Out 1 - From Conspiracy to Conspiracy

Third in our ongoing series of audiovisual pieces on Jacques Rivette's "Out 1," by David Heslin and Chris Luscri.
Chris Luscri

This text and audiovideo essay collaboration on Jacques Rivette's Out 1 is the third entry in the Out 1 Video Essay Project commissioned by the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Out 1 - From Conspiracy to Conspiracy

Video by Chris Luscri
Poem by David Heslin

On the second day,
A conspiracy
Of two-score and ten
Or so, unbroken,
Melds into fabric.

“Noli me tangere”
Declaims the canister
“Don’t touch me”
As the unheeding projectionist
Shirks its council
And laces up.

It fades, that time-worn decree.
The old years are stumbling
Overturning their wagons
Of refuse and sketches
“Don’t touch me”
But we stoop and collect,
Sifting, humming,
Passing notes in classrooms
And descend into
A half-day artefact
Only to emerge
Blinking, divergent.

There, life is supplanted
By actors on screens,
Performing odd rituals,
But we are puppets
Of a different kind,
Abandoned to hang
In seats, in darkness,
While actors move more than us;
Die more than us—
Of natural causes—
Before the lights go on.

(Yea, all change is nought
But a sequence of endings.)

So, we leave;
Walk east, to the Forum,
And witness agency,
As the conspiracy splinters
And a film responds, outraged:
“Don’t touch me”

I turn,
And no messenger greets me
No sign from the heavens
Just a distant truck-roar
And the crushing of paper.


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Out 1 Video Essay ProjectJacques Rivette
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