The Duchess of Langeais (2007) - News Poster

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Jacques Rivette, 1928 - 2016

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The legendary filmmaker has passed away at the age of 87. Here is the Notebook's coverage of Jacques Rivette, over the years:David Phelps on Céline and Julie Go BoatingDaniel Kasman on Don't Touch the Axe, Around a Small Mountain, DuelleGlenn Kenny on Joan the Maid, La religieuseMiriam Bale on Le pont du NordIgnatiy Vishnevetsky on Paris Belongs to UsTed Fendt on Paris s'en vaCristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin on Out 1 Jonathan Rosenbaum & Kevin B. Lee on Out 1Chris Luscri on Out 1Covadonga G. Lahera & Joel Bocko on Out 1Christopher Small on The Duchess of Langeais, Joan the Maid, Paris Belongs to Us, L'amour fou, Duelle, The Story of Mary and Julien, Céline and Julie Go BoatingAdrian Curry on the posters of Jacques RivetteCarlo Chatrian on (Three Reasons For) Remembering Jacques Rivette
See full article at MUBI »

Jacques Rivette, Cerebral French New Wave Director, Dies at 87

Jacques Rivette, Cerebral French New Wave Director, Dies at 87
French New Wave director Jacques Rivette, who often explored the blurry line between reality and fantasy in a career spanning six decades and more than 20 features, died Friday at his home in Paris. He was 87.

Rivette’s death was confirmed in a tweet by French culture minister Fleur Pellerin, who called him “one of the greatest filmmakers of intimacy and impatient love.” The director reportedly had battled Alzheimer’s disease for several years.

Avec Jacques Rivette disparaît l'un des plus grands cinéastes de l'intime et de l'impatience amoureuse. C'est un jour de profonde tristesse.

Fleur Pellerin (@fleurpellerin) January 29, 2016

In his films, Rivette, perhaps the least known of the major French New Wave directors, frequently took a semi-experimental approach to narrative. The films were partially improvised by the actors, and their prolonged running times allowed auds to wander around freely in their deliberately stagy worlds.

Three-hour-plus titles were the norm for the helmer,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lynch / Rivette. Touch Me Not: “Blue Velvet” and “The Duchess of Langeais”

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This article accompanies the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s dual retrospective of the films of Jacques Rivette and David Lynch and is part of an ongoing review of Rivette’s films for the Notebook, in light of several major re-releases of his work.At first, David Lynch’s most rigid film, the mellifluous Blue Velvet (1986), being paired with Jacques Rivette’s buoyant, fluid 2007 adaptation of Balzac’s La Duchess de Langeais, might seem like a rather unusual way to begin a film series intending to strike up parallels between the two (at least heretofore) unconnected film directors. The swings from love to hate and back again between the lovers in The Duchess of Langeais are matched and counterpointed by the swings of Rivette’s late camera, both balanced and frantic in its restless pursuit of clarification which, of course, it never seems to find. In contrast, Lynch presents Blue Velvet
See full article at MUBI »

Lynch / Rivette. Touch Me Not: “Blue Velvet” and “The Duchess of Langeais”

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This article accompanies the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s dual retrospective of the films of Jacques Rivette and David Lynch and is part of an ongoing review of Rivette’s films for the Notebook, in light of several major re-releases of his work.At first, David Lynch’s most rigid film, the mellifluous Blue Velvet (1986), being paired with Jacques Rivette’s buoyant, fluid 2007 adaptation of Balzac’s La Duchess de Langeais, might seem like a rather unusual way to begin a film series intending to strike up parallels between the two (at least heretofore) unconnected film directors. The swings from love to hate and back again between the lovers in The Duchess of Langeais are matched and counterpointed by the swings of Rivette’s late camera, both balanced and frantic in its restless pursuit of clarification which, of course, it never seems to find. In contrast, Lynch presents Blue Velvet
See full article at MUBI »

NYC Weekend Watch: Lynch/Rivette, Guy Maddin, ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ & More

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Film Society of Lincoln Center

Perhaps the year’s most intriguing retrospective is “Lynch/Rivette,” and it begins this weekend. Pairing seven films from David Lynch with eight from Jacques Rivette, it seeks to find commonalities between two thoroughly unique film artists. Things begin with Friday’s double-billing of The Duchess of Langeais and Blue Velvet
See full article at The Film Stage »

Movies This Week: January 23-29, 2015

 

The Austin Film Society is launching a new series this weekend that arrives in town straight from New York and Los Angeles. "In Case Of No Emergency: The Films Of Ruben Ostlund" aims to turn American audiences on to the work of the Swedish writer/director who earned rave reviews for 2014's Force Majeure. That breakout hit, which was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Golden Globe, screens tonight at the Marchesa and is followed by Ostlund's 2011 feature Play. The series continues on Sunday afternoon with his 2008 film Involuntary and closes out on Tuesday night with his 2004 debut film The Guitar Mongoloid. All films are screening from 35mm prints except for Force Majeure, which is digital.

On Wednesday night, the Afs Screening Room (1901 E. 51st St.) is hosting a selection of scenes from "Avant Garde Cinema of the 1920s" from the Soviet Union. You'll see work from Pudovkin, Eisenstein,
See full article at Slackerwood »

"The Princess of Montpensier," "Imperialists!," More

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"The finest Western you'll see this year is set in aristocratic 16th-century France, in the heat of Counter-Reformation," declares Nick Pinkerton. Segueing into his interview with Bertrand Tavernier, Aaron Hillis, also in the Voice, sums up the gist of The Princess of Montpensier: "Adapted from Madame de la Fayette's classic novel, the film concerns a nubile, wealthy heiress (Mélanie Thierry) who loves a rugged hothead from the wrong clan (Gaspard Ulliel), but is forced by her father to marry another prince (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet), leaving her to dwell on the too-modern desire for free will — defiantly bucking against the rigid traditions of her breed." Back to Pinkerton: "The setting always serves the performers rather than vice versa — though the film is also greatly enhanced by the costuming, the rugged French countryside photographed in outdoor-adventure CinemaScope, and Philippe Sarde's baroque-tribal score, its martial and romantic poles matching a tale of
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The Forgotten: Model Turned Actress

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The starburst filter, exploding reality into glistening flares and halations...the clink of brandy glasses before an open fire, or the shimmer of a Los Angeles swimming pool...the device has an aura of dated cliche haunting the lovely tackiness of its images. How strange to see it used in black-and-white in Jean-Gabriel Albicocco's The Girl With Golden Eyes (1961), where it becomes outstandingly beautiful with no hint of kitsch.

Frustratingly, the subtitles (produced by a besotted fan) on my copy of this film are too literal or elliptical or something: at any rate, I can't understand anything that's going on, despite a helpful title crawl at the start setting up the plot, and the knowledge that it's based on one of Balzac's stories of the Thirteen, a group of friends who form a secret society to protect each other's interests (Rivette used Balzac's idea obliquely in Out
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Film Reviews: ‘Around a Small Mountain,’ ‘Vengeance,’ ‘Valhalla Rising’ Play Siskel Film Center

Chicago – With the last days of August remaining, the dreaded days of post-summer dreck are upon us, with studios dumping some of their least promising products into theaters, while making way for the approaching Oscar season. During a decidedly dull weekend such as this, cinephiles are on the lookout for films that offer an exotic escape from humdrum mainstream fare.

Luckily, Chicagoans have a great deal of art house venues to choose from, including the Siskel Film Center, which is currently screening the latest work from several of the world’s most fascinating and innovative filmmakers. Here are three highlights fresh off the film center’s calendar that are well worth marking in yours. The first is from one of the great yet under-appreciated founders of the French New Wave, the second is from a filmmaker who emerged during the Hong Kong New Wave, and the third is by a
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

R.I.P. William Lubtchansky

For all his lucid dreams. They will be remembered with Godard, Varda, Lanzmann, Straub & Huillet, Rivette, Truffaut, Garrel, and the rest of cinema, which will not be the same.

Top: From Jacques Rivette's The Story of Marie and Julien (2003); featuring Jerzy Radziwilowicz and Emmanuelle Béart; cinematography by William Lubtchansky.

* * *

"I met him only once, in 2001, when he granted me an interview that turned into a long and amicable talk at his home in Paris (concluding with directions to the nearby Poîlane bakery)." The New Yorker's Richard Brody: "[A]rguably, no cinematographer in the history of cinema has photographed a more significant set of movies.... As a cinematographer, Lubtchansky may not have brought about as manifest a technical revolution as did Gregg Toland and Raoul Coutard, but he played a crucial role in the work of the most historically-informed and classical-minded of modernist filmmakers, by infusing traditional cinematic craftsmanship with a decisively modernist spirit.
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Sfiff Review: Around a Small Mountain

Sfiff Review: Around a Small Mountain
Note: This is our first review in a smaller series of coverage from the 2010 San Francisco International Film Festival.

One of my favorite living film directors is Jacques Rivette. Rivette was once part of the original "French New Wave," a group of film critics for Cahiers du Cinema that decided to turn director and make their own films. The group also included Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol. The other four achieved some measure of fame, but Rivette was always the "outcast" of the group. He was the most "experimental." He completed three "New Wave" style films in the 1960s, the latter of which, L'amour fou (1968), ran over four hours. and followed them with his monumental Out 1 (1971), which ran nearly 13 hours. (The film has rarely been shown, and I keep hoping for a DVD box set someday soon.)

After that came arguably his most beloved film, though
See full article at Cinematical »

Guillaume Depardieu Dead At 37

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Guillaume Depardieu Dead At 37
French actor Gerard Depardieu's son Guillaume Depardieu has died at a hospital in Paris after suffering from a severe bout of pneumonia.

The 37-year-old passed away on Monday at the Garches hospital.

He had been filming new movie L'Enfance d'Icare in Romania when he suddenly fell ill. He was taken to seek medical help at the weekend but died early on Monday.

A spokesperson for Depardieu Sr.'s agency Artmedia says, "He caught a virus which gave him a very severe pneumonia."

Guillaume Depardieu starred in a number of movies, including 1991's Tous les matins du monde, 1993's Cible emouvante, Pola X in 1999, and 2007's Ne touchez pas la hache.

He was a multiple-nominee of the Cesar Awards in France, and in 1996 he won the accolade for Most Promising Actor for his role in Les Apprentis.

But it was Guillaume's reputation as a rebel which attracted the most attention. In 2003, he was handed a nine-month suspended prison sentence and fined $9,000 (GBP4,865) for threatening a man with a gun.

And in June this year, he was jailed for two months for driving under the influence (DUI). In addition, he has been in trouble with police over various drug offences.

He also suffered personal turmoil when he was injured in a severe motorbike accident in 1995, which later resulted in his right leg being amputated in 2003.

He is survived by his six-year-old daughter Louise with his ex-wife Elise Ventre, whom he divorced in 2006.

Don't Touch the Axe (Ne Touchez Pas La Hache)

Don't Touch the Axe (Ne Touchez Pas La Hache)
BERLIN -- Nearing 80, French new wave director Jacques Rivette continues to display a fine touch with "Don't Touch the Axe," an intimate tale about the games lovers play taken to extremes.

Based on a novella titled The Duchesse de Langeais by Honore de Balzac, it's the story of a dedicated soldier back from the wars and the socialite lady he loves not wisely but too well.

Handsomely produced and featuring fine performances, the film will travel well to festivals and art houses where audiences respond to classy period pieces with a modern sensibility.

The film begins and ends with encounters taking place several years later than the central events, which are told in flashback. Guillaume Depardieu stars as Napoleonic Gen. Armand de Montriveau who returns to Paris following a time imprisoned by the enemy bearing his wounds and his dignity with equal solemnity. Introduced to the beautiful and mischievous Antoinette de Langeais (Jeanne Balibar) at a fashionable salon, the soldier is instantly captivated.

The lady is also intrigued but such is her taste for coquetry that she makes his seduction a game full of promises and teasing, almost driving him to distraction. Although smitten, de Montriveau comes to the conclusion that he is being played for a fool and determines that turnabout is fair play.

Now it's de Langeais turn to have her emotions toyed with although she continues to give as good as she gets. Rivette takes great care with these scenes, which are filled with subtle by-play and executed with finesse by the two actors.

Cinematographer William Lubtchansky captures beautifully Maira Ramedhan Levy's costumes and Emmanuel de Chauvigny's production design and the rest of the cast serve the story well.

The screenplay by Rivette, Pascal Bonitzer, and Christine Laurent employs several lines taken directly from Balzac, whose wit could be as deft and precise as Oscar Wilde's. The film's title comes from a warning given to de Montriveau at a display of the blade used to execute an English king that serves as a caution about keeping his head. Depardieu and Balibar relish the dialogue and body language of the battling lovers so that their clashes appear to be a tense but rapier-like combination of chess and fencing.

DON'T TOUCH THE AXE (NE TOUCHEZ PAS LA HACHE)

IFC Films

Pierre Grise Prods., Cinemaundici, Arte France Cinema.

Credits:

Director: Jacques Rivette

Writer: Jacques Rivette, Pascal Bonitzer, Christine Laurent

Producers: Martine Marignac, Maurice Tinchant

Director of photography: William Lubtchansky

Production designer: Emmanuel de Chauvigny

Music: Pierre Allio

Costume designer: Maira Ramedhan Levy

Co-producers: Luigi Musini, Roberto Cicutto, Ermanno Olmi

Editor: Nicole Lubtchansky

Cast:

Antoinette de Langeais: Jeanne Balibar

Armand de Montriveau: Guillaume Depardieu

Princesse de Blamont-Chauvry: Bulle Ogier

Vidame de Pamiers: Michel Piccoli

Le Duc de Grandlieu: Barbet Schroeder

Clara de Serizy: Anne Cantineau

Julien: Mathias Jung

Lisette: Julie Judd

Running time -- 137 minutes

No MPAA rating

Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2008: #77 The Duchess of Langeais

[/link] (Ne touchez pas la hache) Director: Jacques RivetteScreenwriters: Pascal Bonitzer, Christine Laurent and RivetteProducers: Roberto Cicutto, Martine Marignac, Luigi Musini, Ermanno Olmi and Maurice Tinchant Distributor: IFC Films The Gist: Based on Honore de Balzac's novella, Antoinette (Balibar) is the Duchess of Langeais, a married coquette who frequents the most extravagant balls in 1820’s Paris. At one such event she meets the handsome, brooding general Armand de Montriveau (Depardieu), who recounts his death-defying adventures in Napoleon’s army. Fact: Jeanne Balibar also starred in Rivette's Va Savoir. See It: Film was one of the most talked about from the Berlin Film Festival in 07'. Release Date/Status?: Day and date IFC films release on February 22nd. ...
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Three at fest headed to IFC

Three at fest headed to IFC
Related story: U.S. fare speaks to Toronto in fest lineup

Related story: Christie's digital gets screen billing

NEW YORK -- IFC Films has nabbed three features that have North American premieres at next month's Toronto International Film Festival: Harmony Korine's pop-culture fantasia "Mister Lonely", starring Diego Luna and Samantha Morton; Jacques Rivette's French period romance "The Duchess of Langeais", starring Guillaume Depardieu; and, in partnership with Netflix's Red Envelope Entertainment, Christophe Honore's French musical drama "Love Songs".

The art house trio rounds out an impressive seven IFC features on the Toronto slate, including Gus Van Sant's teen drama "Paranoid Park", Cristian Mungiu's Romanian abortion drama "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days", Hou Hsiao-hsien's fantasy "The Flight of the Red Balloon" and Catherine Breillat's erotic period romance "The Last Mistress".

"Mister Lonely" marks the return of enfant terrible director Korine ("Gummo", "Julien Donkey Boy"). With brother Avi, he wrote the story of a Parisian Michael Jackson impersonator (Luna), guided by a faux Marilyn Monroe (Morton) to an impersonator commune in the Scottish Highlands, where Abe Lincoln, The Three Stooges, the queen, the pope, Madonna and other impostors stage a gala performance.

French, Asian cinema return to Berlin competition

French, Asian cinema return to Berlin competition
COLOGNE, Germany -- French and Asian cinema are back with a vengeance at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, with four French and four Asian films selected for the festival's official competition lineup.

Francois Ozon's Angel, about the rise and fall of a young author in early 20th century England, will close the 57th Berlinale, providing a suitable bookend to an event that kicks off Feb. 8 with the world premiere of La vie en Rose, from another French director, Olivier Dahan.

The other French films in competition -- Andre Techine's The Witness and Jacques Rivette's Don't Touch The Axe -- also will have their world premieres in Berlin.

Asian cinema, which was largely absent from last year's lineup, returns in force with two Chinese productions -- Wang Quan'an drama Tuya's Marriage and Li Yu's urban portrait Lost In Beijing -- and two from Korea -- Zhang Lu's Desert Dream, about a refugee from North Korea who flees to a barren village on the Chinese/Mongolian border, and I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK, the highly-anticipated new drama from Park Chan-wook (Oldboy).

This year's Berlinale lineup ranges from such independent productions as Ryan Eslinger's When a Man Falls in the Forest to Zack Snyder's epic 300, an adaptation of the Frank Miller comic book about the battle of Thermopylae between 300 Spartans and a Persian army numbering in the millions. Both films will have their world premieres in Berlin, with "300" unspooling out of competition.

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