Jacques Rivette

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Jacques Rivette (2006)

Jacques Rivette (born March 1, 1928 in Rouen , Normandy , † January 29, 2016 in Paris ) was a French film director , screenwriter and film critic . He is considered to be one of the leading figures of the Nouvelle Vague .


Like most of the later directors of the Nouvelle Vague, Rivette approached cinema through cinephilia and film criticism . At the Cinémathèque française he regularly met François Truffaut , Jean-Luc Godard and Éric Rohmer . In 1950 he founded La Gazette du cinéma with Rohmer .

From a critic at the magazine Cahiers du cinéma , he became its editor-in-chief from 1963 to 1965. In 1958 he made his first full-length feature film Paris belongs to us ( Paris nous appartient ). Before that, he worked as an assistant to Jacques Becker and Jean Renoir .

When working with his actors, Rivette used a method that he followed throughout his career: there was no script, just a few pages that roughly outlined the plot. The text was only distributed the day before the shooting, or even on the day of shooting itself.

Rivette's second long film Die Nun ( Suzanne Simonin, la Religieuse de Diderot ) (Rivette preferred this title over the short version La Religieuse ), which he made in 1966 based on the novel by Denis Diderot , was temporarily banned by French censors . Anna Karina played Suzanne, a young girl who had been forced into a convent and who refused to become a nun. With L'Amour fou and Out 1: Noli me tangere, Rivette radicalized his experiments with improvisation and created a film with a unique atmosphere. Out 1: Noli me tangere lasts 773 minutes (12 hours and 53 minutes), making it the longest feature film in cinema history to date. The short version (entitled Out 1: Specter ) lasts 4 hours.

Rivette found a certain realism with An der Nordbrücke ( Le Pont du Nord , 1980), before moving on to his favorite subjects with Theater der Liebe ( L'Amour par terre , 1984) and The Gang of Four (La Bande des Quatre, 1988) ( Plot, mystery, theater) returned.

In 1991, Emmanuelle Béart played The Beautiful Troublemaker ( La Belle Noiseuse ) alongside Michel Piccoli and Jane Birkin . The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival . Sandrine Bonnaire played Joan of Arc in the two-part work Johanna, die Jungfrau ( Jeanne la Pucelle , 1994, consisting of Batailles and Prisons ).

In 2000 she shot Rivette Va Savoir , a comedy inspired by Jean Renoir 's The Golden Carriage ( Le Carrosse d'or ) . Rivette made the documentary Jean Renoir, le patron about Renoir in 1966 .

Similar to members of a theater group, numerous actors starred in several films by Rivettes, in particular Bulle Ogier , with whom he worked on eight films over a period of almost 40 years, and Juliet Berto , who played a key role in two of his most important films, Celine and Julie drive boat ( Celine et Julie vont en bateau ) and Out 1 was involved. Jane Birkin, Anna Karina, Michel Piccoli, Laurence Cote , Nathalie Richard , Geraldine Chaplin , Nicole Garcia , Sandrine Bonnaire, Emmanuelle Béart, Jeanne Balibar , Marianne Denicourt and Jerzy Radziwiłowicz have also starred in several of his films.

In 2009, Rivette received an invitation to compete at the 66th Venice Film Festival for his feature film 36 Views of Pic Saint-Loup ( 36 vues du Pic Saint-Loup ) .

Although Suzanne Simonin, la Religieuse de Diderot sparked a scandal, Rivette was not a director looking for provocation. His films are based on the idea that cinema is a particular form of experience , an exploration. He explored the usual norms, sometimes going beyond them, always maintaining a certain lightness. The duration of the films was of particular importance. Out 1 remains unique in this regard, but most of Rivette's other films also last more than 2.5 hours.

The slowness of his films repels some viewers conditioned by mainstream cinema, but it grants a special kind of experience. The viewer is not overwhelmed, but can move freely through the films and thus participate in the creation of the film every time he sees it. This is particularly true of the very playful film Celine and Julie Drive a Boat (1974), in which Rivette mixed the fantastic with the everyday. This improvised fantasy also testifies to an impressive mastery, with Rivette conjuring up the ghosts of Jean Cocteau and Lewis Carroll .

An important element in Rivette's films is the enclosed space. Often the action takes place for the most part in an old house. Just as the certainties of everyday life become ineffective for the viewer in the film, the film characters enter another, magical world when they enter these enchanted houses. The theatrical performance in the film fulfills a similar function, as it appeared on various occasions with Rivette ( L'amour par terre , Va savoir ).

For Rivette, the relationship to the work of other directors was of particular importance. He wrote about his work:

“I have a need to watch Griffith's films all the time, I have a need to watch Eisenstein's films all the time, Murnau's films , but I also have a need to see contemporary films. Because you only make films yourself in relation to other cineastes. You don't make films in the abstract. You don't project an inner vision that you have in your head, that doesn't exist. Such a thing is wrong. You make films in relation to what has already been made by the great cineastes of the past, those who founded cinema, and those who are our contemporaries, our successors. [...] To really love a film, you have to be a cineast. Loving a film is already the act of a cineast. "

With the exception of The Duchess of Langeais ( Ne touchez pas la hache ) Rivette co-wrote all of his films on the script; Since the mid-1980s, Christine Laurent and Pascal Bonitzer were the scriptwriters he worked with most often.



  • Jacques Rivette: Writings for the cinema. CICIM Revue pour le cinema français. 24/25 Ed. Center d'Information Cinématographique de Munich CICIM in the Institut Français Munich & Münchner Filmzentrum. ISSN  0938-233X , 2nd edition 1990 (German). Translation Heiner Gassen & Fritz Göttler. Film reviews by JR from 1950 to 1969 about all top films of the time, in addition a short essay about Henri Langlois from 1975 (from Le Monde from January 31st), index of all mentioned or discussed film titles and names.
  • Jan Paaz and Sabine Bubeck (eds.): Jacques Rivette - Labyrinthe . Center d'Information Cinématographique de Munich, Revue CICIM 33 from June 1991. ISBN 3-920727-04-5 . With contributions by Karlheinz Oplustil, Hans C. Blumenberg and others.
  • Hélène Frappat: Jacques Rivette, secret compris (= Auteurs ), Cahiers du Cinéma, Paris 2001, ISBN 2-86642-281-3 .
  • The cinema of Jacques Rivette , A retrospective of the VIENNALE and the Austrian Film Museum, Viennale, Vienna Internat. Film Festival, Vienna 2002, ISBN 978-3-901770-10-4 .
  • Douglas Morrey, Alison Smith: Jacques Rivette (= French Film Directors ), Manchester University Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-7190-7484-4 .
  • Emilie Bickerton: A short history of Cahiers du cinéma , diaphanes , Zurich 2010 (original title: A short history of Cahiers du cinema , Verso, London c2009, ISBN 978-1-84467-232-5 , translated by Markus Rautzenberg). ISBN 978-3-03734-126-1 .
  • Mary M. Wiles: Jacques Rivette (= Contemporary Film Directors ), University of Illinois Press, 2012, ISBN 978-0-252-07834-7 .

Web links

Commons : Jacques Rivette  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Isabelle Regnier: Le réalisateur Jacques Rivette est mort. In: lemonde.fr. Le Monde , January 29, 2016, accessed January 29, 2016 (French)
  2. Jacques Rivette: French director died at the age of 87 ( memento from January 29, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), Deutschlandfunk , January 29, 2016.
  3. Benjamin Maack: The most boring films in the world - cinema with a yawn effect. In: Spiegel Online ( one day ), May 30, 2011. Access date: May 22, 2020.