Daily Archives: May 25, 2007

The 12-Hour Masterpiece

From the Chicago Reader (May 25, 2007). — J.R.

OUT 1 ****

DIRECTED BY JACQUES RIVETTE | WRITTEN BY RIVETTE AND SUZANNE SCHIFFMAN WITH PIERRE BAILLOT, JULIET BERTO, MICHEL DELAHAYE, JACQUES DONIOL-VALCROZE, FRANCOISE FABIAN, HERMINE KARAGHEUZ, BERNADETTE LAFONT, MICHELE MORETTI, AND ERIC ROHMER

WHEN Sat 5/26, 2:30 PM (episodes 1 and 2) and 7 PM (episodes 3 and 4); Sun 5/27, 2:30 PM (episodes 5 and 6) and 6:45 PM (episodes seven and eight)

WHERE Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State

PRICE $30

INFO 312-846-2600

MORE Box meals from Whole Foods will be available during dinner breaks for $10, but must be ordered by Thu 5/24.

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QUESTION: Why did you choose the title Out?

RIVETTE: Because we didn’t succeed in finding a title. It’s without meaning. It’s only a label. — from a 1974 interview

Jacques Rivette has made several good films and four great ones, consecutively: L’Amour Fou (four hours, 1968), Out 1 (12 hours, 1971), Out 1: Spectre (four hours, 1972), and Celine and Julie Go Boating (three hours, 1974). It’s not their epic length that sets these apart from the rest of his filmography — there are others by Rivette that are plenty long — but their improvisatory nature.… Read more »

China Seas

Vintage MGM hokum (1935) with more assets than you can shake a swizzle stick at: Clark Gable (as a sea captain sailing from Hong Kong to Singapore), Rosalind Russell (for upscale romance), Jean Harlow (for downscale romance), C. Aubrey Smith (for colonialist nostalgia), Robert Benchley (for drunk jokes), plus character turns by Wallace Beery and Lewis Stone. Pirates and a hidden cache of British gold notwithstanding, the raucous action is more diversion than plot. Jules Furthman wrote the salty, snappy dialogue, and Tay Garnett, a specialist in studio-bound sea yarns, directed. 87 min. (JR)… Read more »

Out 1

An eight-part serial running about 12 and a half hours, this 1971 comedy drama is Jacques Rivette’s grandest experiment and most exciting adventure in filmmaking. Balzac’s History of the Thirteen, about a few Parisians who hope to control the city through their hidden interconnections, inspired its tale, dominated by two theater groups and two solitary individuals. Some of the major actors of the French New Wave participated (Juliet Berto, Francoise Fabian, Bernadette Lafont, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Michel Lonsdale, Bulle Ogier), creating their own characters and improvising their own dialogue, and Rivette juxtaposes their disparate acting styles; acting exercises dominate the first episodes (including one 45-minute take) until fiction gradually and conclusively overtakes the documentary aspect. What emerges is the definitive film about 60s counterculture: its global and conspiratorial fantasies, its euphoric collective utopias, and its descent into solitude, madness, and dissolution. Out 1 has always been the hardest of Rivette’s films to see, so this screening, spaced over two days with breaks for food and rest, is a major event. Reviewed this week in Section 1. a Sat 5/26, 2:30 (episodes 1 and 2) and 7 PM (3 and 4), and Sun 5/27, 2:30 (5 and 6) and 6:45 PM (7 and 8), Gene Siskel Film Center.… Read more »