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THE UNIQUE AND ICONOCLASTIC FILM FROM A MAJOR FIGURE OF FRENCH NEW WAVE CINEMA
Jacques Rivette, co-founder of the French New Wave along with Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Éric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol, has always been that group’s most free-spirited and aesthetically radical member. This is very much on display in Out 1, his fourth feature film and magnum opus, in which a whimsical young man (Jean-Pierre Léaud) receives anonymous notes that put him on the trail of a mysterious group of people who might or might not be conspirators.
Based on an utterly unique concept that includes the absence of a script and nods to Honoré de Balzac and Lewis Carroll, Out 1 has been practically impossible to see for more than forty years. Both the complete 8-part series, Out 1: noli me tangere, and the shorter theatrical version, Out 1: Spectre, are offered here in newly restored 2K presentations supervised by the films’ director of photography, Pierre-William Glenn (Day for Night). The colorful characters that Léaud encounters during his quest are played by Juliet Berto, Michael Lonsdale, Bernadette Lafont, Bulle Ogier, Françoise Fabian, Jean-François Stévenin and other New Wave icons, with special appearances by directors Éric Rohmer and Barbet Schroeder.
Out 1, an immensely involving, almost addictive blend of film, literature and theater, has rightly been hailed as the Holy Grail of modern French cinema!
AN INVISIBLE FILM FOR OVER 40 YEARS !
When Jacques Rivette and his producer, Stéphane Tchalgadjieff, began the Out 1 project, they did not set a time limit on the work. The final cut, divided into eight episodes, is 12 hours 55 minutes long and the ORTF (the national agency charged with providing public radio and television in France) refused to buy it, afraid of the extraordinary and unclassifiable nature of the film. Out 1 was shown in its full working version at the Havre in September 1971, which is now considered a legendary projection, but was shown neither in theaters nor television. Jacques Rivette spent the entirety of 1972 on editing another version of the film, reducing the running time to just over 4 hours. This cut of the film, called Out 1: Spectre, which proposes a different vision from the original film, was released in French cinemas in 1974.
The public had to wait until 1989 for the long version to finally be shown in its entirety at the Rotterdam Film Festival, followed by various other European festivals, and finally on French and German television in the early 1990’s. From this point on, the original film was called Out 1: noli me tangere, and was a slightly different cut from the version shown in 1971. After this, Jacques Rivette’s monumental film virtually disappeared from the silver screen.
Out 1 has remained particularly rare and almost invisible in its complete version since its creation. Restored in 2015, Out 1: noli me tangere and Out 1: Spectre are finally available in 2K!