jonnyross’s review published on Letterboxd:
Not going to lie - this was probably the most difficult cinematic endeavor I’ve ever endured.
NOTHING REALLY HAPPENS AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (my parents really love to make fun of me for watching this*)
Minute by minute, hour by hour - you are left with an overwhelming urge to get up off your seat and smash the screen in frustration. But that feeling, I’ve found, is so essential in analyzing the cinematic mechanisms that allow movies to wash over viewers in candy-coated delight -like a Lush bath bomb lets say.
Rivette works like a modern Brecht - asking difficult questions about how cinema is supposed to serve as entertainment and as a means to lull audiences into subscribing to a message. After over 12 hours of content- the voyeur must take all conceptions of "video as escape" out of the picture and convert the mind inward in self-investigation. Like Chantal, cinematic time is a mutating, meditating force that can't be controlled in the parameters of expected entertainment.
All rules are broken and Rivette takes advantage of this power as a means to critique and challenge all preconceived notions audiences may have. To call this a mini-series is completely misguided - Rivette never leaves a cliffhanger or a tie-in to the progressing narrative - its all fluid and strange and original to the nth power.
I'd like to thank Mubi for releasing this in a gorgeous restoration, remember Mubi is free for all film students - MUBI GOES HARD DONT FORGET THAT.
I wanted to watch this because I read "French new-wave mystery" - the major mystery is HOW TF DID THEY PULL THIS OFF?????????
*much of the film involves theater activities and demonstrations, my mom (a former theatre teacher and actress) stood in to watch a couple of these scenes and found them to be incredibly accurate.