A stage work forms while a marriage collapses in perhaps the most remarkable of director Jacques Rivette’s many explorations of the intersection of life and art. Shooting in a dazzling mixture of 35mm and 16mm film stocks, Rivette cuts between an experimental theater company’s rehearsals for a production of Racine’s Andromaque, a television crew shooting a documentary of the performance, and the imploding relationship of the director Sebastian (Jean-Piere Kalfon) and his actress wife Claire (Bulle Ogier). Gradually, Sebastian and Claire pull each other deeper into a violent emotional vortex until, in the film’s startling, hour-long pièce de résistance, they lock themselves inside their apartment and embark on what the critic Tom Milne termed “a veritable orgy of passion which can be called neither love nor hate.”

“At last, an English-subtitled print of Jacques Rivette’s legendary four-hour masterpiece.” —NYFF10 program note

  • Directed By Jacques Rivette
  • 1969
  • France
  • French with English subtitles
  • 35mm
  • 252 minutes