Positif magazine recently described Alain Resnais as ‘the greatest living French Filmmaker’. Now approaching his 90th year it stands as a well-deserved tribute.
This retrospective has been prompted by the re-release of a beautifully restored digital version of the eternally mesmerising Last Year in Marienbad (1961). He had preceded that film with his debut feature, Hiroshima mon amour (1959), which depicted time and memory on screen in a new way, and followed it with arguably his most completely achieved masterpiece, Muriel (1963), in which a seemingly mundane reality is transformed by montage into a mosaic of painful memory. These works established him as one of the leading film modernists during a decade which, more than any other, forced recognition of the cinema as the major art form of the century.
Later masterworks such as Providence (1977), featuring John Gielgud’s performance as a dying writer and showing the wild unruliness of the artistic imagination, consolidated his position as one of the great innovators of film form. Almost all of Resnais’ films are love stories but what makes them special is the intellectual and imaginative way the stories are told. Joseph Losey once complimented him as “the only director from whom I can learn”; generous recognition of a fellow maestro who has never ceased his exploration of the medium’s limitless aesthetic possibilities.
Other films in the first part of the season include a programme of Resnais’s early short films (1948-1958); The War is Over (1966); Je T’Aime, Je T’Aime (1968), Stavisky (1974), My American Uncle (1980), and Life is a Bed of Roses (1983). The retrospective will conclude with Part Two at the IFI in September.
The Cinema of Alain Resnais (Part 1) Schedule
Alain Resnais Short Films 4th August 18.40
Hiroshima mon amour 13th August 15.30
Muriel 14th August 15.00
The War is Over 19th August 18.40
Je T’Aime, Je T’Aime 20th August 17.00
Stavisky 21st August 16.25
Providence 22nd August 18.50
My American Uncle 23rd August 18.30
Life is a Bed of Roses 29th August 18.40
Tickets are available from the IFI Box Office 016793477 or online at www.ifi.ie