UPDATE with Martin Scorsese statement: Veteran French filmmaker Jacques Rivette has died at the age of 87. The French New Wave director has an illustrious list of credits including La Belle Noiseuse, Celine and Julie Go Boating and L’Amour Fou. The news was confirmed today by French culture minister Fleur Pellerin, who tweeted Rivette was “one of the greatest filmmakers of intimacy and impatient love.”
Rivette started his career alongside New Wave luminareis Jean Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut. Like many of his peers he also wrote for the iconic Cahiers Du Cinema with the likes of Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol and Andre Bazin. He was appointed editor-in-chief in 1963.
While not as instantly famous as Godard and Truffaut, Rivette was known for his experimental attitude to filmmaking, often blurring the lines of reality and fiction. He was also known for the often lengthy running time of his films. His 1971 film Out 1 came in 750 minutes. Others, such as the Cannes Jury Prize-winning La Belle Noiseuse – in which she spent much of the film nude as a model posing for an artist – clocked in at a more digestible four hours.
“The news of Jacques Rivette’s passing is a reminder that so much time has passed since that remarkable moment in the late ’50s and early ’60s when so many directors were redrawing the boundaries of cinema,” Martin Scorsese said today. “Rivette was one of them. He was the most experimental of the French New Wave directors, probably the least known in those early years. I vividly remember the shock of seeing his first two films, Paris Belongs To Us and The Nun. Two very different experiences, both uniquely troubling and powerful, quite unlike anything else around.
“Rivette was a fascinating artist, and it’s strange to think that he’s gone. Because if you came of age when I did, the New Wave still seems new. I suppose it always will.”