Friday, May 11, 2007

Artist and Muse #17

Few films have centered on the complex relationship between an artist and muse more successfully than Jacques Rivette's 1991 masterpiece LA BELLE NOISEUSE (THE BEAUTIFUL TROUBLEMAKER)
It is a film of collision as Rivette, the most uncomprimising director of the 1st French New Wave, collaborates with with possibly the greatest actress of the second New Wave, Emmanuelle Beart.
Rivette was 63 when he directed the then 27 year old Beart in their first film together. One of the great films about art, and more importantly the creation of art, LA BELLE NOISEUSE makes clear the blurring line and equal importance of the artist-muse relationship.
Rivette's masterful film, in my opinion one of the best ever made, won the Grand Prize at the Cannes film festival and is currently available on dvd from New Yorker Home Video. The intriguing companion piece DIVERTIMENTO remains out of print in America but can be obtained fairly cheaply from Asian market importers.
Rivette and Beart would meet again in 2003's THE STORY OF MARIE AND JULIEN, an astonishingly great ghost story that shows them both still at the top of their game and miles above most of their peers.
Rivette nearing 80 is continuing to create one of the most startling original canons in all of film history and has just released DON'T TOUCH THE AXE in France. Along with Eric Rohmer, Rivette remains an artist that is as fresh and vital in his 80s as most are in their 20s.
Beart turns 44 year this year and remains one of France's greatest actors and most passionate activists. She admitted in THE STORY OF MARIE AND JULIEN'S supplemental material that her collaborations with Rivette are special is hoping their mystical journey together in film continues in the future.

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