Saturday, June 25, 2011


OUT 1: NOLI ME TANGERE (1971, Jacques Rivette, 12 hours 40 minutes) will be screened on 25-26 June at the Reading Room in Bangkok. You can read the details of the screening here:

Manny Farber on Jacques Rivette, from the article KITCHEN WITHOUT KITSCH (1977):

"CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974, Jacques Rivette, 192 min) is a new organism, the atomization of a character, an event, a space, as though all of its small spaces have been desolidified to allow air to move amongst the tiny spaces. A bit like a Cézanne watercolor, where more than half the event is elided to allow energy to move in and out of vague landscape notations, Rivette's slap-happy duo in a musical without music can't be defined. Each is a series of coy and narcissistic actions. They appear out of nowhere, no past profession or character traits: at one moment Céline is a sober librarian, and at another she is a stage magician, suddenly a fantastic extrovert. Who are these people in the large Gothic establishment? A shaft of air encircles each bit of information about the two mysteries; things are deliberately kept uncircled."

Manny Farber interviewed by Richard Thompson in 1977:

"A very important move in art – you get it in the novel, in Duras, Rivette, the best of Altman, late Snow – is an idea of process art which has to do with a diversionary scheme where you don't get centralized on one character or on a cast of characters doing something. Now the interest, over several areas of art, is on what's possible if you get away from the idea of the work as the course of life a person takes or the role that one person has in an environment.

I'm more interested in getting at the truth of the way we live by slicing through the event from a different angle rather than through the one person or the three persons involved in the event. If you take the event as a congeries of elements, and the event isn't centered or focused from a single viewpoint, then the viewpoint is about that dispersal."

"The thing that intrigues me about Laurel and Hardy is that they're sort of lost in the frame, they don't work it to their advantage, either aesthetically or egoistically. That's what's exciting about a Duras or Rivette movie. There's a great deal of reality and truth, and it's magic; you forget the idea of a linear construction into a story or into an event. The edge of the frame is where art is today. That's a big statement, but that's where the fun is. Not only the edge of the frame, the edge of the soundtrack. Not like Bernard Hermann's TAXI DRIVER idea, in which you're inside the movie, there's nowhere to go, it's like a bowling alley.

I think one of the problems with my early criticism is that it assumes you're supposed to be able to follow everything and then get this meaning of a scene. I don't see how or why anyone should be expected to get the MEANING of an event in a movie or a painting. That's a place where criticism goes wrong: it keeps trying for the complete solution. I think the point of criticism is to build up the mystery. And the point is to find movies which have a lot of puzzle in them, a lot of questions."

Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa (Filmsick) wrote a review of CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974, Jacques Rivette) in Thai in his blog in 2007. You can read Filmsick’s original writing in Thai here:

You can read my translation into English of Filmsick’s review here:

This is a watercolor painting called LE MONT SAINTE-VICTOIRE (1902-1906) by Cézanne. It unintentionally reminds me of the film WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1985, Jacques Rivette).

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