In 1975 Jacques Rivette embarked on his latest project, as ambitious as any that had come before. The plan was to make four features back-to-back, each in a different style and genre, and starring some of the leading names in world cinema. Only two would reach completion. The first, Duelle (une quarantaine), was an homage to film noir and the horror films of Val Lewton (Cat People, I Walked with Zombie). A fantasy set in contemporary Paris, it concerns the Queen of the Sun (Bulle Ogier) and the Queen of the Night (Juliet Berto) battling it out for a magical diamond, and manipulating an innocent mortal (Hermine Karagheuz) in order to achieve their task. A showcase for three of Rivette’s favourite performers, Duelle (une quarantaine) is also among the director’s most playful works. A sheer delight from beginning to end.