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Toute la mémoire du monde (1956)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 777 users  
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This documentary explores the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, its priceless treasures and how humanity remembers itself.

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Jacques Dumesnil ...
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This documentary explores the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, its priceless treasures and how humanity remembers itself.

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Documentary | Short

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May 1957 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Alles Gedächtnis der Welt  »

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ALL THE WORLD'S MEMORY (Alain Resnais, 1956) ***1/2
27 February 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Celebrated documentary short by soon-to-be “New Wave” film-maker Resnais about the mausoleum that is the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris: whether consciously or not, it’s photographed in a way as to seem like an alien building from some sci-fi piece (a genre with which the director’s ensuing cerebral, maze-like work would be inextricably linked); indeed, it’s the stunning direction and indelible strains of Maurice Jarre’s music which elevate this one above being a mere documentary about a public library.

This fascinating film makes a case for both the intrinsic value of literature of any kind – back in a time when books (rather than the Internet) were the main source/store of information – and the often painstaking conservation of same for future reference, even by generations to come (the inference here being that an analogous consideration should be applied to film as well, involving a relatively similar process with respect to its maintenance).

Incidentally, ALL THE WORLD’S MEMORY is available on the R2 DVDs of both Resnais’ own LAST YEAR IN MARIENBAD (1961; released by Optimum) and Jacques Rivette’s playful but no less didactic CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974; a 2-Disc Set from the BFI)!


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