Jacques Rivette, one of the great and singular directors of his time, died January 29 at the age of eighty-seven. He was one of five young movie-obsessed friends (along with Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer and François Truffaut) who met in the late 1940s, each drawn like apes to the monolith in 2001 to film screenings at the Cinémathèque Française. (How obsessed were they? Godard and Rivette once showed up for an early afternoon showing of Orson Welles’ Macbeth; Godard watched repeated screenings through ten o’clock; Rivette stayed on till midnight.)
MidCenturyCinema is dedicated to the analysis and appreciation of the movies, in particular the films and filmmakers of the middle of the twentieth century (1941-1979), with an emphasis on America, France and Britain, and a special interest in the “New Hollywood” films produced between 1967 and 1976. But the range of interests implied by both “the seventies film” and “mid-century” more generally is quite broad. Forefathers and descendants, inspirations and legacies, and arguments and controversies stretch freely across the decades and the continents.
This site features two active platforms. One is for news and commentary, the other, “50 years ago this week,” revisits and engages the milestones and turning points of the New Hollywood as they occurred a half century ago. MidCenturyCinema also features access to my writings on film, and a set of links that should be of interest to those who share the passions reflected on these pages.