Saturday, 28 January 2017

Vale Emmanuelle Riva - Luminous, reticent French star

Riva, Philippe Noiret, Therese Desqueyroux, France, 1962
The first time I saw Emmanuelle Riva on screen was in George Franju’s Therese Desqueyroux (France, 1962). (Hiroshima Mon Amour (France, 1959) came later in my chronology as did, much later, Gillo Pontecorvo's Kapo Italy/France, 1959.) I loved the Georges Franju film, screened at the 1964 Melbourne Film Festival, most especially for both Riva and the equally charismatic Edith Scob. Both were only seen infrequently and both worked on a couple of occasions for the great Franju. Unlike their contemporaries in a booming French film industry, Jeanne Moreau, Brigitte Bardot, Anouk Aimee, Annie Girardot and others, who appeared in film after film in the 50s and 60s, Riva’s tally (and Scob's) was small.  But it meant that every chance was treasured. Her return in Haneke’s Amour (France, 2012) was a remarkable late career role. 
Riva, Edith Scob, Therese Desqueyroux, France, 1962

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