Jacques Rivette

By Douglas Morrey and Alison Smith

Jacques Rivette


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9687-7
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: January 2015
  • BIC Category: PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production, The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers, The arts / Film scripts & screenplays, Film and Media, Film scripts & screenplays, Film history, theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism
  • Series: French Film Directors Series


Jacques Rivette is perhaps the best-kept secret of French cinema. A founding figure in the New Wave, and at the centre of the Cahiers du cinéma team, he developed into one of the most unusual and adventurous French directors of the last sixty years, yet his work remains little-known in comparison with his contemporaries, and this study is the first in English to look at the full span of his career. Starting with his decisively influential film criticism of the 1950s, it moves from the New Wave through the complex, experimental films of the 1970s to the challenging, playful dramas which ensured his visibility during the following two decades, and ends in the present, including Rivette's most recent films, Histoire de Marie et Julien (2003) and Ne touchez pas la hache (2007).

The book takes a thematic approach, offering detailed discussion of key elements of Rivette's film world, including games, conspiracy and jealousy, as well as a study of what Rivette's cinema adds to our understanding of key theoretical concepts in Film Studies such as narrative, space and adaptation.


This book makes a strong case for explaining what is specific, innovative and exciting about Rivette's films, focusing on his exploration of form and the relationship of artist to audience.

Smith and Morrey offer a vital defence of some of Rivette's more maligned films.

This overdue study makes for an erudite introduction and a thoroughly explanatory 'user guide' to its slightly forbidding subject.


List of plates
Series editors' foreword
1. Introduction
2. The art of the present and the dialectics of duration: The film criticism of Jacques Rivette
3. In the labyrinth: Narrative, conspiracy, community
4. Story as space: Space as story
5. Family secrets
6. La Règle du jeu: Games and play
7. Play, theatre and performance
8. Adaptation
9. Pushing the envelope: Bodies, love and jealousy
10. Out of time: The unconsoled in Rivette's late works
Select bibliography


Douglas Morrey is Associate Professor in the Department of French Studies in the University of Warwick. Alison Smith is Lecturer in European Film Studies at the University of Liverpool

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