on 23 August 2009
A class of women drama students rehearse scenes from Marivaux's "Double Infidelities" while infidelities & duplicities proliferate off-stage as the girls become embroiled in a conspiracy apparently involving Basque terrorists & secret police.
"Gang of 4" (1989) employs Rivette's favourite motif of rehearsing a play to set up oblique relationships between theatre, acting, role play & real life and is similar in style to "Love on the Ground" (the other Rivette obscurity from the 1980s issued on Bluebell DVD). Plot-wise it's a rerun of Rivette's 1961 debut film "Paris Nous Appartient" (BFI DVD).
Rivette makes very odd films & is definitely an acquired taste, but after watching his better films you really feel like you have been through some kind of mysterious experience and "Gang of 4" is one of the better Rivettes I've seen. The young actresses are excellent as is Bulle Ogier as the drama tutor. Given the long & loose quasi-improvised nature of such films there are some scenes, characterisations and plot twists that might not work but overall, if you like Rivette, "Gang of 4" is well worth getting.
on 1 February 2010
One of Rivette's more accessible films, nevertheless, like many of of his others, it takes a little patience and dedication to appreciate it. A great young cast make this movie, which is both larger than life while also depiciting the every-day. An interest in theatre is not mandatory, but might be helpful when viewing this, but the mini-mystery was the most satisfying part of the story for me, as life begins to imitate art.
I would recommend to anyone with a few hours to spare - like all his other films, sit back, relax, suspend your disbelief and don't be disappointed by the unformulaic structure.