The theatre world is a familiar setting for the films of Rivette. In Va savoir, the characters, all quick-witted, well-read and cultured types, revolve around each other in a delightful potpourri of theatre, romance and theft. In the end, everything lands on its feet and they all get the partner they deserve, but before then, long filmer Rivette takes two and a half hours to dwell lightly on the vicissitudes around the six protagonists. Camille is an actress with an Italian company that is in Paris to perform a play by Pirandello, Come tu mi vuoi. Her boyfriend Ugo is the director and the company's most important actor. Both have a hidden agenda for their trip to Paris: Camille meets her ex Pierre, a professor of philosophy, while Ugo is secretly researching a supposedly lost play by Goldoni. In the archives, he is assisted by the charming student Do, who steals his heart. In turn, Do has a link with Pierre: her stepbrother, the playwright Arthur, namely steals an expensive ring from ...Written by
Rivette's original 220 minute cut called Va Savoir+ premiered on 24 April 2002 and ran for seven weeks at only one theater, the Cinéma du Pantheon in Paris, selling a total of 1,734 tickets. Rivette said that Va Savoir+ was a completely different film than Va Savoir, the major difference being lengthy scenes of the actors performing Pirandello's "Come tu mi vuoi" instead of just rehearsals. The director stated that in the longer version, Pirandello's play is "another character" in the film. See more »
Written by Gino Paoli / Alec Wilder
Sung by Peggy Lee
Performed by Lou Levy (piano)
John Pisano (guitar)
Charles Berghofer (bass)
Stan Levey (drum)
Avec l'autorisation de BMG Music Vision et d'EMI Music France See more »
Vapid savoir faire
The only time I felt anything for one of the characters here was near the beginning, when Camille, the lead actor in a Parisian production of a Pirandello play, a French woman speaking in Italian, has trouble remembering her lines (she is pre-occupied by a past love affair which had taken place in that city). The rest of the time I was either mildly amused, or just bored. It is hard to find empathy with a group who seem to be as artificial off the stage as they are on it. There are some nice moments, especially when Ugo fends off temptation from the lovely Dominique, and the duel scene between Ugo and the prat of a philosopher who was once his partner Camille's lover, but the whole thing takes far too long (2 hours 20 minutes), lacks tension and above all calls for minimal involvement on the part of the viewer.
It's rather interesting that Ugo is searching for an unpublished 18th century play. If theatre is to avoid being relegated to museums, producers need either to put on new stuff, or at least to present old material in an innovative way. Ugo seems to regard the past as more important than the future (a pointer, perhaps to the age of the director here).
The atmosphere here reminded me of `Amelie'. Both films have popped up at various film festivals around the world as examples of current French film production. If they are typical, then you might think the French film industry is headed for irrelevancy, but the Marseilles films of Robert Guediguian fortunately suggest otherwise.
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