Miriam Bale presents: Jacques Rivette's DUELLE (1976)
A new restoration of Rivette's cryptic masterwork starring Bulle Ogier and Juliet Berto as glamorous rival goddesses in Paris.
Jul 21, 2022, 7:30 PM
2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA
Duelle (Une quarantaine)
directed by Jacques Rivette
1976, France, 121m, DCP
When watching a Jacques Rivette film, one is constantly in state of suspension: between performance and persona, or between artifice and reality. With a central obsession on seemingly endless conspiracies, Rivette’s “signature special effect”, per Dennis Lim, is “the uncanny impression that the story is being generated by the characters as we watch; or, spookier and more thrilling still, by the very act of our watching.” Perhaps the height of a series of metaphysical genre films, Rivette’s fantasy-noir follow-up to Celine and Julie Go Boating was envisioned as the first of a planned tetralogy on mythological themes (dubbed “Scenes from parallel life”) that was never completed. Beloved New Wave starlets Juliet Berto and Bulle Ogier play glamorous rival goddesses who descend upon Paris in search of a precious stone, ensnaring mortal siblings Hermine Karagheuz and Jean Babilée in their cryptic games. As Duelle layers intrigue upon intrigue in Parisian ballrooms, parks and métro stations, it invites psychoanalytic and mystic interpretations—but moreover, it is a still-unclassifiable marvel of the latent possibilities of cinema.
Introduced by Miriam Bale
L.A. theatrical premiere of a 2K restoration, courtesy of Arrow Films and the American Genre Film Archive
“The plot decodes into a conflict between the magical and the realistic cinema—Lumière versus Méliès—and Rivette works out the implications of this contradiction in his mise-en-scene, which applies a long-take, realistic technique to enigmatic situations and mysterious characters. Darker and quieter in tone than Rivette’s better-known Celine and Julie Go Boating, though just as inventive and cryptically intelligent.” -Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Miriam Bale is the Artistic Director of the Indie Memphis Film Festival. She has written on film for The New York Times, the New York Daily News, The New Republic, Indiewire, Sight and Sound, W Magazine, Film Comment, The Hollywood Reporter, Filmmaker and other publications. Bale was the founding director of the La Di Da Film Festival in New York. She has organized film programs at Anthology Film Archives, BAMCinématek, the British Film Institute, Yerba Buena Arts Center, Flaherty NYC, and other venues.