The Gang Of Four

Bulle Ogier runs an all-female acting school, many of whose students (newcomers Laurence Cote, Fejria Deliba, Bernadette Giraud, and Ines de Medeiros) share a suburban house and get involved with the same creepy guy (Benoit Regent), who’s either a cop or a criminal. In short, it’s conspiracy time once again in Jacques Rivette’s highly charged and scary world, where a fanatical devotion to theater and paranoia are often viewed as the only viable alternatives in a tightly closeted universe. This 1988 feature was the best Rivette to reach the U.S. in at least a decade, full of the sexual tensions and female cameraderie found in his Celine and Julie Go Boating (though without much of the comedy), as well as the kind of haunting and chilling aftereffects that are common to his work. More classical and less experimental than his previous features, it’s almost a summary and compilation of his major themes and preoccupationsan ideal introduction to his work. In French with subtitles. 160 min. (JR)

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