Carlos Clarens and Edgardo Cozarinsky interview Jazques Rivette at Sight and Sound:
JACQUES RIVETTE: When I began making films my point of view was that of a cinephile, so my ideas about what I wanted to do were abstract. Then, after the experience of my first two films, I realised I had taken the wrong direction as regards methods of shooting. The cinema of mise en scène, where everything is carefully preplanned and where you try to ensure that what is seen on the screen corresponds as closely as possible to your original plan, was not a method in which I felt at ease or worked well. What bothered me from the outset, after I had finally managed to finish Paris Nous Appartient with all its tribulations, was what the characters said, the words they used. I had written the dialogue beforehand with my co-writer Jean Gruault (though I was 90 per cent responsible) and then it was reworked and pruned during shooting, as the film otherwise would have run four-and-a-half hours. The actors sometimes changed a word here and there, as always happens in films, but basically the dialogue was what I had written – and I found it a source of intense embarrassment. So much so that when I began work on La Religieuse, which was a project that took quite a while to get off the ground, I determined this time to use what was basically a pre-existing text.