To Describe a Labyrinth: Dialectics in Jacques Rivette's Film Theory and Film Practice

Douglas Morrey


This article will focus on the recurring and crucial role of Hegelian dialectics in the elaboration of Rivette’s theory of film across his articles and interventions in Cahiers du cinéma. This appeal to philosophy can be seen as part of the Cahiers’s concerted effort to defend the artistic legitimacy and seriousness of cinema, and not only avant-garde or art cinema but, first and foremost, popular Hollywood cinema (de Baecque 1991, 174-5). But, where a critic like Rohmer, with his references to classical art, seeks to canonise the artistic achievements of the cinema, Rivette’s vocabulary of dialectics seems to covet, for film criticism and film making alike, the status of a science.


Rivette; Film Theory

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