Alain Resnais – Je t’aime je t’aime AKA I Love You, I Love You (1968)

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“Je T’Aime, Je T’Aime,” which opened yesterday at the New Yorker Theater, was shown at the eighth New York Film Festival. The following is from Roger Greenspun’s review, which appeared Sept. 15, 1970, in The New York Times.

Like most of the previous films of Alain Resnais, “Je T’Aime, Je T’Aime” is science fiction of a sort. And like virtually all of Resnais’s previous films, its concern is for the past recaptured. To support this concern it proposes a story, the most fragmented of all Resnais’ stories, dealing with, perhaps intense but nevertheless transitory love affair. Continue reading

André Heinrich & Alain Resnais – Le Mystère de l’atelier quinze (1957)

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The role of the doctor in a factory. The investigations he makes to discover the origin of ailments which attack the workers in a large chemical factory.

Commande de l’Institut National de la Recherche sur la Sécurité sur la prévention des maladies professionnelles. Tourné en 1957 dans l’usine Francolor d’Oissel, ce documentaire prend des airs d’enquête scientifique pour découvrir le mal mystérieux dont souffre un ouvrier. Le Mystère de l’atelier quinze est un film atypique sur le monde du travail. Il se présente en effet comme un “polar”, avec un “crime” à élucider sous forme d’enquête.
Dans une lettre à L’Avant-scène cinéma, André Heirich décrit la réalisation du film : Continue reading

Alain Resnais – La Guerre est finie AKA The War Is Over [+Extras] (1966)

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‘For some soldiers the war is never over…’
Legendary ‘New Wave’ director Alain Resnais helms this emotionally charged suspense-drama set in France and on the streets of fascist Spain starring Montand, Thulin and Bujold (her debut performance).
Diego (Yves Montand) is an aging revolutionary unwilling to accept that the fight for freedom should be passed to younger hands. While on the run from government agents and police, Diego begins to reflect on the meaning of his life of violent, idealistic struggles and whether it might be better to simply retire and live in peace with his long-suffering mistress (Ingrid Thulin). A chance encounter with a hot-headed student terrorist (Geneviéve Bujold) revives his militant passions, but catastrophe stalks Diego on his unswerving path to his last mission and a fateful choice. (-DVD Backcover) Continue reading

Alain Resnais – Aimer, boire et chanter AKA Life of Riley (2014)

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In the midst of rehearsals for a new play, amateur dramatics proponents Colin and Kathryn receive the shattering news that their friend George is fatally ill and only has a few months to live. Life begins to come apart at the seams – not just for Kathryn, who was once George’s partner, but also for her friends Tamara and Monica. The full force of the emotional turmoil they experienced in their youth and their long-buried dreams are rekindled. Much to the chagrin of their respectable, middle-class husbands, the women begin to argue about which of them should be allowed to accompany George on a final journey …
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Alain Resnais – Providence (1977)

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The first English-language film from Alain Resnais, this drama about a spiteful, alcoholic novelist contains the French director’s typically playful surrealist touches and recurring use of characters shackled by memory. John Gielgud stars as Clive Langham, a drunken author in failing health who spends an increasingly intoxicated evening at his estate working on his new novel. Clive bases the characters in the melodramatic story on his own family, including his two sons, Claude (Dirk Bogarde) and the illegitimate Kevin (David Warner), as well as Claude’s wife Sonia (Ellen Burstyn). Imagining a bitter love triangle full of spite between the three protagonists of his tale, Clive uses generous doses of imagination and symbolism, including a discordant soccer player (Denis Lawson) related to Kevin and werewolves. Continue reading

Alain Resnais & Chris Marker – Les statues meurent aussi aka Statues Also Die (1953)

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Documentary about the disintegration and desecration of black African art
by white Europeans, who have removed it from its sacred animist context
to be viewed in sterile museums.The strong anticolonialist message precipitated
a ten year ban after its premier at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953. Continue reading

Alain Resnais – Les herbes folles AKA Wild Grass (2009)

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Alain Resnais demonstrates he still has plenty to say in this drama based on a novel by Christian Gailly. Marguerite (Sabine Azéma) is a successful dentist with a busy practice and an offbeat hobby, flying small airplanes. One day, while running errands, Marguerite loses her wallet, and it’s found by Georges (André Dussollier), a seemingly happy man with a wife, Suzanne (Anne Consigny), and two children (Vladimir Consigny and Sara Forestier). As Georges looks through the wallet and examines the photos of Marguerite, he finds he’s fascinated with her and her life, and soon his curiosity about her becomes an obsession. Georges’ attempts to integrate himself into Marguerite’s life begin to alarm her, and she hires a private security team (Mathieu Amalric and Michel Vuillermoz) to keep him away, but Georges is determined that his new love for her will not be denied. (Mark Deming) Continue reading