Directed by Jacques Rivette • Drama • With Virginie Vitry, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze • 1957 • 27 minutes
An early film from the six-decade career of hugely influential French director and critic Jacques Rivette.
Claire (Virginie Vitry) is given a gorgeous fur coat by her lover, Claude (Jean-Claude Brialy). To avoid raising her sleepy husband’s suspicions (Jacques Doniol-Valcroze), she hatches a plan to “find” a baggage claim ticket on the floor of a cab. Claim the bag, see that it contains a fur coat – and voilà! – she can wear it without fear. “The perfect crime,” as her lover says... But is it?
While long running times would become a Rivette trademark, FOOL’S MATE is a tautly paced short drama that unfolds like a chess match, with moves and counter-moves as each side tries to outwit the other. The digital restoration highlights the film’s exquisite cinematography. Virginie Vitry is a sexy, pouty, luminous lead, and the film features cameos by Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Claude Chabrol.