Monday, December 08, 2008


Small Post Meant for a Long Time Now, Respurred Upon Reading Something Irritating — To Demonstrate, Once-and-For-All, That Rivette's Out 1, Despite All Production-Stills Currently in Circulation, Is a Color Film

(no 'spoilers') — (posts on Jerry Lewis, and Seijun Suzuki, and Frederick Wiseman, still to come) —

Out 1 by Jacques Rivette, 1971/1990:



  1. Craig,
    You've done us a great service. A very many thanks.

  2. Is there a print, or the color negative? Is someone going to publish a DVD of Out 1? Do you mean "Noli me tangere" or "Spectre"?
    Miguel Marías

  3. Miguel —

    There's both a negative (I think), and certainly a print.

    The biggest thing holding up a DVD release outside of France is the fact that subtitling, and more significantly the spotting of those subtitles (i.e., the "in-" and "out-" coding for the times upon which each subtitle would appear on-screen), would have to be done for 17 hours' worth of material, which is of course very costly, though only in the scope of a single project. DVDs of films totaling much more than 17 hours of footage are released around the world on a weekly basis.

    The film shown in this post is the full-length 13-hour version, Out 1. The subtitle Noli me tangère [Touch Me Not] was affixed to the original workprint in the early '70s. At the time of the film's preparation for a proper theatrical and television premiere in the late '80s, the title was cemented as simply Out 1, and appears as such on the title card of each of the eight episodes. The phrase "Noli me tangère" is absent from this version (which actually carries a 1990 copyright, as you can see very small on one of the framegrabs I've posted), although it certainly haunts the film, absent-present like a god.

    Out 1: Spectre is the 4+ hour version, which is a very different film, and not merely a shortened "digest" version of the longer work. It's darker and scarier than Out 1 — which is extremely scary on its own terms. But the Spectre terms are more challenging perhaps on a minute-to-minute basis — the montage is more intense, more radical, and whole scenes have been reshuffled, recut, recontextualized by their new placement. Both films have different endings, each extremely unsettling and upsetting; each uplifting as apexes of human art.

    That said, for there ever to be a release of one of the films on DVD or otherwise, but without its counterpart, would be ludicrous.


  4. I am curious: what exactly was the Very Irritating Something that led to this post?

  5. Thanks, Craig. I've actually seen both the long and the "shorter" versions, and curiously prefer the "short" one. But maybe in color the rythm of the longer "Out 1" would change and improve...
    Miguel Marías

  6. Let's not forget that it's also shot (and correctly projected) at 25 frames per second, which means it has more than 4% more truth!

  7. Yes, that's the truth. (Tardy comment reply, I know.)

    For my part, I'll refrain from naming the percentage-overage of truth that Rivette's film has over another 13+ hour, shot-at-25fps, film in (wider now) circulation.


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