Acclaimed and beloved French filmmaker Jacques Rivette has passed away at the age of 87, and while it’s a sad day for cinephiles, the director’s work will not soon be forgotten.
Long associated and considered a key figure of the French New Wave, like many filmmakers of that movement such as François Truffaut, Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol, the filmmaker cut this teeth working as a writer for the influential movie magazine Cahiers du Cinema, and it wasn’t long before he moved into making movies himself, staring with 1961’s “Paris Belongs To Us.”
However, it was Rivette’s following efforts that would establish is penchant for lengthy, narratively experimental films led by the nearly 13-hour opus “Out 1” (finally released recently in the U.S. by Kino Lorber after being long unavailable), the four-hour “La Belle Noiseuse,” the three-hour plus “Celine and Julie Go Boating,” and more. His works made demands of the viewer, and while he never ascended to the same popularity as other filmmakers of the French New Wave, his admirers were no less ardent.
So perhaps the best tribute to the director today would be to pause the conversation, dim the lights, and put on one of his films.