RIP Alain Resnais

Occasionally, one must break the tradition of writing only about work that includes some form of animation, in order to recognize one of the giants of film.

With the loss of Chris Marker in 2012 and the loss of Alain Resnais two days ago, we may be witnessing the end of an era that will forever be inscribed as one of the most powerful and magical in the history of film, and in the history of film-informed mediums. Resnais, whose career sprung from Hiroshima Mon Amour, a film as poignant as it is inventive, often resisted labels and classifications.

Unafraid of tackling difficult topics, he directed Night and Fog, a documentary shot in Auschwitz some ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, as well as the bold and mesmerizing experimental film, Last Year in Marienbad. While his films were often perceived as French new-wave emblems, as films about the intermingling of war and memory, about subjectivity and love, about dream and loss, Resnais never made the same film twice. He was a film “auteur” only in the sense that he reinvented himself over and over again, with the same finesse, courage and fearlessness.

His film career may be one of the richest and most diverse ones of the Silver Screen. Exploring every role of production, Resnais seamlessly navigated between the roles of director, editor, writer, even cinematographer. He tackled all topics with intelligence, and tapping into the great minds of writers such as Jean Cayrol, Marguerite Duras, Jorge Semprún and Alain Robbe-Grillet. He was one of a kind.

“Voilà. Maintenant. Je suis à vous.”


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  • John Colette

    No one’s voce today will write as deeply or endure a long as his. Vale Alain!

  • John

    We’re truly losing some of the most important artists of our time. Marker, Resnais… they’re one of a kind and their works have influenced generations of us in ways that have become so ingrained and naturalized into our process they’ve simply become invisible. I’m glad motionographer posted this.

  • Dominique

    Thank you John and John:). It’s good to see that he still resonates with many.

  • I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t know anything about Alain Resnais. I have much to learn. And I’m old.

  • Samantha Noon

    Great article Dom! I, too, will be looking up Alain Resnais work immediately.

  • Watching Hiroshima mon Amour life changing experiance. Such a beautiful master piece. Alain is really one of my favoriete directors. His vision on life is quiet sad but beautifully true. Thanks motionographer for honoring him!

  • Dominique

    Thank you Klaas and Samantha.

  • Michael

    correction: Chris Marker (not “Maker”) :)

    • Dominique

      good catch on my typo… embarrassed… will fix it when I get home.

      • Michael

        all good, Dominique! thanks for your post!