With the exception of Julie & Celine Go Boating, Rivette's films are not well known in this country, and therein is quite a loss. This is a very complicated story of student-roomates whose ordinary lives threaten to shatter their ordinary lives. Love, betrayal, the arts, sexuality, criminal behavior and trust are a few of the many themes that permeate the slowly developing action. The entire film is visually gorgeous and challenging, especially the shots from the elevated subway, which provide not only enlightment and whimsey, but also prefigure the escalating actions and surprises of the slowly moving plots. The young actresses are quite good, especially Laurence Cote, whom some may know from her role in Les Voleurs, a very fine film by Andre Techine. There is no easy way into Rivette's excellent films. Most of them are slow to develop and far from obvious. But all of them are deeply rewarding, warrant numerous repeat screenings, and Gang of Four is no exception.
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