At first, jarring. But then it slowly becomes a beautiful statement about encountering the past and the intimacy of relationships. It is ambitious and risky and I don't think the film could have worked had it not been directed by Jacques Rivette, and the result is brilliant.
It takes disappointingly long to get to the actual core of the plot, i.e. the supernatural element, although this is fairly well sign-posted beforehand. Having finally got there, the film takes off and is very good indeed. Beautiful colours and use of the autumn setting.
My 5th Rivette film and I'm officially a fan. If there was any more atmosphere we'd all be crushed under the sheer weight! Also: best film cat ever. Nevermore was the character, I believe, expertly played by little known character actor, Gaspard. Why is that forbidden gesture so creepy? I guess cos it's forbidden...
I really liked the blue room in the beginning, when Marie just started decluttering it. It reminded me in a way of Anne’s room from “Paris belongs to us” and the room Ida’s wanted to rent in the end of “Haut bas fragile” – a little bluish space with a sink in there.
Like The Sixth Sense, use of the supernatural to explore themes of grief and solitude. The two characters are like shadows; one dead to the world, the other..? Unlike The Sixth Sense, muted bodies find expression in a carnal embrace. There's also the suggestion that each repetition of the death, the act of saying goodbye, is a new beginning, not just an end. Clocks are everywhere, reminding us of the dearth of time.
It seems I am the biggest fans of all Rivette movies cinephiles don't like ! I am quite happy to share my deep enthusiasm about this movie, like Celine et Julie and Gang of Four, an identity problem WITHOUT New Wave Cinema much explored documentary attitude or flashy statements à la Godard. You need to make the picture on your own.