Hiroshima mon amour (1959)
1959. A French young woman has spent the night with a japanese man, at Hiroshima where she went for the shooting of a film about peace... (imdb)
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Points off for the unnatural, weighty and abstracted dialogue. It also occasionally gets really boring. The rest of the time, however, it's magnificent, fascinating, hyponitizing, multi-layered, beautiful and hideous.
Best French new wave movie in my opinion. A room, a bed and two people have never been both intimate and layered, not even in the hands of Godard.
This extremely melancholy, hour-and-a-half-long narration of a woman's life, whose audience is a man who asks her many questions in a stoic, wooden manner, does little to create a riveting story and does even less to produce good chemistry between the two lovers. Some poetic writing and good camerawork can't cover the film's dullness.
Pretentious snooze-fest that would probably please any film school teacher. I found it a chore to sit through a love story about pretty people, who can't make up their damned minds. The artsy approach just makes it all the more unbearable, trying to clever up a simple story. I'd rank it lower, but a hard slap in the face at the right time went a long way for me.
On the necessity of finding new ways to love again, even after loss and tragedy. Frustrating, because Resnais couldn't seem to keep the magic going for as long as he might have liked...and the movie fizzles out as a result. But this is forgivable, since it's peppered with so many great compositional moments; the film seamlessly glides in and out of present anxieties and past memories with grace and style. Editing like this is hard to come by. Terrence Malick must have liked this movie.
Delicately flirts with the paradoxical relationship between the self and memory: we are the culmination of collected remembered moments, yet we shape and distort them. Aspects of the film were awkward: the slightly obnoxious unconventionality; and the wooden expression of Okada Eiji (doing his best to speak in French). Overall however - when it focussed on being a film about love and memory - it was a really rewarding film experience with a beautiful restless mood.
I was still thinking just maybe I had misjudged Marienbad but watching this brought back why I didn't like that one. There is something just obnoxious about this. The romance is very simply boring to watch and there is an air of pomposity about the whole thing.
Resnais uses a love story to comment on memories, both on a personal level and a worldwide level. The movie is a little slow but it's beautiful and the occasional repetition serves to emphasize its points. Wonderful editing gives it a strange surreal quality which blends well with the subject matter.
This is a fairly mesmorising tale of love, loss, pain and pleasure. It skilfully bridges the gap between the past, present and future, by positing that we are the sum of our experiences, governed by the way that our memory colors the world that we see before our eyes. The dialogue is both lyrical and elegant, and for me the abstract nature of it only added to the hypnotic experience of this film. The pain of forgetting is one thing, but the pain of never doing is perhaps more important.
It's dizzying and romantic. Artful and intellectual yet strangely emotional. Once you're drawn into its odd rhythms, you won't wanna stop. Wow.
An interesting look at the way people can be very personally affected by war rather than taking the usual wider view. However, it's tough to watch Okada in some of these scenes and some of the dialogue just feels like it's trying too hard to sound important.
In HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR the lovers provide a vivid and meaningful departure for the audience. It is out of their allegorical relationship that we consider the horror of forgetting. She has forgotten her past love while we have forgotten Hiroshima... the former serves as a catalyst for the latter. No other subject seems to be worthy of overlapping with the tragedy of Hiroshima in order to bring it back to life. I felt his vision was pure though slightly burdened with its didacticism.
We recall the first shock this great film ever gives up, the astonishing title, and the cinema's insistence that the epitome of disaster and the most treasured thing can be put side by side. Not just can be, but be. It was hardly a young man's film, or even a picture that was jostling to be on the crest of the wave. And if it is Resnais's greatest film, then I think it should be saird that the script is vital. It is not really a story so much as a process, to be seen over and over again.
Not as good as Last Year in Marienbad. The floweriness of the dialogue is further exacerbated by Eiji Okada's extreme woodenness (which is understandable, since he didn't even speak French). But other than that it's very interesting. Obtuse as hell, sure, but there are strong points hidden somewhere underneath it all.
This feels a lot like a logical extension of the ideas presented in Night and Fog in that it's an earnest attempt to explore how we, as individuals, process unconscionable human suffering without wanting to kill ourselves. The film approaches this concept almost playfully, opening its searing "indictment" of humanity with the newsreel footage of Hiroshima's aftermath within the context of intimate lovemaking. It's a perfect contrast. They can't stop thinking about it, but they'll keep living.
While some of the dialogue is repetitive and comes off as a bit too pretentious, the setting, themes and effective use of flashbacks easily help you overlook the flaws. The powerful opening segment mixing death and suffering with intimacy and love really took me by surprise.
Even with extreme caution, Resnais's first feature can be called one of the most influential movies ever made. It had critics grasping for Proust or Bergson, and filmmakers grasping for the scissors, much more often, in the cutting room. And yet Resnais has afterwards managed to top this achievement with regularity.
For an older, abstract film with such a sense of melancholy to hold my attention as it did was odd. However, particularly after the poetic first act, moments of over performance on the part of the actors and camera dragged me out- although I can appreciate that the knowledge of the film being a representation, not a reality, was central to Resnais' film. Touching and a little repetitive, with an interesting perspective on war - I won't be in a hurry to watch it again.
|Average Percentile 72.96% from 1834 Ratings|