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Slideshow

PRIVATE FEARS IN PUBLIC PLACES

Monday, August 22
2:50   8:50

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France, 2006
Directed by Alain Resnais
Starring Sabine Azéma, Isabelle Carré, Laura Morante
Adapted from Alan Ayckbourn's 2004 play of the same name
35mm. Approx. 120 min. In French with English subtitles.


“Snow falls, in Resnais’ exquisite comedy-drama, on a Paris of color-coded soundstage interiors, some without ceilings or even a fourth wall. Six characters, either nearing or passing middle age, combine and recombine into couples, seeking the warmth of human connection against the chill outside. A pair of public spaces— a glass-walled real-estate office and a wowsers space-age bachelor pad of a hotel bar— are the hubs they orbit before retreating to the pitched battlefields of home.

The sets are deliberately artificial; the longing and isolation they contain are genuine. Coming from a director who made some of the most challenging and form-breaking films of the nouvelle vague era— particularly the memory-as-shrapnel meditations HIROSHIMA, MON AMOUR and LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD– this quasi-farcical fugue on loneliness and the difficulty of forging new loves late in life seems almost quaint in its mixing of golden-age cinematic gloss and transparently theatrical design. But Resnais’ mastery shows how avant-garde the movie equivalent of a well-made play can be.” – Jim Ridley, The Village Voice
 

Reviews

“The role of the artist remains, for Mr. Resnais, the role of a lifetime.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Film Forum