June 11, 2008

Random Musing: Alain Resnais

To the shock of some film scholars out there, I'm going to contend that French director Alain Resnais is one of my least favorites. (I'm going to validate this contention, though!) My first encounter with the celebrated (by some) director was in my Film course at Vanderbilt, which showed "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" one evening... After watching the film, I was completely stumped by the lack of satisfactory conclusion and more specifically by the film's (sometimes sudden) twists and turns. I will vouch for Resnais' efforts by arguing that he has inspired some of the greatest techniques used on film (such as filming on action in "Last Year at Marienbad"). This brings me to my next point: "Last Year at Marienbad". What was it... "Hiroshima 2"??? I saw the trailer for it at the Belcourt Theatre one day and was entirely stunned at the complete structural plagiarism that I was witnessing (ok, a bit strong because it is the same director, etc., but come on!). But literally... it features two nameless characters who meet and discuss their past history through a fog of amnesia and oversentimentalism. Please! I already watched it!
Anyway, unless a really valid argument can be proposed to me, asserting that Resnais' other work is worth watching, I'm going to leave his name in the recesses of my mind along with "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" and its eccentricities. I like directors who can try different things and still make great movies, even if they stick to their own style: people like Kubrick or Hitchcock. I do not approve of directors recycling their material in film, especially directors who make the same movie twice with a different title.

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