Jacques Rivette Shorts

Courtesy Film Society

Location Info:

Francesca Beale Theater
144 W. 65th St.
New York, NY  10023
212-875-5610
A slew of restorations would suggest that the long-neglected Jacques Rivette, possibly the French New Wave's greatest filmmaker, is finally having a moment — and, in light of his death earlier this year (at the age of 87), this latest exhibition proves poignant by showing us the first days. Approaching this trio of silent shorts as a prelude to future masterpieces is technically correct, but it's perhaps wiser to consider them an intimate, feature-length collection of baby steps. (Press notes penned by Rivette's widow, Véronique, deem them "apprenticeship films" constituting "an experiment, an exercise, a kind of research.") Their surprises and pleasures — as in Le Quadrille (1950), co-written by and starring a Keaton-esque, twenty-year-old Jean-Luc Godard — are smaller here than in the director's grand epics, and likely better suited to fans than neophytes. But who can really say? Rivette's still due for discovery by many, and you have to start somewhere.

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