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On April 26 1937 the small Basque town of Guernica was bombed without warning by the German aviation. Two thousand people, all civilians, got killed. Like millions all over the world, Pablo... See full summary »
Diego is one of the chief of the spanish Communist Party. He is travelling back to Paris (where he lives) from a mission in Madrid. He is arrested at the border for an identity check but ... See full summary »
Recovering from an attempted suicide, a man is selected to participate in a time travel experiment that has only been tested on mice. A malfunction in the experiment causes the man to ... See full summary »
Clive Langham (Sir John Gielgud) spends one tormenting night in his bed suffering from health problems and thinking up a story based on his relatives. He is a bitter man and he shows, ... See full summary »
This one prefaces Resnais subsequent work, memory and what forms appear in it. The consistently brilliant touch of this is that he visualizes memory by means of cinema, a space which the camera can literally explore.
Here he stumbles upon a fitting metaphor for the mind, the National Library of France. We see how knowledge is routinely amassed and categorized there, how people daily wade through so much information which then is merely stored away for future reference. What looks frightening to me is not that what is infinite and beyond words is believed that it can fit into shelves, but the megalomania behind the enterprise, the belief that among these shelves the secrets of the universe may be unlocked one day.
But what is stored away there is merely thought or the objects of it. Our civilization destroyed by some imaginary catastrophe, how will an alien visiting the ruins of this library know how we experienced through our eyes a gust of wind or a sunset?
To accommodate with the ever increasing influx of information, we're shown how the library burrows further underground, digging deeper inside of us. Resnais explores this cavernous place with a camera that recalls the future endeavors of Sacha Vierny, and although a bit obvious in what is intended by it, as a prologue of what was then to come, it's a great watch.
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