“And now for some overwhelmingly sad news. Jacques Rivette has Alzheimer’s disease. As I trust everyone knows his last film 36 vues de Pic Saint-Loup was a mere 80 minutes long. That’s because Rivette had to cut the shooting short as he was having serious difficulty. His condition has since deegerated to the point that according to filmmaker Benoit Jacquot (who I interviewed two days ago) Rivette can no longer go to the movies as he finds it impossible to retain even so much as a few minutes of audio-visual information and therefore can no longer “follow” films at all. It’s a Death Before Death." – David Ehrenstein commenting on a blog post about Celine and Julie on Some Came Running, April 20th, 2012.
I guess all we can do is hope he has a peaceful end. Really wish I had a chance to meet the guy, having come around to loving Out 1 after deciding to put much of its style into future projects.
I’m lucky enough to have met him a handful of times. A very ice man as well as a very great filmmaker. I’d heard he was ill, but what Benoit Jacquot told me confirmed my worst fears.
I love La Belle Noiseuse. This is very, very sad news…
Goddamn it, noooo …. :(
That is really sad. I’ve only seen La Belle Noiseuse, but now that he’s dying, I feel obligated to see Celine and Julie and Out 1.
This is such sad news. Celine and Julie Go Boating is my favorite film, and I like/love all of his other films that I’ve seen.
So sad. One of my favourite filmmakers. I feel selfishly sad at the loss of future films by him. I hope though he has as little mental pain as possible as he declines and his inner state is as peaceful as can be.
This is tremendously sad news. Rivette is surely one of the finest, most consistently innovative filmmakers, and it is rather heartbreaking to hear that he is not only ill, but that his illness is keeping him from his lifelong passion: seeing and directing films. It is additionally sad that if he were to die, it would likely be in relative obscurity, like Herman Melville, another artist unappreciated in his own time. I can find solace in the idea that to those, however few, for whom he was important, he was exceedingly important, and I’m content to count myself among that lot. I wish the man nothing but continued peace and happiness.
I’ve always loved this quote of his-
“The day when curiosity disappears there’s nothing left but to lie down and wait for our last breath, I believe that curiosity is the one thing which makes us move, which makes us act, in all areas of life”
Which is really heart-breaking to consider as Rivette succumbs to Alzheimer’s disease. I hope the best for him and his family and friends.
At least his oeuvre exists.
Sad indeed. Required reading .
Thanks so much, Matt. I’ll send that to a friend who’s a Rivette addict.
Rivette interviewed by Serge Daney (early ’90s?)
(Claire Denis behind the camera)
His films are the work of a good soul, an open, sensitive, inquisitive and sharp mind. And that seems quite rare, really. Alzheimers is hard for sufferer and family and there’s still too often stigma attached.
Folks, I was in Paris last month and as luck would have it the Cinématheque Française was holding a Bulle Ogier retrospective, which included most of the films she made with Rivette, including both versions of Out 1.
Since I had only seen the long cut I was excited to see Spectre, which isn’t available online as far as I know. Even though I speak minimal French, I figured it would be worth it to check out.
Anyway, some guy introduced the film, and during the intermission he returned to the microphone and told us that Jacques Rivette himself was sitting in the audience, and was actually in the seat right in front of me! The audience applauded heartily and some people approached him to talk during the break. He was speaking very quietly so I wasn’t able to hear what he was saying. What I can report is that he did not appear to fall asleep at any point during the 4-hour film, from what I could tell. While Rivette was always he most avid filmgoer of the Cahiers crew, it’s nice to know that he’s still lucid enough to go to the theatre.
It may be unlikely that he’s in a condition to mount another production on his own, but perhaps someone could assist him in the way that Wim Wenders helped Antonioni complete Beyond the Clouds?
Wow, thanks for sharing this!!
Very heartening to know.
That’s such good news. Hopefully what he does have, is under control with medicines.