Jacques Rivette, co-founder of the French New Wave along with Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Éric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol, has always been that group’s most free-spirited and aesthetically radical member. This is very much on display in Out 1, his fourth feature film and magnum opus, in which a whimsical young man (Jean-Pierre Léaud) receives anonymous notes that put him on the trail of a mysterious group of people who might or might not be conspirators.
Based on an utterly unique concept that includes the absence of a script and nods to Honoré de Balzac and Lewis Carroll, Out 1 has been practically impossible to see for more than forty years. Both the complete 8-part series, Out 1: noli me tangere, and the shorter theatrical version, Out 1: Spectre, are offered here in newly restored 2K presentations supervised by the films’ director of photography, Pierre-William Glenn (Day for Night). The colorful characters that Léaud encounters during his quest are played by Juliet Berto, Michael Lonsdale, Bernadette Lafont, Bulle Ogier, Françoise Fabian, Jean-François Stévenin and other New Wave icons, with special appearances by directors Éric Rohmer and Barbet Schroeder.
Out 1, an immensely involving, almost addictive blend of film, literature and theater, has rightly been hailed as the Holy Grail of modern French cinema!