Limitless Cinema in Broken English

March 1, 2010

FAVORITE QUOTE FROM JACQUES RIVETTE

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 6:27 am

I quote it from Misterio Abierto’s blog:
http://misterioabierto.blogspot.com/2009/09/jacques-rivette-1.html

” To write the history of these ten years would obviously be a fascinating task, but it is equally obvious that he closer one comes to the present day, the more one gets tangled up in polemic and personal preferences. I’m judging from my own experience of reseeing at the Cinematheque the films which I first saw in 1950 or so. Murnau, Stroheim, Griffith are still great; the unimportant film still look unimportant. But when one comes to films made over the last decade, I find that some which I didn’t properly understand at the time now look remarkable, while others which I admired seem worthless. It isn’t easy to make an objective assessment of something that is close to you.

For example, I saw Resnais’ Muriel a few days ago. I’m glad I wasn’t asked for an opinion on it right away, because I have since seen it a second time; and I realize that my opinion after a first viewing would have been a mixture of polemic, bile and prejudice about the sort of film I expected from Resnais. It’s difficult to absorb a new film straight away, because one begins by superimposing the film one expected, which one wanted to see, and even which one wanted to make oneself.

All these barriers must be set aside before one can see the film which is actually there on the screen, and only then can one decide whether or not the director has succeeded on his terms rather than yours. A certain distance is absolutely essential. Spontaneous reactions are all very fine, but they tell you more about the critic than about the film.”

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