Reviews

Hiroshima Mon Amour/Night And Fog

4

Given the kind of cosy, shallow movies Alain Resnais is making these days, it's strange to think how innovative his early Nouvelle Vague films were, radical dispatches from the cutting edge of modernism. Hiroshima Mon Amour, his first feature, uses a brief, passionate affair between a Japanese man (Eiji Okad) and a French woman (Emanuelle Riva) to explore his abiding concern with memory and imagination. The story is slight, but the disjunctive editing sets up the tensions, intertwining past and present into a complex emotional weave. Resnais' background was in documentary and prior to Hiroshima he made his name with half-a-dozen groundbreaking shorts. Night And Fog is the most powerful - - a sombre, brooding meditation on the Nazi concentration camps, intercutting black-and-white newsreel footage with Resnais' own colour footage of the derelict huts and rusting barbed wire 10 years later. The tone is always measured and unhysterical, but presents an urgent plea that some things should never be forgotten.

 

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