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Pleasures and Perils: Improvisation in "Out 1"

Pleasures and Perils: Improvisation in

Jacques Rivette's Out 1, Noli Me Tangere (1971) is showing on Mubi in the United States.There’s a lot of confusion about what improvisation in movies consists of—when it is or isn’t used, and sometimes what it means when it is used. Those who think that the dialogue in Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind is improvised don’t realize that the screenplay by Welles and Oja Kodar with that dialogue was published years ago, long before the film’s posthumous completion. It’s worth adding, however, that the film’s mise en scène was improvised by Welles on a daily basis. Similarly, those misled by director Robert Altman’s dreamy pans and seemingly random zooms in The Long Goodbye into concluding that the actors must be inventing their own lines are ignoring the careful work done by screenwriter Leigh Brackett, not to mention Raymond Chandler.

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