Jacques Rivette, French New Wave Director, Dies at 87


French culture minister Fleur Pellerin confirmed today the death of French Director Jacques Rivette. In his films, Rivette, often took a semi-experimental approach to narrative. The films were partially improvised by the actors, and the prolonged running time of his films were emphasized hisexuberant style.

Three-hour-plus titles were the norm for the helmer, with several much longer than that. His longest opus, 1971’s “Out 1: Noli Me Tangere,” about theatrical rehearsals and conspiracy theories, clocks in at a staggering 750 minutes.

la-belle-noiseuse-1-3647042hvhtv_1713His most famous and many say his finest work, 1974’s “Celine and Julie Go Boating,” runs 192 minutes, while one of his more widely distributed films, “La belle noiseuse” (1991), is four hours long. The latter in which Emmanuelle Beart plays a painter’s muse, and appears entirely naked for the most part of the film won the Jury Grand Prize. The French Academy Award also gave him a nomination for Best Director.

Rivette was clearly unconcerned with the requirements of classical theatrical exhibition.

Reflecting on Rivette’s body of work, Director Martin Scorsese stated: “The news of Jacques Rivette’s passing is a reminder that so much time has passed since that remarkable moment in the late ’50s and early ’60s when so many directors were redrawing the boundaries of cinema. Rivette was one of them. {…} I vividly remember the shock of seeing his first two films, ‘Paris Belongs to Us’ and ‘The Nun.’ Two very different experiences, both uniquely troubling and powerful, quite unlike anything else around”

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