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VA SAVOIR

Director: JACQUES RIVETTE

FRANCE • 2001 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DTS STEREO • 154 MIN.


One of the most accessible of Rivette’s films, Va savoiris still, thankfully, a long way from being a typical French farce. Pirandello’s As You Desire Meis being staged at a Paris theatre by an Italian company under the direction of Ugo (Sergio Castellitto). Ugo’s leading actress and partner is Camille (Jeanne Balibar), who left Paris and her then lover Pierre (Jacques Bonnaffe) three years earlier. Apprehensive about her role in the play as well as the return to Paris, Camille nevertheless decides to track down Pierre, while Ugo uses the trip to pursue a missing manuscript.
As usual, Rivette takes his time tracking the six main characters (another Pirandello reference) as they circle around one another in a series of excursions and encounters that are both amusing and unsettling. Each character is pursuing their own mysterious agenda which, as always in Rivette’s work, seems to be driven by delusion and misunderstanding. In the early films these pursuits created an air of conspiracy and paranoia. Here the various manoeuvres take on the qualities of a comedy of manners, with the theatrical context mirroring and mocking the characters’ off-stage adventures.—Peter Walsh.

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