32 Great Directors: Alain Resnais

“The present and the past coexist, but the past shouldn’t be in flashback.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Hiroshima Mon Amour/Last Year at Marienbad.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Hiroshima Mon Amour.

What Did I Watch: Life of Riley.

Where Does He Fit: Resnais’ finale, Life of Riley, was dinged for being an underwhelming take on similar material to his far more acclaimed You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, which I really need to rewatch. It’s not an unfair critique, but I had fun anyway: the opening sequence where there’s a very violent cut to the actress’ head against a black and white background is the sort of poppy editing humor that Resnais could be very good at, even if it doesn’t tend to show up in the long nights of the soul that are Night and Fog or Hiroshima Mon Amour. It’s poppy and minor, but that’s a pleasure in its own right.


Most Valuable Asset: Aggressively Brechtian stuff.
Most Excited For: Last Year at Marienbad.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Vittorio De Sica, neorealist.


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