I'm having a bit of a Rivette season at the moment, so I decided to watch Va Savoir, not really knowing what it was about, on the strengths of Secret Defense
- so when I saw the first few moments, I was worried this was going to be a flop, how wrong I was!?
Jeanne Balibar is Camille, an actress who's love of Italian plays has brought her into Ugo's latest project, all about love, and how it divides and conquers us. She's restless as she's in Paris, and thinks about a past lover, a philosopher obsessed by a German philosopher - and then there's Ugo, a guy obsessed with finding the final works of a playwright he's always dreamt of putting on, but as with everything, a triangle of love, lust and intolerance brings them across a thin line - one which none of them will ever forget.
This is yet another masterpiece from Jacques Rivette, and beautifully written by Pascal Bonitzer and Christine Laurent - the way it masquerades as a film, yet is very much like a play is magnificent; sometimes rather breath taking - with the irony they are in a play, and their lives are like a big play. It's beautifully photographed by William Lubtchansky - who has worked with Rivette before, and it shows good clarity, and the dialogue is nice, and makes good use of language, yet is very direct, - though this film runs nearly 3hrs, it doesn't really stray from what it is meant to do, and some people might find this annoying, but it's all got a purpose, and will make you watch again and again as new pieces fall into place.
I did find Arthur a bit wooden (Bruno Todeschini) but the best actors in this were Jeanne and Sergio, and they deserved to win the Jury Special Prize at Cannes in 2002.
This is a film not to be missed, but you have to be patient and allow it to settle down - otherwise you'll miss what it's trying to say.