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Diplomacy director Volker Schlöndorff: "This movie for me is less about the Second World War but about French German relationships." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Volker Schlöndorff talks Diplomacy (Diplomatie) with Niels Arestrup as his German General Dietrich von Choltitz and André Dussollier as Swedish consul-general Raoul Nordling. The connection between Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour and the story of the orders to destroy 1944 Paris in Diplomacy chillingly rings true. Schlöndorff was hired to work with Alain Resnais on [film]Last Year In Marienbad[/ilm] (L'Année Dernière à Marienbad) after being an intern on Louis Malle's Zazie Dans Le Métro and he says Marguerite Duras "knew what she was talking about."
Based on Cyril Gély's play Diplomatie, which starred Arestrup and Dussollier on stage in Paris, Schlöndorff shows us an intimate portrait of two men at odds, dueling with more than their lives at stake.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Performer-turned-writer/director Paul Mazursky, who was Oscar-nommed five times and helmed hit movies including “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” and “An Unmarried Woman,” has died. He was 84. Mazursky died of cardiac arrest Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
While his most significant films as a director came several decades ago, he returned to acting on TV in later years, playing Norm on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and appearing on “The Sopranos” and on ABC drama “Once and Again” as Sela Ward’s father.
Mazursky at his best captured the spirit of the late ’60s and the ’70s, when the American moral climate was turned on its head. His films entertainingly explored such weighty issues as marital fidelity, the merits of psychological therapy and modern divorce: “Bob and Ted,” starring Robert Culp and Natalie Wood as a “liberated” married couple; “Blume in Love,” starring George Segal and Susan Anspach »
- Richard Natale
★★★★☆The key scene in Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet's cherished cinematic collaboration Last Year at Marienbad (1961) which was cut from the script was one of sexual violence, leaving the film with a lurking possibility of menace but nothing explicit to challenge its 'U' certificate. Sadism and particularly sexual sadism was to be a theme that Robbe-Grillet would increasingly explore in his solo efforts, but it would also put the handbrake on his reputation as an auteur - with many of his films unavailable due to this. This BFI collection of six of his beautifully remastered works comes as a timely corrective and will, for many, prove a revelation for one of the lesser-seen French directorial talents.
- CineVue UK
The Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1920s through the 1980s (with a particular focus on filmmakers from the New Wave), offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema. Je T’Aime, Je T’Aime will screen as part of the festival at 6pm Saturday, June 28th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium.
Recovering after a suicide attempt, Claude Ritter (Claude Rich) is obviously the perfect guinea pig for an anonymous corporation’s tentative attempts at time travel. What could go wrong? After all, the mouse came out Ok. And maybe, when he goes back a year, he can re-live one particular minute. Resnais’ switch into science fiction continues his theme of time (“Hiroshima Mon Amour,” “Last Year at Marienbad”) as Claude’s memories – thanks to the obligatory unaccounted-for glitch – flip back and forth in »
- Tom Stockman
The more classics on the big screen the better. Rialto Pictures, a specialty distributor who has re-released other films like Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless and Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad, has announced that the next classic they will be re-releasing this year is Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour starring Emmanuelle Riva (who was Oscar nominated for Amour) and Eiji Okada. First released in 1959, Rialto will be re-releasing the restored 4K version of the film, which originally debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and Locarno Film Festival last year. So while it has been showing, it's getting a theatrical release in October. Thanks to IndieWire for the news. Here are two early trailers for Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour: Glad to see this getting re-released, just hoping it can build enough buzz to get some audiences in theaters. "Known as a major influence on the French New Wave movement, »
- Alex Billington
It all begins with a freeze frame of a dirt road somewhere in Yorkshire county, lined with trees whose lush foliage converges above in an arch. What could it be if not a portal? The movie itself, meanwhile, has not even started as we watch the opening credits, encased in large old-fashioned frames, slowly fade away—a device consistently favored by Alain Resnais who opened each of his 19 features likewise, holding off the films themselves until the screen no longer contained any visual surplus. The freeze frame comes to life as the camera pans farther down the road; then we find ourselves in a theatrical set.
We have been here before, of course. Resnais' Smoking/No Smoking, also based on a play by British playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn, is set in Yorkshire as well. Life of Riley (Aimer, boire et chanter) borrows from the five-hour diptych its theatrical setting, one »
- Boris Nelepo
Three weeks before Alain Resnais died this past March, he had premiered his newest film, Life of Riley, at the Berlin Film Festival, which he completed at the age of 91. Resnais enjoyed a uniquely prolific streak of filmmaking in his later years that laughed at the prospect of retirement or death. For a moment it seemed possible that Resnais himself would continue to exist as ceaselessly as the memories that preoccupy his characters; thankfully, with his incredible body of work, Resnais is etched into eternity. Resnais continued to experiment with the limits of cinematic form over fifty years after his career-defining work on Night and Fog, Hiroshima mon amour, and Last Year in Marienbad. The past decade of his career proved that age is no excuse for artistic resignation or repetition – while not nearly as well-known, more recent works including Private Fears in Public Places, Wild Grass, and You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet! challenged »
- Landon Palmer
(Cannes – May 15th) The press were treated to their first 8:30 a.m. Grand Lumiere screening and were taken back to the late seventeen hundredths London (among other places) in Mike Leigh’s historical biopic on a painterly individual. At the press conference, Timothy Spall who had been pitched the project several years ago and picked up the brush for a good two year period alongside a professional, found that one of the dwellings in his own personal family history (dating not that long ago) matched one of Turner’s actual known addresses – a rather remarkable coincidence in my books. One journo also asked Mike Leigh how the Secrets & Lies stamp came about (check out the news piece).
The festival’s sidebar (Un Certain Regard) and parallel sections Directors’ Fortnight and Critics Week got off to a rowdy start. Ucr opener Party Girl (by directing team comprised of Marie Amachoukeli, »
- Eric Lavallee
Cannes Directors’ Fortnight had already decided to honour the French filmmaker before his death in March.
The French Film Directors’ Guild, which runs Directors’ Fortnight, will pay tribute to late filmmaker Alain Resnais, by posthumously feting him with its Carrosse d’Or (Golden Carriage) award on the opening night of the parallel Cannes section.
“Last January, directors of the guild unanimously decided to give this prize to Alain Resnais, who died in March,” the body said in a statement.
Directors’ Fortnight will screen Resnais’ 1958 short La Chant du Styrène, a 13-minute documentary in praise of plastic commissioned by French manufacturer Péchiney, and his 1977 feature Providence, starring Sir John Geilgud, on May 15.
There will be a tribute to the filmmaker at the opening ceremony of Directors’ Fortnight attended by Jean-Louis Livi, the producer of his last three films, and the filmmaker’s long-time assistant Christophe Jeauffroy, who worked on productions such as Life of Riley, You Ain’t Seen »
Over the past three months of Movie Poster of the Day, the two most popular posters by far were two beautiful (each in their own very distinct way) posters that I posted in memoriam of two dearly departed auteurs: Alan Resnais and Harold Ramis. And two other posters among the most popular (i.e. most liked or reblogged) were those posted in celebration of Philip Seymour Hoffman, including Chris Ware’s lovely 2007 design for The Savages, one of my favorite posters of last decade. So, if nothing else, Movie Poster of the Day has recorded the saddest losses of the year. (Not forgetting the adorable Swedish poster I posted for Shirley Temple which didn’t make the Top 20.)
I’m happy to see a number of new posters here: a very popular Dutch Wolf of Wall Street, »
- Adrian Curry
It's hard to believe it has already been more than three years since I first saw Ingmar Bergman's Persona. The first Bergman film I saw was The Seventh Seal back in 2007 and I was immediately hooked. I quickly followed that up with Wild Strawberries and have since come to own many of the iconic Swedish director's films, and as much as I never believed anything he directed could effect me as much as Seventh Seal, Persona is a whole new level of filmmaking. I've been asked before if a film can still be enjoyable even if you don't entirely understand it. Persona is evidence that the answer is a resounding yes. The film came about after Bergman fell ill in 1959 as he was planning on beginning work on a film with Liv Ullman and Bibi Andersson titled The Cannibals. That film never came to fruition. While recovering in the hospital, »
- Brad Brevet
Written and directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Just by examining the title, L’immortelle appears to be the quintessential Alain Robbe-Grillet film. It’s French, it’s feminine (that is, it’s being used to describe a woman), and it translates to “The Immortal”, a reference to how often the woman appears posthumously thanks to its unique narrative structure. Robbe-Grillet is primarily known as a writer, and known in the film world for having penned Resnais’s equally immortal Last Year at Marienbad just 2 years before this feature. The sudden explosion of discussion for Marienbad quickly made it synonymous with French arthouse flair. It was difficult yet rewarding; beautiful yet quietly violent. His hand in Marienbad is immediately evident in L’immortelle, even down to Resnais’s influence in spending half the film covering the surrounding architecture. Despite exclusion from discussion of those involved with the nouvelle vague »
- Zach Lewis
Kino’s Redemption label continues with the resurrection of New Wave provocateur Alain Robbe-Grillet’s 1963 directorial debut, L’Immortelle, (this is the third title in the planned series, and we can expect to see three more) a stylistic mish-mash of surreal flourishes, sensuality, and mysterious foreboding. Arriving two years after Robbe-Grillet penned the landmark film Last Year at Marienbad for director Alain Resnais, the first outing feels indebted to the look and style of his collaboration with Resnais, despite the realization that his framework for this film was actually developed first. Featuring the highly stylized cinematography of Maurice Berry, Robbe-Grillet transforms Istanbul into a perversely abandoned palette of architectural facades, calling into question the notion of originality and restoration, dreams and waking life.
- Nicholas Bell
Above: a first look at Willem Dafoe in Abel Ferrara's Pasolini. In Film Comment, Kent Jones has published an incredible piece entitled "Critical Condition", in which he examines our limited critical views on cinema:
"The point is not to claim that film criticism took a wrong turn in the Fifties and Sixties. The auteurist idea at its most basic (that movies are primarily the creation of one governing author behind the camera who thinks in images and sounds rather than words and sentences) is now the default setting in most considerations of moviemaking, and for that we should all be thankful. We’d be nowhere without auteurism, which boasts a proud history: the lovers of cinema didn’t just argue for its inclusion among the fine arts, but actually stood up, waved its flag, and proclaimed its glory without shame. In that sense, it stands as a truly remarkable »
- Adam Cook
Mon oncle d’Amérique
Written by Jean Gruault and Henri Laborit
Directed by Alain Resnais
To wax in a state of eulogy about Alain Resnais is to have reviewed his last few features at the times they premiered. With Wild Grass, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, and the incredibly recent Life of Riley, reviewers understandably noted his age. Resnais was in his late eighties and early nineties, still producing films containing a youthful charm, his resolution on the festival circuit as firm as ever. Perhaps then, it still came as a surprise that at the age of 91, Resnais had passed, leaving a remarkable six decades of major work behind, rivaled at this point only by 105-year-old arthouse compatriot Manoel de Oliveira. Surprising, yes, thanks to his experimental shock to the film world in Last Year at Marienbad and Hiroshima, mon amour being equaled by his recent output, a promising second wind. »
- Zach Lewis
Alain Resnais, the famed French director, died late Saturday in Paris, France at the age of 91.
Resnais first made his stamp in film history with his 1959 film, Hiroshima Mon Amour, which continues to be hailed as one of the best films ever made. Resnais’ career, which includes Night and Fog (1955), a documentary on the Holocaust, Last Year at Marienbad (1961), and Wild Grass (2009), spanned over half a century.
His last film, Life of Riley (Aimer, boire et chanter), premiered last month at the Berlin Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for introducing new perspectives into film. Resnais is also known for influencing a new generation of filmmakers, from the French New Wave to David Lynch.
“When people ask me why I make films, I always answer that ‘je tourne pour voir comment ça tourne,’ I make films to see how films are made. I’m proud of that phrase. »
Acclaimed French director Alain Resnais, one of the pioneers of the French New Wave, died aged 91 in Paris on March 2.
Resnais’s first film and also his most well known one was the 1959 masterpiece, Hiroshima Mon Amour. It was nominated for the Oscar for Best Screenplay.
He received a lifetime achievement award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. He won the grand jury prize in Cannes for Gerard Depardieu starrer Mon uncle d’Amerique in 1980 and competed in 2012 with You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.
• Xan Brooks liveblogs the ceremony
• Full list of winners as they're announced
The Oscars failed to paid tribute to Alain Resnais, the celebrated French director of Night and Fog and Hiroshima Mon Amour, who died today. Perhaps because of the late-breaking nature of his death, they did not include Resnais in the traditional In Memoriam section to the film-maker.
Resnais was never nominated for an Oscar, though he did receive a string of awards from major international film festivals, including a lifetime achievement award from Cannes in 2009. His feature debut, Hiroshima Mon Amour, was a key early entry in the French new wave, competing at the 1959 Cannes film festival against the likes of François Truffaut's The 400 Blows and Jack Clayton's Room at the Top »
- Andrew Pulver
Coinciding with a 2000 retrospective of Alain Resnais’ work organized by both the American Cinematheque and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, producer Florence Dauman gave Filmmaker these quotes from her father, Anatole Dauman, about working with the great director. Through his company, Argos Films, Dauman produced or co-produced many of the masterworks of postwar European cinema – including Resnais’s Night and Fog; Hiroshima, Mon Amour; Last Year at Marienbad; and Muriel. On the occasion of Resnais’ death yesterday at 91, we are reprinting them here. Night and Fog (1956) “It was our first short film together. Would he accept […] »
- Scott Macaulay
One of cinema’s greats, the French director Alain Resnais, died yesterday, March 1, at the age of 91. The director of such landmark films as Last Year at Marienbad, Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and Night and Fog, he premiered his latest film, Life of Riley, just one month ago at the Berlin Film Festival. In 2000, coinciding with a retrospective organized by both the American Cinematheque and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Peter Bowen wrote the following short essay, and we collected appreciations from three independent directors — Christopher Munch, Keith Gordon and Radley Metzger. It is reprinted below. Perhaps […] »
- Peter Bowen
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