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The theatre world is a familiar setting for the films of Rivette. In Va savoir, the characters, all quick-witted, well-read and cultured types, revolve around each other in a delightful potpourri of theatre, romance and theft. In the end, everything lands on its feet and they all get the partner they deserve, but before then, long filmer Rivette takes two and a half hours to dwell lightly on the vicissitudes around the six protagonists. Camille is an actress with an Italian company that is in Paris to perform a play by Pirandello, Come tu mi vuoi. Her boyfriend Ugo is the director and the company's most important actor. Both have a hidden agenda for their trip to Paris: Camille meets her ex Pierre, a professor of philosophy, while Ugo is secretly researching a supposedly lost play by Goldoni. In the archives, he is assisted by the charming student Do, who steals his heart. In turn, Do has a link with Pierre: her stepbrother, the playwright Arthur, namely steals an expensive ring from ... Written by
Written by Gino Paoli / Alec Wilder
Sung by Peggy Lee
Performed by Lou Levy (piano)
John Pisano (guitar)
Charles Berghofer (bass)
Stan Levey (drum)
Avec l'autorisation de BMG Music Vision et d'EMI Music France See more »
The film's heroine, Camille, a French stage actress left Paris three years ago and found success in Torino, Italy where she became a lead actress for the theater company. She also became a lover of Ugo, a famous stage director. She returns back to Paris with Ugo and his company to act in Italian as a main character in Pirandello's "As You Desire Me", the play that explores the mysteries of identity and memory. While in Paris, Camille confronts her past life and Pierre, the man whom she loved and still can't forget. I found Camille's character (as played by Jeanne Balibar, the stage actress and a dancer) very interesting. She may not be likable in a beginning but she is talented and every character in the movie after watching her performing at the stage leaves with the feelings that they've witnessed something very special. Camille changes as the movie progresses and in the end she becomes like a sister or close friend to both Celine and Julie. Her every movement, gesture, the way she walks, smiles, turns her head, speaks in two languages changing the timbre of her voice are true marvels to watch and to listen to.
Ugo tries to find in the Paris libraries the lost but existing play by the Italian dramatist of 18th century, Carlo Goldoni and is helped by an intelligent and beautiful young student, Dominique or Do and they both seem to have developed some special feelings for each other. Dominique has a half-brother, Arthur who is in love with Sonja, a new woman in Pierre's life or is he in love with Sonja's exquisite jewelry? Do and Arthur have a mother, Madame Desprez who has inherited the library of the rare and priceless old books but she does not sell them, she keeps them as a memory of her first husband. Sonja, Pierre's girlfriend seems to bring the peace and happiness in Pierre's life after Camille was gone but she, too, had a mystery in her rather wild past for which a marvelous ring, an object of Arthur's desire serves as a reminder.
I like "Va savoir" a lot - it is so well constructed and absolutely Rivettesque and it made me smile all the time. It is long (as usual for Rivette's films) but elegantly relaxed. It moves well with its own wonderful pace and we enjoy leisure walkings and spend time with many old and rare books. We feel longing that is in the air - all six characters desire something and someone. We notice once again how much Rivette likes his characters sitting on the park bench where the magic events begin happening to them. We go through many wonderful sequences, ironic, dramatic, and lyrical and in the end we are awarded by the finale which is truly grand and theatrical in the best sense. After all the movie could be viewed as Rivette's love letter to theater. Va Savoir? Who knows?
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