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Jacques Rivette, the Watchman

Claire Denis, Serge Daney
Jacques Rivette, le veilleur
France 1990 / 125’
Who Knows

A film by Claire Denis, Rivette's former assistant, as part of the television series Directors ofOur Time, created by André S. Labarthe. The film consists mainly of a conversation between film critic Serge Daney, the former editor-in-chief of „Cahiers du Cinéma”, and Jacques Rivette. They discuss, among other topics, the New Wave and Rivette's directorial vision, while also analyzing various aspects of his work. Illustrated by fragments from Rivette's films.

Ariel Schweitzer

Claire Denis

French director and screenwriter Claire Denis is one of the most important auteurs of modern film. She gained much experience assisting Rivette, Costa-Gavras, Jarmusch and Wenders. Already in her debut, Chocolat (1988), she dealt with issues of racial and intercultural tensions, a topic she experienced in her childhood as the daughter of a colonial civil servant in Africa. The problem of colonialism and inequality in access to goods and education are leitmotifs in her work, which is also fueled by ideals of Paris '68. This is most powerfully expressed in Good Work(1999) starring Denis Lavant and White Material (2009) featuring Isabelle Huppert. In portraying her homeland, she is sensitive to social issues such as the situation of immigrants, which she took on in I Can't Sleep (1994), the frustrations of civil servants - Friday Night (2002), or family relationships, as in TheIntruder (2004). Against that background, Denis often sketches the erotic character of French society, as is evident in Trouble Every Day (2001) starring Béatrice Dalle, one of her favorite actresses. She also frequently casts Isaach de Bankole and Grégoire Colin. Denis works regularly with cinematographer Agnès Godard, whom she met in the 1970s at La Fmis, the French state film school in Paris, where Denis currently teaches film directing. The 2013 documentary Trespassing Bergman by Jane Magnusson and Hynek Pallas indicates that even the great Ingmar Bergman prized the films of Claire Denis.

Selected filmography

1988 Czekolada / Chocolat / Chocolate

1999 Piękna praca / Beau travail / Good Work

2004 Intruz / L’intrus / The intruder

2008 35 kieliszków rumu / 35 rhums / 35 Shots of Rum

2009 Biała Afryka / White Material

2013 Les salauds / Bastards

Cast & Crew

director Claire Denis, Serge Daney
cinematography Agnès Godard, archival footage
editing Dominique Auvray
sound Jean-Pierre Laforce
cast Serge Daney, Jacques Rivette, Bulle Ogier, Jean Babilée, Jean-François Stévenin
producer Janine Bazin, André S. Labarthe
production La Sept, Art Production, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, Intermédia
sales Instytut Francuski
language French
colouration colour & b&w