Hiroshima Mon Amour

387. HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR (1959-FRANCE). WITH Emmanuelle riva, eiji okada. DIRECTED by ALAIN RESNAIS. A landmark in the history Of cinema: one Of the handful Of works that have actually created a new and influential film language! Alain Resnais (Night and Fog), directing his first feature, has brilliantly organized a spellbinding mosaic Of past and present, imagination and reality, time and memory, personal anguish and national disaster, and-as the title suggestsÑsexuality and destruction. The opening close ups Of nude bodies covered with something resembling either perspiration or atomic dust set the abstract, dreamlike tone for this unique drama. A French actress, who is in Hiroshima making a film about peace, has an affair with a Japanese architect whose family had suffered the atomic holocaust fourteen years earlier. During a 24-hour period, they make love, reveal their painful memories, and try to determine their futures. The couple’s experiences in the reconstructed city are intercut with newsreel shots Of Hiroshima’s destruction and flashbacks Of the woman’s own agonies in occupied France: her afÂfair with a German soldier, his murder, her public disgrace and nervous breakdown. (Presenting her memories out Of chronological order-in brief, almost subliminal glimpsesÑResnais shows an absolutely unrivalled command Of editing.) Can these two people overcome national and racial boundaries, and their traumatic pasts, to achieve a lasting relationship? Can the world be made to remember lhe overwhelming tragedies Of wart With its powerful messages, extraordinarily poetic dialogue, gracefully flowing camera movements, haunting music, and pioneering use Of time, Resnais” film is a still-relevant work Of social commitment, and an immoral masterpiece Of cinematic art. In French with English subtitles. 89 minutes. Drama