The complete ranked list formed from Scout Tafoya's cinematography poll on Fandor. Rankings are first by number of mentions and…
Duelle (une quarantaine)
The Queen of the Night battles the Queen of the Sun over a magical diamond that will allow the winner to remain on Earth, specifically in modern day Paris.
For me, simply one of The Truly Great Movies. A work that starts out as ordinary and slowly inundates us into first a movie world and then a fantasy world, all while using documentary technique to keep us centered in the streets of Paris. The battle for the Fate of Earth isn't above us—it's right in front of us. Considered lesser Rivette in some circles, but its adoration and attachment to noir and B-movies is what elevates this beyond anything else for me. After all, what is closer to reality than things that are supposed to remain hidden in the shadows?
I was honored and delighted that Viola director Matías Piñeiro chose this film to discuss on The Cinephiliacs.
Giant turtle forever.
GOD this movie is incredible! What a masterpiece! I love it. It's so utterly inventive in every way possible that we forget that this is once again one of Rivette's worlds of masochistic torture. The Queen of the Sun and the Queen of the Moon descend down to Earth and try to manipulate everyone possible to get what they want. And they succeed by manipulating the most innocent. Nicole Garcia as Elsa/Jeanne, the working class girl, dies simply because she fell in love. It's a dark, tragic work, but ultimately an enlightening one as well. Because it's a movie that might just be about cinema itself. It's a movie literally about form and style, about mis-en-scene, about the interplay between…
How to describe such a towering work on first viewing? This is composition, this is sound, this is lighting, this is color, this is movement. God bless Jacques Rivette. He understands that everything is NOT beautiful, and to think so would be naive and stupid. However, he does understand (and make clear) that everything is expressive. An object, a wall, a shadow, a table, a hallway. It's incredible how he can suck us into his dreamscape, yet never leave the reality of the streets of Paris. He shows us how truly abstract the world in front of us really is. I genuinely don't think there is any director who was more creative. I already thought the movie was a masterpiece…
To laud a film as having a tangible presence or atmosphere is often hyperbole, cinema is projected light, but the very fact that formal elements of cinema are given literal bodies by Rivette and made to parade the streets of Paris is what makes this film so delightful. Light is a manipulative force, not only to what we as the audience can see in frame, but also to what paths the characters take and direction the narrative is given. This is, quite literally, a film about cinema, though it's masked within genre ideals and a mystery that takes place in the city where the art-form evolved. Few directors could ever be so conscious of what it is that makes a film; Rivette was one of them and his love for cinema will be known for as long as there are eyes to see what he created.
You know, I went back and forth wondering if we should pair this with Green Snake (or Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain) for this week's George Sanders, or Noroît and a pirate movie. We went with the pirates. I think that may have been the wrong choice.
Like having a dream about rehearsing a play based on a Franju movie.
Briefly discussed with Scott Nye, Aaron West, and Martin Kessler on Criterion Cast podcast:
I ❤️ Juliet Berto
Of the three Rivette films I have now seen, this is by far the best. Entrancing and mysterious, yet always engaging.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Compares interestingly with Le Pont du Nord, my other recent Rivette viewing. While LPdN's mystery is a conspiracy that dwarfs and threatens to consume its characters -- the film's locations, too, always relating back to a larger, labyrinthine city map -- the mystery in Duelle feels self-contained (and this in spite of its supernatural, cosmic content), Duelle's locations correspondingly self-contained, atomized. Instead of the pleasure of conspiracy, Duelle offers pleasures of costume (how are Berto's and Ogier's goddesses not to this day style icons?? Well, maybe they are; I'd be the last to know) and staging.
Of course, the goddess characters are just as shadowy as the figures in a Rivette conspiracy (the Maxes in LPdN, for instance). "Shadowy" here…
Rivette channeling Tourneur and his elegant mise-en-scene in which shadows are no less expressive than the characters. Haunting, sublime and magical.
O real duelo não são entre as deusas, filhas, princesas, etc. O confronto real do filme existe pelo filme, da música contra a imagem, do conteúdo contra a forma e do antes contra o depois.
A ballet where the elements of cinema play themselves, lights and shadows colliding and repelling against each other inside a fantasy wonderland so entrancing I dreamt the film awake. R.I.P. Rivette.
Picked the worst time to watch this which places it in my classic I'll Have to Rewatch This at Some Point™ group of movies but I liked it quite a though couldn't process it very well. I'll just mention a few things: the clothes are amazing, I LOVE the diegetic live improv piano player and the fact that Lucie is the only one startled by it, the only stranger in this fantasy world. Performances are great but my absolute favourite is Hermine Karagheuz who is incredible. Always upsetting to find out about a great actor and then discover that they acted in like ten things and no one cares about like half of those i.e. they're really hard to find.
In memory of the passing of Nouveau Vague spearhead Jacques Rivette (1928-2016), let’s delve into WOMEN DUELLING, the follow-up of his pièce de résistance, CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974).
The story is a convoluted mythopoeia, in modern-day Paris, with a close-knit cast of 7 (where two of them will exit the narrative earlier), it cobbles together a fantasy about two goddesses, Leni (Berto), the daughter of the moon and Viva (Ogier), the daughter of the sun, each year they only have 40 (une quarantaine) days to stay on earth. So in order to be endowed the power to remain here, both are seeking for a magic diamond, which is in the possession of a mysterious man Pierrot (Babilée, an…
Plays like a half remembered dream...
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
"Is anything really complete or flawed? Or is nothing really complete or flawed?" - Chuang-tzu
These are not desert island…