Alain Resnais

Hiroshima mon amour, 1959

From the opening sequence of a lovers’ embrace shot in extreme close-up, intercut with footage of atomic bomb survivors, Alain Resnais creates an asynchronous narrative rhythm in Hiroshima mon amour. A Parisian actress (Emmanuelle Riva) filming an antiwar public service announcement in Hiroshima, has a brief, passionate affair with a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada). A… read more »

Le Chant du Styrène, 1958

A prefacing passage by author Victor Hugo provides the overarching structure for Alain Resnais’ tongue-in-cheek meditation on the ingenious creation and infinite utility of ductile and formable thermoplastics in Le Chant du Styrène: “Man is served by blind matter. He thinks, he searches, he creates. With his living breath the seeds of nature tremble as… read more »

Night and Fog, 1955

There is a dual meaning behind the title of Alain Resnais’ eviscerating holocaust documentary, Night and Fog: a reference to the arrival of interned prisoners into concentration camps under the cloak of darkness, and the subconscious suppression of knowledge and culpability for the resulting horror of the committed atrocities. Arguably one of the finest documentaries… read more »

Guernica, 1950

On April 27, 1937, in the midst of a grueling and increasingly brutal Spanish Civil War, the ancient Basque town of Guernica was subjected to an extended duration bombardment campaign by German forces in an unrelenting aerial campaign designed to demoralize the collective psyche of the Basque nation and to also show camaraderie (and military… read more »