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Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) - Alain Resnais

Related: art films - Alain Renais - 1959 - Nouvelle Vague films - Marguerite Duras - French cinema

Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) - Alain Resnais
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Both Michèle Bernstein and Guy Debord thought this movie to be a work of genius. [Sept 2006]


Alain Resnais' acclaimed film Hiroshima Mon Amour was released in 1959, and was called "The Birth of a Nation of the French New Wave (nouvelle vague)" by critic Leonard Maltin, because of its importance to the innovations of the movement. In addition, fellow French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard described the film's inventiveness as "Faulkner plus Stravinsky" and "the first film without any cinematic references". It tells the story of a French woman (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese man (Eiji Okada) who meet and become lovers in post-war Hiroshima.

The experiences during the Second World War of both characters are told in flashback form, juggling their horrendous experiences in the past with the current love story between the two protagonists. Director Alain Resnais' bold experiments in using flashback and sequencing was also used in his later masterpiece Last Year at Marienbad. It earned an Oscar nomination for screenwriter Marguerite Duras, as well as a special award at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival (it was excluded from official selection at the festival because of its sensitive subject matter as well as to avoid upsetting the U.S. government). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_Mon_Amour [Sept 2006]

Amazon review

An extraordinary and deeply moving film that retains much of its power since its original release in 1959, Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour is the story of a French woman (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese man (Eiji Okada) who become lovers in the city of Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb to end World War II in the Pacific. Written by Marguerite Duras and juggled, as if by wandering thoughts, in chronology and setting by Resnais, the film reveals the miserable and mortifying experiences of each character during the war and suggests the obvious healing properties of their relationship in the present. An emotional allusion or two can certainly be made with the more recent The English Patient, but nothing can quite prepare one for Resnais's extreme yet intuitively accessible experiments in fusing the past, present, and future into great sweeps of subjectively experienced memory. Yet audiences have never had trouble relating to this bold milestone of the French New Wave, largely because at its heart is a genuinely affecting, soulful love story. --Tom Keogh for Amazon.com

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