It’s the fifth annual Locorazo Festival, a reprise of Locarno’s lineup from five years ago, viewed alone at home during this year’s in-person festival.

Locorazo-week viewings linked in green, regular blue links are films I’d seen previously, unlinked are films of interest that I haven’t watched yet.

Concorso Competition

A Land Imagined (Yeo Siew Hua)
Hotel by the River (Hong Sangsoo)
La Flor (Mariano Llinás)
A Family Tour (Ying Liang)
Genesis (Philippe Lesage)
Ray & Liz (Richard Billingham)
Too Late to Die Young (Dominga Sotomayor)
Alice T. (Radu Muntean)
Diane (Kent Jones)
Yara (Abbas Fahdel)
M (Yolande Zauberman)

Filmmakers of the Present (first and second features)

Fausto (Andrea Bussmann)
Sophia Antipolis (Virgil Vernier)
A Family Submerged (María Alché)
Dead Horse Nebula (Tarik Aktas)
All Good (Eva Trobisch)

Piazza Grande (open air screenings, out of competition)

Coincoin and the Extra-Humans (Bruno Dumont)
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee)
Blaze (Ethan Hawke)
Birds of Passage (Ciro Guerra & Cristina Gallego)
Ruben Brandt, Collector (Milorad Krstić)
Searching (Aneesh Chaganty)
Manila in the Claws of Light (Lino Brocka)
Liberty (Leo McCarey)

Signs of Life (new forms and innovation)

The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin (Benjamin Crotty)
How Fernando Pessoa Saved Portugal (Eugène Green)
A Room with a Coconut View (Tulapop Saenjaroen)
Erased, Ascent of the Invisible (Ghassan Halwani)
Man in the Well (Hu Bo)
Gulyabani (Gürcan Keltek)
The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack)
Veslemøy’s Song (Sofia Bohdanowicz)
Communion Los Angeles (Peter Bo Rappmund & Adam Levine)
Sedução da Carne (Júlio Bressane)

Fuori Concorso (non-competitive, features by established filmmakers)

Narcissister Organ Player (Narcissister)
Acid Forest (Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė)

Other Sections and One-Offs

An Elephant Sitting Still (Hu Bo)
Words, Planets (Laida Lertxundi)
Seymour: an introduction (Ethan Hawke)
L’Humanite (Bruno Dumont)
and a full Leo McCarey retrospective

It’s the fourth annual* Locorazo Festival, formerly known as LNKarno, a reprise of Locarno’s lineup from five or six years ago, viewed alone at home during this year’s in-person festival.

LNKarno-week viewings linked in green, regular blue links are films I’d seen previously, unlinked are films of interest that I haven’t watched yet.

Main Competition:

The Dreamed Path (Angela Schanelec)
Hermia & Helena (Matías Piñeiro)
Gemini (Aaron Katz)
Good Luck (Ben Russell)
Madame Hyde (Serge Bozon)
The Ornithologist (João Pedro Rodrigues)
Good Manners (Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra)
Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (Travis Wilkerson)
La Telenovela Errante (Raúl Ruiz & Valéria Sarmiento)
Bangkok Nites (Katsuya Tomita)
Correspondências (Rita Azevedo Gomes)
By the Time It Gets Dark (Anocha Suwichakornpong)
Scarred Hearts (Radu Jude)
Mister Universo (Tizza Covi & Rainer Frimmel)
9 Doigts (F.J. Ossang)
Lucky (John Carroll Lynch)
A Skin So Soft (Denis Côté)
Winter Brothers (Hlynur Pálmason)

Filmmakers of the Present (first and second features)

Withered Green (Mohammed Hammad)
Those Who Are Fine (Cyril Schäublin)
Person to Person (Dustin Guy Defa)
The Human Surge (Eduardo Williams)
The Challenge (Yuri Ancarani)
3/4 (Ilian Metev)
Distant Constellation (Shevaun Mizrahi)
Destruction Babies (Tetsuya Mariko)
El Futuro Perfecto (Nele Wohlatz)
This Time Tomorrow (Lina Rodríguez)
Dark Skull (Kiro Russo)
Le Fort des Fous (Narimane Mari)
Milla (Valerie Massadian)

Critics’ Week (documentary section organized by a swiss film journalist group)

Communion (Anna Zamecka)
Monk of the Sea (Rafal Skalski)
The Family (Rok Biček)
Las Cinéphilas (Maria Alvarez)

Piazza Grande (open air screenings, out of competition)

Endless Poetry (Alejandro Jodorowsky)
Atomic Blonde (David Leitch)
Good Time (Ben & Joshua Safdie)
I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur)
Let the Corpses Tan (Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani)
Sicilia! (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
The Big Sick (Michael Showalter)
Into the Forest (Gilles Marchand)
I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach)
Moka (Frédéric Mermoud)
The Tunnel (Kim Seong-hun)
The Girl With All The Gifts (Colm McCarthy)
Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe (Maria Schrader)
Chien (Samuel Benchetrit)
Tomorrow and Thereafter (Noémie Lvovsky)

Signs of Life (new forms and innovation)

Beduino (Júlio Bressane)
All the Cities of the North (Dane Komljen)
Rat Film (Theo Anthony)
Cocote (Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias)
Ouroboros (Basma Alsharif)
Ascent (Fiona Tan)
Pow Wow (Robinson Devor)
The Sun, The Sun Blinded Me (Anka & Wilhelm Sasnal)
In Praise of Nothing (Boris Mitic)
Panoptic (Rana Eid)
Phantasiesätze (Dane Komljen)
Surbiles (Giovanni Columbu)
The Dead Nation (Radu Jude)

Fuori Concorso (non-competitive, features by established filmmakers)

The Reagan Show (Pacho Velez & Sierra Pettengill)
A Young Girl In Her Nineties (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi & Yann Coridian)
Where Is Rocky II? (Pierre Bismuth)
July Tales (Guillaume Brac)
Rise & Fall of a Small Film Company (Jean-Luc Godard)
Prototype (Blake Williams)


Scaffold (Kazik Radwanski)
Plus Ultra (Helena Girón & Samuel M. Delgado)
Cilaos (Camilo Restrepo)
Among the Black Waves (Anna Budanova)
Indefinite Pitch (James N. Kienitz Wilkins)
The Hedonists (Jia Zhang-ke)
The Hunchback (Ben Rivers & Gabriel Abrantes)
Wasteland no. 1: Ardent, Verdant (Jodie Mack)
A Brief History of Princess X (Gabriel Abrantes)
A Train Arrives at the Station (Thom Andersen)
Edge of Alchemy (Stacey Steers)
Arrière-saison (Jean-Claude Rousseau)
Per una rosa (Marco Bellocchio)
Si loin, si proche (Jean-Claude Rousseau)
Rhapsody (Constance Meyer)

Back in the day there was an urge to watch all the Criterion movies – after all, they’ve got completist-friendly catalog numbers and are self-described as “important.” Now I have lists, and lists of lists, and I don’t need to rely on any one distributor as a gatekeeper of excellence, but there’s still that urge, and I still keep track of what they put out, and subscribe to their streaming service, and believe in the back of my mind that if I was stuck at home for a long time, like say if there was a global pandemic, it’d be fun to watch them all. Early this year I realized I’ve seen almost all of their first 50 releases, so I decided to catch up with the last couple David Lean/Dickens films and some odds and ends.

These were released 1998-1999 before I had a DVD player, but I’d pick one up whenever I saw a sale, ended up owning about ten (or their reissues). 30 have come out on blu, and I’m not gonna count how many on streaming.

Movies I’ve written up here, roughly/hastily ranked:

Beauty and the Beast
The Red Shoes
The Seventh Seal
The 400 Blows
Wages of Fear
The Lady Vanishes
Branded To Kill
Nights of Cabiria
Grand Illusion
High and Low
Picnic At Hanging Rock
Andrei Rublev
Great Expectations
Oliver Twist
The Most Dangerous Game
And The Ship Sails On
The Long Good Friday
The Killer
Henry V
A Night To Remember
Samurai trilogy
Blood For Dracula

Watched in the pre-blog dark days, ranked by how urgently I need to revisit:

Black Orpheus
Tokyo Drifter
Shock Corridor
Seven Samurai
The Naked Kiss
Time Bandits
Flesh For Frankenstein
Dead Ringers
Taste of Cherry
Fishing With John
This Is Spinal Tap
Nanook of the North
Hard Boiled
The Silence of the Lambs
Sid & Nancy
Lord of the Flies

Bonus Features:

The Lady Vanishes add-on feature Crook’s Tour was decent.

The Steamroller and the Violin is on the Rublev blu.

Peter Weir’s Homesdale was on the Picnic at Hanging Rock reissue.

Haven’t caught most of the M extras or all ten hours of the Seven Samurai features.

I played every single thing on the Seventh Seal reissue, including the Bergman Island doc, not to be confused with the new Mia Hansen-Love feature.

Can’t remember which of the Beauty/Beast commentaries I’ve played, but reading Cocteau’s making-of diaries was enough… I didn’t make it very far into the Philip Glass opera audio option.

Not too interested in the Night to Remember material.

I see the Amarcord disc is full of good stuff and Walkabout has an hour-long David Gulpilil doc.

Even if I go on a John Woo kick, not sure those commentaries would be easy to find anymore (and why is Roger Avary on one?).

Missed the two shorts on the Insomnia disc.

I can’t remember how many of the Fishing With John audio commentaries I’ve heard, but I know I’ve played that Lounge Lizards music video more than a few times.

The new Taste of Cherry blu has a Kiarostami-produced “sketch film” I’d like to see and an A.S. Hamrah essay I just read online, but on the last half-price sale I bought the Koker Trilogy instead.

I remember flipping through The Red Shoes extras one day long ago, didn’t recall there being so much Jeremy Irons participation.

I probably did listen to that Armageddon commentary with Affleck’s infamous Michael Bay impression, and the Time Bandits commentary, but who knows for sure.

The Dead Ringers disc was one of my prize possessions, and I’ve watched that movie a couple times too many.

Haven’t seen the Clouzot doc, and ran out of steam before finishing all the Rublev docs.

I should get the two Sam Fullers for the interviews and TV clips and the Typewriter doc… oh wait, they’re all on streaming, I just saved $40.

Nine left to watch in the 51-100 block, but maybe I’ll mix it up and watch all the 700’s next time, or watch them in reverse order, or never revisit this project again, I dunno.

True/False announced their May 2021 plan for outdoor screenings back before we had any idea of vaccine rollout schedules, so we opted for the “Teleported” home experience, which included a giant box of goodies sent to our house. Of the 16 feature selections this year we were only offered 7 – plus the shorts programs, so that’s 11/20. Miffed as I was not to have Summer of Soul as a viewing option, we still did better than the in-person crowds, who could only watch one outdoor screening per night for a maximum of five. But five (or seven) movies in five nights is not how we do True/False – so I also rented multiple titles (including T/F films not included in Teleported) from the concurrently running New Directors/New Films festival and some earlier docs from elsewhere, to curate our own particular festival. The final schedule:

B’s pre-screenings:
Aleph (ND/NF)
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (ND/NF)

Rock Bottom Riser (T/F via ND/NF)

Delphine’s Prayers (T/F)
Coyote Shorts (T/F)

Metaphor or Sadness Inside Out (2014, from a T/F director)
No Kings (T/F)
Radiograph of a Family (ND/NF)

A Thousand Suns (2014 T/F)
Town Bloody Hall (1979)
Songs That Flood the River (T/F)
A So-Called Archive (2020, from a T/F director)

From the Wild Sea (T/F)
All Light, Everywhere (T/F via ND/NF)
Now Something is Slowly Changing (2019 T/F)

Gunda (2020, from a T/F director)
Faya Dayi (T/F via ND/NF)
The Grocer’s Son (T/F)

Plus four shorts from the other T/F programs.

Did Not Finish:
We / Nous (ND/NF)
Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then (2010)

Unwatched T/F:
Dirty Feathers
Inside the Red Brick Wall
Petit Samedi
Summer of Soul
This Rain Will Never Stop
The Two Faces of a Bamiléké Woman

It’s the third annual* LNKarno Festival, a reprise of Locarno’s lineup from five years ago, viewed on my couch** in Lincoln***. The real Locarno was happening last week… or was it? They send me daily emails, and I have yet to really figure out what’s happening over there – I think a mix of in-person and online screenings of movies from previous years, and some panels about films that had to interrupt production this year. Anyway, that’s a problem for 2025 (if man’s still alive), because this weekend it’s all about looking back to 2015.

* skipped last year, we had a mini true/false weekend instead
** bed *** Atlanta

LNKarno-week viewings linked in green, regular blue links are films I’d seen previously, unlinked are films of interest that I haven’t watched yet.

Main Competition:

No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman)
Lost and Beautiful (Pietro Marcello)
Entertainment (Rick Alverson)
Winter Song (Otar Iosseliani)
Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sang-soo)
Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari)
Cosmos (Andrzej Zulawski)
The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (Ben Rivers)
Happy Hour (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)
On Football (Sergio Oksman)

Filmmakers of the Present (first and second features)

The Nightmare (Achim Bornhak)
Kaili Blues (Bi Gan)
The Movement (Benjamín Naishtat)
Olmo & the Seagull (Petra Costa & Lea Glob)
Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce)

Critics’ Week (documentary section organized by a swiss film journalist group)

Call Me Marianna (Karolina Bielawska)
Brothers (Wojciech Staron)

Piazza Grande (open air screenings, out of competition)

Ricki and the Flash (Jonathan Demme)
Trainwreck (Judd Apatow)
Summertime (Catherine Corsini)

Signs of Life (new forms and innovation)

Deux Remi, deux (Pierre Leon)
88:88 (Isiah Medina)
Academy of Muses (José Luis Guerin)
Machine Gun or Typewriter? (Travis Wilkerson)

Fuori Concorso (non-competitive, features and shorts by established filmmakers)

The Glory of Filmmaking in Portugal (Manuel Mozos)
Estratos de la imagen (Lois Patiño)
Noite sem distancia (Lois Patiño)
Riot (Nathan Silver)
Topophilia (Peter Bo Rappmund)
Le bois dont les reves sont faits (Claire Simon)
L’architecte de Saint-Gaudens (Julie Desprairies & Serge Bozon)

Others on the program, including a Sam Peckinpah retrospective:

I Don’t Belong Anywhere – Le cinema de Chantal Akerman (Marianne Lambert)
Kid (Júlio Bressane)
The Girl Chewing Gum (1976, John Smith)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
Ride the High Country (1962)
Major Dundee (1965)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)
Straw Dogs (1971)
The Getaway (1972)

After watching all the Chris Marker movies I could get my hands on, I commemorated with an inventory post – then did the same with Jacques Rivette. I meant to follow with Alain Resnais, who I’ve been writing about since the early months of the blog, but was never sure when I was done. By the time of his great You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet I had only one feature left to watch, then I caught up with the Visits and Portraits, saw his final film Life of Riley soon after he died, and finally finished watching his features a year later with the great Same Old Song. But then I held off until I could find L’an 01, then I was looking for subtitles for Le mystère de l’atelier quinze, and there are multiple new documentaries on Marienbad, and I need to rewatch Muriel sometime, etc. So, here are a couple new things I found to watch, and a Resnais Roundup:

Le Mystere de l’atelier quinze (1957, Resnais & Heinrich)

Those subtitles finally appeared! Factory worker Renard feels weak and has a noise in his head, so the occupational doctor springs into action, coordinates with medical professionals, government committees, the factory foreman, coworkers and Renard’s family, and gets to the bottom of the issue, improving factory safety so Renard and others can stay healthy and happy. It’s all depressingly utopian after seeing the modern reality in American Factory.

More of an industrial film than the Resnais factory and library shorts – again, voiceover with no direct sound. Some long Night & Fog camera tracking.

Factory Man (cropped):

Codirected by Alain Resnais. Credited director André Heinrich wasn’t prolific – looks like he was assistant to Resnais on Night & Fog, then vice versa here. He later worked on Chronicle of a Summer and appeared in La Jetée.

The whole early new-wave gang is here. Cinematographers Ghislain Cloquet (Night & Fog) and Sacha Vierny (Hiroshima Mon Amour), music by Pierre Barbaud (La Pointe Courte) conducted by Georges Delerue (Jules and Jim), Written by Chris Marker with Rémo Forlani (Toute la mémoire du monde). Also credited is “Fearless Fosdick,” who is impossible to google since the name is stolen from a Li’l Abner character.

Last Year at Marienbad, A to Z (2019, James Quandt)

An hour-long exploration of things within and around the Resnais/Robbe-Grillet feature, and a good opportunity to revisit scenes, since I haven’t watched the film since the SD-DVD days.

Resnais “insisted from the very beginning of the project that he wanted a foreign accent for the film’s narrator, to ensure that his voiceover would not be misinterpreted as merely internal monologue.”

Surprisingly, it ends on the director of La Flor, which I was just about to start watching.

Major Resnais Films:

1953 – Statues Also Die
1955 – Night and Fog
1959 – Hiroshima Mon Amour
1961 – Last Year at Marienbad
1963 – Muriel
1966 – The War Is Over
1968 – Je t’aime, je t’aime
1974 – Stavisky
1977 – Providence
1980 – Mon Oncle d’Amerique
1983 – La Vie est un roman
1984 – Love Unto Death
1986 – Melo
1993 – Smoking / No Smoking
1997 – Same Old Song
2003 – Not on the Lips
2006 – Coeurs
2009 – Wild Grass
2012 – You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
2014 – Life of Riley

Additional Features and Shorts:

1947 – Visits & Portraits
1948 – Van Gogh
1950 – Gauguin
1951 – Guernica
1956 – Toute la Memoire du Monde
1957 – Le Mystere de l’atelier quinze (above)
1958 – Le Chante du Styrene
1967 – Far From Vietnam
1968 – Cinetracts
1973 – L’An 01
1989 – I Want To Go Home (sorry)
1991 – Against Oblivion
1993 – Gershwin

Jonathan Rosenbaum, 1988:

Resnais is … quite possibly the French director who has been most frequently and unjustly maligned in this country. Despite the fact that he has substantially revised his form and style for each of his eleven features to date, working with a total of eight separate writers, his films share an emotional purity, a visual elegance, and a rhythmic grace that together constitute a recognizable signature. And his central preoccupations — memory, loss, love, death, and desire — have remained more or less constant. The problems he has posed for American aesthetes appear to have been equally constant.

Resnais, 2009: “I want to make films that describe the imaginary.”

It’s the second annual LNKarno Festival, a reprise of Locarno’s lineup from five years ago, viewed on my couch in Lincoln. Last year I watched ten features and some shorts in a long weekend – this time we have a busier summer so I spread things out over a couple weeks.

LNKarno-week viewings in green, regular links for films I’d seen previously, unlinked might be good to watch in the future.

Main Competition:

Gare du Nord (Claire Simon)
What Now? Remind Me (Joaquim Pinto)
Pays Barbare (Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi)
When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism (Corneliu Porumboiu)
Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton)
Our Sunhi (Sang-soo Hong)
Story of My Death (Albert Serra)
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani)
Sentimental Education (Júlio Bressane)
Exhibition (Joanna Hogg
Wetlands (David Wnendt)
Real (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
Backwater (Shinji Aoyama)

Filmmakers of the Present (first and second features)

Sheep (Gilles Deroo & Marianne Pistone)
The Unity of All Things (Alexander Carver & Daniel Schmidt)
The Dirties (Matt Johnson)
Manakamana (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez)
Chameleon (Elvin Adigozel & Ru Hasanov)
Coast of Death (Lois Patiño)
By the River (Nontawat Numbenchapol)
The Ugly One (Eric Baudelaire)

Critics Week (new documentaries, selected by film journalists)

Master of the Universe (Marc Bauder)
Watermarks (Three Letters from China) (Luc Schaedler)

Signs of Life (first year)

El Futuro (Luis Lopez Carrasco)
A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (Ben Rivers and Ben Russell)
Dignity (James Fotopoulos)
How to Disappear Completely (Raya Martin)

Piazza Grande (open air screenings, out of competition)

Wrong Cops (Quentin Dupieux)
Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier)
About Time (Richard Curtis)
Gloria (Sebastián Lelio)

Fuori Concorso (recent work by established filmmakers, out of competition)

Géographie Humaine (Claire Simon)
If I Were A Thief, I’d Steal (Paulo Rocha)
Death Row II (Werner Herzog)
Strangers When We Meet (Masahiro Kobayashi)
America (Valerie Massadian)
Mahjong (João Rui Guerra da Mata and João Pedro Rodrigues)
The King’s Body (João Pedro Rodrigues)
The End Of Walnutgrove (Eckhard & Fiala & Fiala & Haidl)
The Green Serpent – Of Vodka, Men And Distilled Dreams (Benny Jaberg)
Un Conte De Michel De Montaigne (Jean-Marie Straub)

Histoire(s) du Cinema (sidebar devoted to film history)

L’Ours (Daniel Karolewicz)
Batang West Side (Lav Diaz)
Cinéastes De Notre Temps: Conversation Avec George Cukor (André S. Labarthe and Hubert Knapp)
Journal D’Un Montage (Annette Dutertre)
Notes On Film 6B: A Masque Of Madness (Monologue 02) (Norbert Pfaffenbichler)
Red Hollywood (Thom Andersen)
Red Ashes (Augusto Contento and Adriano Aprà)
Network (Sidney Lumet)
and tributes to Otar Iosseliani, Sergio Castellitto, Paulo Rocha and Anna Karina

I noticed after watching The Ornithologist that Switzerland’s Locarno Festival seems to be the source of all the critically-praised movies that never end up playing theaters near me, or even coming out on video in many cases. At the same time, I was reading about the Locarno In Los Angeles festival and wishing we had something like that. So, now we do… presenting the first annual LNKarno Festival, a reprise of Locarno’s lineup from five years ago.

I’d already seen some of these – LNKarno-week viewings in red.

Main Competition:

The Last Time I Saw Macao (João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata)
The End of Time (Peter Mettler)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel)
Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland)
Museum Hours (Jem Cohen)
Jack & Diane (Bradley Rust Gray)
Greatest Hits (Nicolás Pereda)
Somebody Up There Likes Me (Bob Byington)
The Girl from Nowhere (Jean-Claude Brisseau)

Filmmakers of the Present (first and second features)

People’s Park (Libbie Dina Cohn, J.P. Sniadecki)
Ape (Joel Potrykus)
Orléans (Virgil Vernier)
Tectonics (Peter Bo Rappmund)

Piazza Grande (open air screenings, out of competition)

Motorway (Soi Cheang)
Sightseers (Ben Wheatley)

Histoire(s) du Cinema (sidebar devoted to film history)

Life Without Principle (Johnnie To)
Down Terrace (Ben Wheatley)
Kill List (Ben Wheatley)
Room 237 (Rodney Ascher)
Capital (Sarah Morris)
AM/PM (Sarah Morris)

Open Doors (region-specific section – this year: Sub-Saharan Africa)

Bamako (Abderrahmane Sissako)
Chocolat (Claire Denis)
Guimba the Tyrant (Cheick Oumar Sissoko)
Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambety)
Wênd Kûuni (Gaston Kaboré)
Yeelen (Souleymane Cissé)

Pardi di domani (short films and special programs)

As the Flames Rose (Joao Rui Guerra da Mata)
Beauty and the Beat (Yann Le Quellec)
Chemin faisant (Georges Schwizgebel)
Overseas (Wichanon Somunjarn & Anocha Suwichakornpong)

Ten years ago I bought tickets to see Rivette’s Out 1 over two days in New York, having only previously watched his The Nun (on cable I think, or VHS). In preparation for the big event I watched the three Rivette movies I could most quickly get my hands on, from the early 1960’s to the late 90’s, giving me a weird sense of his cinema. And after Out 1, I was in love, resolving to watch every Rivette movie.

I suppose I completed this goal two years ago when Spectre came out on DVD, coming full circle from the Out 1-initiated quest. But I’ve been meaning to watch his three-part Renoir documentary. And I’d like to see the extended version of Joan The Maid. And three early shorts are being restored and will hopefully come out on video next year. And I wanted to rewatch Lumière and Company. And his 1980’s and 90’s features are playing U.S. theaters this year, so one can dream of a blu-ray box set. And rewatching Duelle and Noroît in HD last week gave me a new appreciation and understanding of them, so I should rewatch more of the movies.

This is the kind of thinking that keeps me from wrapping up these little completism projects I set myself and starting new ones. It’s not like I’m closing the door on Rivette, just rounding up some first passes at his work. Anyway, some of these I know are masterpieces, some I wasn’t fond of, and all I’d like to watch again. I cleaned up some of the posts linked below, but the Out 1 entry remains a sprawling mess – after watching it for what I assumed would be the only time, I wanted to map out every person and scene, because I knew I wouldn’t forget the overall experience but knew I would forget half the scenes and character names pretty soon.

Rivette, on why ranking the films is ill-advised:

One always speaks of films as if they were absolutes; yet we always see them in particular circumstance, be it only because of the different projection conditions of each theatre. All that matters enormously. So, it often happens that I see a film I know has objective value and yet sit through it absolutely bored even though I know, at the moment I’m watching it, that I will find it remarkable if I watch it again in three months time; and vice versa.

The Films:

1956 – Le Coup du Berger
1961 – Paris Nous Appartient
1966 – The Nun
1969 – L’Amour Fou
1971 – Out 1
1972 – Out 1: Spectre
1974 – Celine and Julie Go Boating
1976 – Duelle
1976 – Noroît
1981 – Merry-Go-Round
1981 – Le Pont du Nord and Paris s’en va
1984 – Love on the Ground
1985 – Hurlevent
1989 – Gang of Four
1990 – Jacques Rivette, Le veilleur
1991 – La Belle Noiseuse / Divertimento
1994 – Joan the Maid
1995 – Up, Down, Fragile
1998 – Secret Defense
2001 – Va Savoir
2003 – Histoire de Marie et Julien
2007 – Don’t Touch the Axe
2009 – Around a Small Mountain

Other Works, more or less related:

Aux quatre coins / Le quadrille / Le divertissement (1949-1952)
Bérénice (1954, Eric Rohmer)
Une Visite (1955, Truffaut)
La sonate à Kreutzer (1956, Rohmer)
Chronicle of a Summer (1961, Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin)
Cinéastes de notre temps: La nouvelle vague par elle-même (1964)
Jean Renoir, le patron (1967)
Piege (1968, Jacques Baratier)
Les Idoles (1968, Marc’o)
Surreal Estate (1976, Eduardo de Gregorio)
Every Revolution is a Throw of the Dice (1977, Straub/Huillet)
La mémoire courte (1979, Eduardo de Gregorio)
The Third Generation (1979, Rainer Fassbinder)
Serge Daney: Journey of a Cine-Son (1992)
Lumière and Company (1995)
Small Cuts (2003, Pascal Bonitzer)
Mysteries of Paris: Out 1 Revisited (2015)

Rivette in 1981:

I have on occasion seen films on television at friends’ homes, and since I’m not used to it, I’ve always had the impression that I was not watching the film, that I was seeing something else, a reflection … television is great for a second viewing, but not for discovering a film.

Rivette in 2007:

Films today have a completely different life with DVD, which I think is the greatest … that’s practically the only way I watch films anymore.

Rivette, on wanting to be a filmmaker after reading Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast diaries: “Cinema was a place where things happened, where one debated with people, where one invented and tried things, whether they worked or not.”

I detest the formulation “a film by”. A film is always by at least fifteen people. I don’t like “réalisation” very much either, which seems to me very portentous, maybe because its root is “reality.” Mise en scène is a rapport with the actors, and the communal work is set with the first shot. What’s important for me in a film is that it be alive, that it be imbued with presence, which is basically the same thing. And that this presence, inscribed within the film, possesses a form of magic. There’s something profoundly mysterious in this. It’s an alchemy that one procures, or does not … It’s a collective work, but one wherein there’s a secret, too. For that matter, the actor has his secrets as well — of which the director is the spectator.