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Jacques Rivette and French New Wave Cinema

Interviews, Conversations, Chronologies

James R. Russo is an independent researcher who holds graduate degrees from Louisiana State University and the University of Richmond. He has taught at those schools as well as Tulane. Russo’s primary scholarly interests are the cinema and comparative literature. He has recently published The Bookman: William Troy on Literature and Criticism, 1927–1950; Film Nation: William Troy on the Cinema, 1933–1935; Analyzing Drama: A Student Casebook; and Understanding Film: A Viewer’s Guide


This first comprehensive English collection of the interviews of Jacques Rivette (1928–2016) documents his career through chronology, filmography, bibliography, and image stills. A comprehensive introduction places this work in the wider context of twentieth-century social change. 

Rivette’s films, like many of the works of the French New Wave, seem to have avoided the aging process entirely, remaining as playful, fresh, and quietly spectacular as the day they were made. Indeed, his body of work may be the most impressive of the French New Wave. Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974) has been recognized as possibly the best film to emerge from the post-New Wave era, even as Paris Belongs to Us (1961) is one of the best pictures to emerge from the New Wave itself. Rivette was hardly the most prolific director, however, and the length of his films has often counted against him. Nonetheless, his clinical, self-reflexive essays in film form reveal him as a cinematic purist whose commitment to the celluloid muse hardly diminished from the heady days of the early 1950s to the end of his career in 2009. 

Beyond inspiring the New Wave movement and continuing to reflect, and reflect on, its central tenets, Rivette’s enduring contribution to the history of film is unquestionably evident in his sensitive treatment of the histories and destinies of women, especially through strong roles for actresses. During the six decades of his career, nonetheless, he struck a subtle balance not only between female and male characters, but also between political and personal obsession, between myth and fiction, between theater and cinema, in films that, in addition to having influenced such contemporary filmmakers as Claire Denis, Jim Jarmusch, Olivier Assayas, and David Lynch, continue to redefine the art of cinema around the world.


Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-186-3
Paperback Price: £27.50 / $39.95
Release Date: March 2023
   
Page Extent / Format: 272 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Illustrated with c. 20 film stills
   

 


Contents Acknowledgments Chronology Introduction INTERVIEWS André Bazin & Jacques Rivette, “Two Characters in Search of Auteurs: The French Cinema” (1957) Louis Marcorelles, “Jacques Rivette and Paris nous appartient” (1958-59) Jean-Luc Godard & Jacques Rivette, “Hiroshima, notre amour” (1959) Louis Marcorelles, “Interview with Jacques Rivette” (1963) Jacques Aumont, Jean-Louis Comolli, Jean Narboni, & Sylvie Pierre, “Time Overflowing” (1968) Jacques Rivette & Jean Narboni, “Montage” (1969) Bernard Eisenschitz, Jean-André Fieschi, & Eduardo de Gregorio, “Jacques Rivette: Interview” (1973) Carlos Clarens & Edgardo Cozarinsky, “Jacques Rivette” (1974) Jonathan Rosenbaum, Lauren Sedofsky, & Gilbert Adair “Phantom Interviewers over Rivette” (1974) William Johnson, “Recent Rivette” (1974-75) John Hughes, “The Director as Psychoanalyst” (1975) Serge Daney & Jean Narboni, “Interview with Jacques Rivette” (1981) Jacques Rivette, “Press Conference at Cannes” (1991) Frédéric Bonnaud, “The Captive Lover” (1998) Mary Wiles, “Jacques Rivette: Interview” (1999) Hélène Frappat, “Secrets and Laws” (1999 ) Liza Béar, “Jacques Rivette: Va savoir” (2001) Valérie Hazette, “Hurlevent: Rivette’s Adaptation of Wuthering Heights” (2003) Jacques Rivette, “On Don’t Touch the Axe” (2007) Jean-Marc Lalanne & Jean-Baptiste Morain, “The Secret Art” (2007) Filmography Bibliography Index


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