in Europe than the US. Particularly would love to see the IE & The Story of Marie & Julien, as anything paired with IE is something I'd want to go to.

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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby LostInTheMovies » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:28 pm

Just wrote an essay about the upcoming retro for Fandor: https://www.fandor.com/keyframe/lured-in-by-lynch-and-rivette. I will be covering the series at Lost in the Movies (I'll update this spot with the reviews).

Tonight there was a talk with Dennis Lim & Melissa Anderson, and apparently they premiered a new Kevin B. Lee video essay on Lynch and/or Rivette to boot! Bummed I couldn't go to this part. :(
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby LostInTheMovies » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:25 pm

As a matter of fact, I'm there right now... *cue canned evil laugh*
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David Locke
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby David Locke » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:56 pm

Nice essay! I like Rivette a lot, but The Story of Marie and Julien is by far my favorite of his; I'm not sure if I'd pair it with IE as much as MD, though. However, it's not really similar to any one Lynch film so much as it contains a general Lynchian atmosphere. And I agree that they're ultimately rather different directors, and watching Celine and Julie after MD or whatever will bear that out despite the similarities.
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:34 am

David Locke wrote:Nice essay! I like Rivette a lot, but The Story of Marie and Julien is by far my favorite of his; I'm not sure if I'd pair it with IE as much as MD, though. However, it's not really similar to any one Lynch film so much as it contains a general Lynchian atmosphere. And I agree that they're ultimately rather different directors, and watching Celine and Julie after MD or whatever will bear that out despite the similarities.


Oh boy, that's the only one left I haven't seen! (Just saw Duchess of Langeais & Jean la Pucelle for the first time yesterday & day before.)
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby David Locke » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:04 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:
David Locke wrote:Nice essay! I like Rivette a lot, but The Story of Marie and Julien is by far my favorite of his; I'm not sure if I'd pair it with IE as much as MD, though. However, it's not really similar to any one Lynch film so much as it contains a general Lynchian atmosphere. And I agree that they're ultimately rather different directors, and watching Celine and Julie after MD or whatever will bear that out despite the similarities.


Oh boy, that's the only one left I haven't seen! (Just saw Duchess of Langeais & Jean la Pucelle for the first time yesterday & day before.)

Wow, then that will be a great capper on Rivette's work! I've seen ten of his films, which isn't all that much considering how many he's made (and I haven't seen any of his pre-1974 films). I find that generally, though Celine and Julie is a lot of fun (if a bit of a slog when you're not in exactly the right mood) and Duelle is awesomely atmospheric (Noroit is cool too!), a lot of Rivette's more impressive films are the ones he's made in the last decade or two. Over time he's shown an increasing mastery of form, to the point where Story of Marie and Julien is absolutely beautifully shot and couldn't be called amateurish by any stretch of the imagination (as some of his earlier works possibly could, aesthetically). That one and Duchess of Langeais are my favorites partly because of their seductive, moody, romantic-realist style, gorgeously lit and shot as usual by the late, great DP William Lubtchansky (but also because of their emotionally powerful stories and superb performances). They also both make wonderful use, typical for Rivette, of a kind of tactile sound design wherein every single footstep on a creaky floor is recorded and heard with perfect precision. It's great.

As I said, Marie and Julien is quite Lynchian in a kind of hard-to-pinpoint kind of atmospheric way, but the better comparison to make would be to films like Vertigo and Solaris. It's basically a thematic cousin to those films, and many others (Ugetsu, perhaps?) -- all those sad, haunting films about sad and haunted men being sadly haunted by the ghosts of loves past. Rivette's film is rather more playful than those flicks, though -- especially in its exquisite, tragicomic final moment, which strongly recalls that of Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

Unfortunately Rivette's last film, 2009's Around a Small Mountain, I found to be by far the weakest of his work I've seen; not offensively bad, but with precious little to recommend it. And now it appears that Rivette's memory has deteriorated to the point that he can't even watch a movie any more. Sad. But he's had a great career, and I can't wait to explore it more (I only wish more of his films were available on R1 DVD/blu!)
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:24 pm

My review of Blue Velvet & Duchess of Langeais has been posted:

http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2015/12/blue-velvet-duchess-of-langeais.html

Fire Walk With Me & Joan the Maid has been written but will be posted tomorrow morning. I couldn't see Wild at Heart/L'Amour Fou today but I will be catching the individual screenings of both films later this week and writing about the pair then.
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:49 pm

David Locke wrote:
LostInTheMovies wrote:
David Locke wrote:Nice essay! I like Rivette a lot, but The Story of Marie and Julien is by far my favorite of his; I'm not sure if I'd pair it with IE as much as MD, though. However, it's not really similar to any one Lynch film so much as it contains a general Lynchian atmosphere. And I agree that they're ultimately rather different directors, and watching Celine and Julie after MD or whatever will bear that out despite the similarities.


Oh boy, that's the only one left I haven't seen! (Just saw Duchess of Langeais & Jean la Pucelle for the first time yesterday & day before.)

Wow, then that will be a great capper on Rivette's work! I've seen ten of his films, which isn't all that much considering how many he's made (and I haven't seen any of his pre-1974 films). I find that generally, though Celine and Julie is a lot of fun (if a bit of a slog when you're not in exactly the right mood) and Duelle is awesomely atmospheric (Noroit is cool too!), a lot of Rivette's more impressive films are the ones he's made in the last decade or two. Over time he's shown an increasing mastery of form, to the point where Story of Marie and Julien is absolutely beautifully shot and couldn't be called amateurish by any stretch of the imagination (as some of his earlier works possibly could, aesthetically). That one and Duchess of Langeais are my favorites partly because of their seductive, moody, romantic-realist style, gorgeously lit and shot as usual by the late, great DP William Lubtchansky (but also because of their emotionally powerful stories and superb performances). They also both make wonderful use, typical for Rivette, of a kind of tactile sound design wherein every single footstep on a creaky floor is recorded and heard with perfect precision. It's great.

As I said, Marie and Julien is quite Lynchian in a kind of hard-to-pinpoint kind of atmospheric way, but the better comparison to make would be to films like Vertigo and Solaris. It's basically a thematic cousin to those films, and many others (Ugetsu, perhaps?) -- all those sad, haunting films about sad and haunted men being sadly haunted by the ghosts of loves past. Rivette's film is rather more playful than those flicks, though -- especially in its exquisite, tragicomic final moment, which strongly recalls that of Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

Unfortunately Rivette's last film, 2009's Around a Small Mountain, I found to be by far the weakest of his work I've seen; not offensively bad, but with precious little to recommend it. And now it appears that Rivette's memory has deteriorated to the point that he can't even watch a movie any more. Sad. But he's had a great career, and I can't wait to explore it more (I only wish more of his films were available on R1 DVD/blu!)


I saw that one as well and don't remember much about it, except that it seemed charming but slight. Duchess of Langeais I want to see again - I watched it at the end of a very long day (I got up at 5am to catch a bus to NYC) and was supposed to catch it before Blue Velvet but ended up having to watch it afterwards due to a complete screw-up on my part. So at that point I was pretty tired and found my mind drifting occasionally especially in the middle stretch as the Duchess & general played their back-and-forth game (it helped that I read Balzac's story several years ago, directly inspired by Rivette's use of History of the 13 in Out 1!). I was able to follow it but feel like I would probably get more out of it a second time. Nonetheless, I was very impressed with the performances and the feel of much of it, especially those Spanish scenes; as you say there was something really spare and evocative about the sound design. I didn't know anything about Guillame Depardieu's life or career while watching it, but was saddened to learn how tragic it was when I looked up info about him tonight.

The Rivettes I'd seen before this weekend were: Paris Belongs to Us, L'Amour Fou, Out 1: Noli me tangere, Celine and Julie Go Boating, Duelle, and Around a Small Mountain (plus a short film from the 50s), so even fewer than you! Now I can add Duchess & Jeanne to the list, and Marie after next week but still so many to catch up with (especially from the 80s). I did discover La Religieuse was on YT recently. What do you think of that one?

So far the biggest revelation of the series for me has been Jeanne Pt. II. Pt. I didn't capture me as much though again that may admittedly be due in part to external factors (I was running late again, missed the first few minutes of the film - which I later caught on YouTube, and was sweating profusely and uncomfortably for a while into the screening lol...it is unseasonably hot in Manhattan!). But Pt. II - WOW! The coronation sequence is one of the most spellbinding depictions of a religious ceremony I've ever seen onscreen and Sandrine Bonnaire is so iconic in that suit of armor - yet so human as well in her performance (the decision to pair the film with FWWM was a brilliant stroke). It's interesting to notice many similarities between the actresses too - born just a month apart, and both were made famous by playing enigmatic and confused teenagers driven by troubled relationships with their fathers into often destructive sexual experimentation and a fall from grace. Of course Bonnaire is something of a national treasure in France while Lee remains far more unappreciated in the U.S. - hopefully that may change with the new series, if she's given the juicy role she deserves.

Quite looking forward to the Eraserhead/Paris Belongs to Us pairing on Tuesday. I tend to feel Paris is really underrated. Unlike Eraserhead (but maybe a bit like FWWM) it's a far from perfect film with the director kind of piecing it together as he goes but that's part of the brilliance. I love how it just goes for broke, struggling to express a vision that didn't really fit in with anything else going on at the time. It's one of my favorite movies of the early New Wave.
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:15 am

I should also note that it was good (if not perfect) to finally see FWWM on the big screen - I had seen it once before with an audience at a library but that was projected on a small screen from the New Line DVD. On the minus side, some of the print (especially in the first half of the movie) was not in great condition, with a noticeably yellowish/gold tint over the picture. I also wasn't crazy about how the mix sounded in the theater with some dialogue very faint (had I not seen the film before, I wouldn't have known the monkey said "Judy" or anything at all really - I know it's supposed to be low, but this was nearly silent), although fortunately the loud stuff was pretty loud. On the plus side, some of the later reels were excellent and they came right when it really mattered: the Road House looked absolutely gorgeous (with colors that popped and picture as sharp as the blu-ray it seemed) and the Pink Room was as immersive as it should be, really hypnotizing the audience for its trancelike duration. Maybe it was the picture quality that did it, but I found myself really getting into the experience much later than usual; the angels speech and even the "wash your hands" didn't quite get to me as they had in the past. I think partly because I've studied and reflected on the undersung narrative qualities so much in the past year that aspect wasn't as fresh to me last night whereas when I could just sink into the sheer audiovisual spectacle of it, forgetting the bigger picture to experience the moment, I was more captivated.

You know it's funny - I'm thrilled to pieces that these films are being shown in 35mm (and the Rivettes in particular look spectacular, much better than the Lynchs so far) but it's also reminding me how unreliable celluloid can be even as it offers things that home viewing and maybe even a digital projection can't. The Blue Velvet print was disappointingly dark, and those reel changes get to me sometimes too: it was a bit of a bummer to miss that sharp cut/cue for the Pink Room even if it was only off by a few seconds. On the other hand, of course, there's something really wonderful about soaking in the picture on such a big canvas, allowing it to overwhelm rather than attempting to focus in and make a small screen larger in your mind, to be surrounded by the presence of other spectators even when you forget they're there. And I confess sometimes I even find the scratches, blips, and other flaws in the actual film to be part of the charm - a reminder that this dream world exists on actual physical material with its own texture. I barely ever go to the movies anymore - even (maybe especially) new releases - so this is a nice re-christening in a lost pastime for me.

Hope this doesn't sound like complaining; just trying to report the overall experience. I couldn't be more excited to be here for this event which is going to go down in my personal history as one of the best cinematic voyages I've ever taken.
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:17 am

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Eraserhead & Paris Belongs to Us

Postby LostInTheMovies » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:48 pm

And I just compared Eraserhead & Paris Belongs to Us:

http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2015/12/eraserhead-paris-belongs-to-us_50.html

One of the more paradoxical pairings.
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby cinemartin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:56 am

Hey Lost - did you see L'amour fou yet? Was wondering if the print they have is the same battered print that's been playing in NYC for years - it had New Yorker Films logo at the head.
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby LostInTheMovies » Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:16 am

cinemartin wrote:Hey Lost - did you see L'amour fou yet? Was wondering if the print they have is the same battered print that's been playing in NYC for years - it had New Yorker Films logo at the head.



5 hours from now. Oh man I hope not. Rivette print quality has been the highlights so far. And I've seen the film twice in really, really crappy prints so far so it would be nice to get a good-lookin version. When I tweeted something to that effect Lincoln Center favorited the tweet, so here's hoping...
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Re: David Lynch & Jacques Rivette retrospective

Postby cinemartin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:18 am

Oh man - keep me posted please! I haven't read your reviews yet but I very much look forward to, as I really don't see a lot of connections between the 2 filmmakers other than superficial ones (at best). Hoping to be enlightened!

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