Offerings from a ‘New Wave’ masterSitting through a single film for 12 hours, as well as making such a film, certainly is not typical.
For the French director Jacques Rivette, however, the length stemmed from his view that it served the medium in the proper way. This was his 1971 film “Out 1,” which he later reluctantly edited to four hours.
Born in 1928 and starting out as a critic, Rivette has been among the last guardians of Nouvelle Vague, or the French New Wave, ever since his 1960 debut.
Starting today, Seoul Art Cinema presents 13 films spanning the director’s decades-long career over 10 days.
But don’t worry, the movies being screened do not have that monstrous length, remaining viewer-friendly for a Rivette film. Being shown with English subtitles are “La Belle Noiseuse” (The Beautiful Troublemaker, 1991), “Haut Bas Fragile” (Up, Down, Fragile, 1996) and “Secret Defense” (1998).
Rivette received rather belated acclaim as a director, yet his auteurist attitude of bringing stage drama, literature and cinema together on the silver screen never flagged.
Making the most of such a diversity of genres, Rivette’s films also feature an interplay of reality and fantasy.
Arguably the most critically acclaimed and most commercially successful Rivette film is “The Beautiful Troublemaker,” released in Korea as “The Nude Model,” which earned the Grand Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival.
The camera tenaciously follows a frustrated painter obsessed with producing a masterpiece, who cautiously resumes taking up his brush after meeting an attractive young woman.
Another English-subtitled film, “Up, Down, Fragile,” with the Korean title “Hide-and-Seek in Paris,” is an interesting musical, telling the story of three women, their loves, secrets and lives.
Another Rivette must-see is “Celine et Jule Vont en Bateau” (Celine and Julie Go Boating, 1974) in which Rivette creates a cute little fantasy, mingled with reality, as the two lead characters start out as strangers yet end up slowly finding a connection.
Unlimited in the pursuit of genres, Rivette also directed a thriller, “Secret Defense,” in which a modern-day transformation of the Electra complex is given a sophisticated touch.
Rivette’s recent works like “Va Savoire” (Who Knows?) are also included in Seoul Art Cinema’s first 2005 treat for cinephiles.
by Chun Su-jin
Each screening is offered at 6,000 won ($5). Seoul Art Cinema is best reached from Anguk Station, subway line No. 3, exit No. 1. For more information, call (02) 3272-8707.