After the masterful 'Celine and Julie..' Rivette moved to this ridiculous mix of fantasy and fairy tale which provides little more than an enigma. Performances are subdued to the point of comatose and the allegory of its scripting is thick with pretentiousness.
Big Rivette fan, yadda yadda yadda. Was not prepared for this. It totally reconstituted my entire world, revolutionizing my sense of what can be done w/ popular forms. Seriously: in my top five films of all time. The spirit of Louis Feuillade refracted through labyrinthine Julio Cortázar-type narrative apparatus. Lubtchansky is easily one of the best DPs of all time: this is the best work I have seen him do.
Everything you could ever want from a Rivette: games, masks, Paris as a labyrinth, black magic, performance, film noir... The warring spirits played by Juliet Berto and Bulle Ogier haunt my dreams in the twilight.