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Slideshow

MÉLO

Friday, August 19
12:30   7:20

Saturday, August 20
4:50

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France, 1986
Directed by Alain Resnais
Starring Fanny Ardent, André Dussollier, Sabine Azéma, Pierre Arditi
Based on the play by Henri Bernstein
DCP. Approx. 112 min. In French with English subtitles.


“Resnais' transposition of a now largely forgotten 1929 melodrama by Henry Bernstein. The material-a passionate love triangle that leads to attempted murder and suicide-is indeed badly dated, but for Resnais, that`s precisely the play's point of interest. Rather than trying to adapt it to contemporary tastes, Resnais has filmed it, apart from some minor cuts, exactly as it was written, giving Bernstein's play the full benefit of Resnais' superb command of modern filmmaking techniques. The result is not nostalgia, and it is certainly not camp. It's something new in films - a view of the past from inside the past, so that the past appears vividly, movingly present…MÉLO exists in an ambiguous, dreamlike state somewhere between the stage and the movies, somewhere between the artificial and the real. For Resnais, this is the same gap that separates an audience of the late 1980s from the emotional modes of the late 1920s - what was real and immediate then seems false and distant now, though it is still strangely and powerfully moving… Resnais has not simply filmed a play - he has filmed the exchange between then and now, between the real and the recollected, that informs every human thought and feeling.” – Dave Kehr

Reviews

“The rigor and beauty of Resnais’ masterly style [embrace] the superlative ensemble playing in a deliberately theatrical manner”
– Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Film Forum