Up, Down, Fragile

Perhaps never bound to be one of the best Rivette films, but probably the one I find myself thinking about and returning to the most of all his work. The give-and-take, push-and-pull dynamic of his approach here is so delicately maneuvered. Characters circling each other, the camera circling them, and we see ourselves in their struggles. Perhaps insignificant in the face of grander schemes but they feel important to us because they are what define us as they define these characters. But Rivette's touch here is perhaps his lightest. Never one for being heavy handed to begin with, despite his indulgence for run-times, this might just be his most breezy films. So structurally soft and gentle, it's brief dalliances with darkness and violence feel less jarring than one might think. Tinged with just the right amount of melancholia that underpins the excursions into fantasia via the musical sequences. Hope is forever linked with the shadow of "maybe not" and that is what we are left with by the film's conclusion. It's a souffle filled with wondrous moments and emotions that entrance like few others. Rivette truly was one of the greats.