3 June 2004 | gorbman
A different sense of time
The thing that has always been interesting about Rivette is the different sense of time that he creates through a more slowly developed story, spanning 2-4 hours on screen. Then when a real development comes along, it's such a surprise and pleasure (dare I say "as in real life?"). MARIE AND JULIEN has a mysterious story, but it's not suspenseful--you can guess what's going on fairly early into the film. Pleasure lies in getting to know the characters, watching Marie arrange a room, watching Julien take a clock apart and put it back together--and having your suspicions about the story verified. It's all perhaps more like reading a novel than watching a normal Hollywood film characterized by a tightly formulaic, time-bound 90-minute plot. And it's no accident that Julien is a clock repairman: that big clock he dismantles seems to stand for the very method and structure, and sense of duration, of this wonderful movie. A clock's ticking is supposed to be even, "in beat," but it's interesting too when the ticking is uneven!