No. of Recommendations: 1
<I gave a fairly core criticism.>

I only read halfway.

<I'm giddy to hear the reasoning behind this. I'm guessing it requires fifteen editions of Professor Hackenfuss' thoughts on film theoretical syntax.>

All knowledge is good.

<The film's chief conceit, as I see it, is that it wants to show that memory is subjective. >

Maybe. I think it's more about memory and trauma, much like Hiroshima, Mon Amour. But I think form trumps content here; this is the product of a collaboration between Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet, one of the chief proponents of new novel in France which emphasized both creating style from the ground up and, at least in Robbe-Grillet's case, an emphasis on objects and environment over plot and character. The characters aren't even given names, just letters, both in the book and the movie (which, like 2001, were written separately.)

So I think that looking for themes in the film somewhat misses the point; it is about its surface before it is about anything else.

You can certainly dig for themes beneath this surface, but this approach leaves the text wide open to multiple interpretations. One of my favorite is that it is a science-fiction film and the characters are, in effect, holographic representations of people no longer present. Call it a science-fiction ghost story then. I think there is a strong implication that we are watching dead people here.

Personally, I find it to be an extremely violent film. By removing all sense of psychology from the characters, it heightens the emotional intensity (again, separate from psychology - emotion in a pure, abstract sense) involved in the love triangle. In a similar vein, I find "2001" to be one of the most emotionally powerful films I have ever seen, and I don't think this would have been possible if Frank or Dave had been so-called "developed" characters. As Resnais said: "I think one can arrive at a cinema without psychologically defined characters, in which the play of emotions would be in motion, as in a contemporary painting where the play of forms contrives to be stronger than the anecdote."

It's a film of objects, gestures, postures, costumes, angles and light and shadow. And it is one of the films that completely changed my life, at least in regards to film, completely changing my of what a film can do and what a film does not have to do.

Also, I love Delphine Seyrig. And the game (Nim) they keep playing is cool too. You can play it here:

http://www.math.uri.edu/~bkaskosz/flashmo/marien.html

And find the rather complicated solution here:

http://home.att.net/~numericana/answer/games.htm#nim

One of the interesting things about it is that depending on the starting position, either the first player or the second player will always win (if played properly.) You can't do anything to change the outcome. As meticulous as Resnais and Robbe-Grillet were in selecting every minute detail of this film, it's not a stretch to think that why they chose this game.

-chris
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