DVD Review: Alain Resnais Entices, Perplexes Again in ‘Wild Grass’

Chicago – There’s a very good reason why casual moviegoers are weary of films purporting themselves to be avant-garde. Such a term seems to suggest that a level of effort is required from the audience to fully digest and enjoy a particular work of cinematic art. They are the opposite of disposable entertainments devoured by mainstream viewers like escapist munchies.

In fact, the word “munchies” functions prominently in the jaw-dropping, hotly debated final moment of “Wild Grass,” the latest film from 88-year-old master of cinema, Alain Resnais. The last thing on this filmmaker’s mind is box office results. His greatest wish is merely to inspire audience debate. His most well-known and influential efforts (1959’s “Hiroshima mon amour” and 1961’s “Last Year at Marienbad”) have proven that cinema has the potential to be as complex, as rich, and as widely open to interpretation as literature. He doesn’t care if
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Review | Youthful Whimsy from an 88-Year-Old Legend: "Wild Grass"

Review | Youthful Whimsy from an 88-Year-Old Legend:
Like the 102-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, the 88-year-old Alain Resnais gets a lot of publicity mileage out of staying active in his old age. While seniority hardly necessitates critical leniency, the most impressive aspect of "Wild Grass," Resnais's twenty-fifth directorial effort, comes from its energetic youthfulness. Adapting Christian Gailly's novel "L'Incident," Resnais employs a series of endearingly playful, almost juvenile stylistic methods. By capitalizing on zany visual flourishes, he ...
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Alain Resnais: vive la différence

He used to tackle big issues: Hiroshima, the Algerian war. But Alain Resnais's latest film is about the theft of a wallet. The director tells Gilbert Adair why

Old age is always faintly unnerving. Although, at 88, Alain Resnais isn't by any means the most venerable of active film-makers, it's still hard to credit that the film I've come to Paris to talk to him about – Wild Grass, an authentic surrealist romance, as far from being geriatric in style as it's possible to imagine – was made by this elegant, eloquent gentleman sitting opposite me at the Hôtel Claridge, near the Champs Elysées.

I last met Resnais a couple of decades ago, and he has remained much as I remembered: the superb mane of snow-white hair, flaming red shirt, tightly knotted black tie and trademark white trainers. All that's missing is a viewfinder dangling on his pullover, as nonchalantly as a monocle.
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Film review: Wild Grass

Veteran New Wave director Alain Resnais is back, but this odd tale of a wacky dentist-cum-Spitfire-pilot is just too whimsical, writes Peter Bradshaw

This latest film by the 88-year-old French New Wave master Alain Resnais, adapted from the 1996 novel L'Incident by Christian Gailly, is another occasion to ruminate on the nature of late style – among other things. Having first seen it at last year's Cannes film festival, and now a second time for its British release, my main feeling remains mystification, perhaps not so much at the film itself as the attendant eager critical consensus that this is a tremendous piece of work and that the director has returned to form. It looked and looks to me like an eccentrically stately and sporadically interesting misfire, a kind of farce in slo-mo, a comedy of inconsequence whose stageyness, datedness and lack of inner life are camouflaged by quirks and tics, moments
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Nyff: Drunk on Cinema

  • IFC
Being unfamiliar with "The Incident," the novel by Christian Gailly on which "Wild Grass" is based, I like to imagine it this fine-boned, New Yorkeresque tale of lonely Parisians brought together by coincidence. If that's the case, Alain Resnais' high-strung film is something like happens when you get that story drunk and it lurches around the house, knocking things over and hitting on your host's wife. In the New York Film Festival's opening night selection, mad flourishes are daubed all over moments that don't seem like they demand any particular emphasis, peculiarities abound and characters ramp up to and back away from emotional heights at perilous speeds.

The incident in question is a minor one that brings into contact two strangers, but the connection catches and holds, leading to a bemusing love affair. Marguerite Muir (Sabine Azéma), a dentist whose passion is aviation, has her purse stolen when out shoe shopping,
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Les herbes folles (Wild Grass) - New images from the Alain Resnais film

"Les herbes folles" ("Wild Grass") has new images in the group. The film is sent out by Sony Pictures Classics and directed by Christian Gailly. Alex Reval and Laurent Herbiet write. The drama stars Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos, André Dussollier, Anne Consigny and Nicolas Duvauchelle. The film is a Cannes Film Festival Award winner of two awards at this year's fest - The Special Jury Prize and the Special Award. Additioinally, it was nominated for the Golden Palm Award...
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Sony Pictures Classics 'Wild' About Resnais' Latest

  • It was just the other day that I was flipping thru the last edition of Film Comment, checking out their annual Cannes coverage roundup and I was semi-surprised to see Alain ResnaisAlain Resnais
[/link]' Les Herbes Folles, or what will be affectionally known as Wild Grass here in the U.S., was a first or second place standing with film critics Les Inrockuptiles' Jean-Baptiste Morain, U.K critic Jonathan Romney and Film Comment's own Gavin Smith - hailing the light drama as the best film of the festival. My after-thought was...this hasn't been picked up yet. Sony Pictures Classics have announced the pick up of the film rights for the U.S., Australia and New Zealand markets, thus becoming another impressive title that the distributor picked up from Cannes. Co-written by Resnais and Laurent Herbiet, adapted from Christian Gailly’s L’incident, this retraces the encounter between a dentist
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