When this unusual film, made in 1976 by French director Jacques Rivette, released this week in New York, he will make his debut there.
After his masterpieces from the early 1970s, "Out 1 and Celine and Julie are boating, French filmmaker Jacques Rivette has conceived one of his typically ambitious projects: a fo ur-film cycle called "Scenes from a parallel life ". Like "Celine and Julie" and so many Rivette films to follow, these images would center on female characters and offer alternate realities by playing (among other things) with ancient and modern genres. Two of the four planned were completed in 1976, and both are relaunched this week.
The first, " Duelle ", offers a sort of private mythology featuring the stars of “Out: 1” Juliette Berto and Bulle Ogier. "Noroît " is a postmodern pirate image, inspired by the Jacobin drama "La Tragedie of the Avenger ".
The antagonists here are Geraldine Chaplin and Bernadette Lafont. Chaplin's brother died at the hands of buccaneers led by Lafont. Various intrigues are carried out to bring Chaplin close enough to Lafont to kill her.
Despite the gender swap of central roles, in some ways it is about 'A faithful adaptation. On-screen titles provide act and scene numbers. Chaplin and his other co-star, Kika Markham, frequently declaim portions of the play in its original English language.
But "Noroît" takes a more winding path than The Jacobean drama in general, reflecting, as Rivette's films do, on notions of life as that performance and vice versa.When major plot events occur, the camera seems almost indifferent to them, moving inexorably and meticulouslyment.
The film is best appreciated as a record of formidable, vibrant female performers with and against each other. At least until his last 40 minutes or so, when he lapses into delirium. Various elementary effects (monochrome tints, lighting effects of the aperture of the lens, audio losses) convey his feeling of unreality. The film's intellectual provocations - mainly related to the elasticity of the cinematic form - remain as vivid as they were decades ago.
Noroît Not rated. Duration: 2 hours 25 minutes. In French with English subtitles