Watching the restoration, at first I thought that the photography would evanesce before my eyes like WHF Talbot's early, exceedingly frail photogenic drawings: most scenes are replete with a hypersensitive calotype impermanence suggesting rapid dissolution seconds following exposure. Yet here is a hidden tour de force directed, also cowritten, photographed & edited by Troell. What an intoxicating recollection moment!
As an inveterate cinephile from way back, it is rare that Criterion drops stuff upon me that I know little to nothing about. With the recent addition of the not-formally-dissimilar Marketa Lazarová and Here's Your Life, I feel like they have done me a true service. Here's Your Life is the most elegant stridently-inelegant film I have possibly ever seen. If that makes sense. An extraordinary patchwork. Wisdom at play.
A personal epic that never lost my attention, mostly because of its complete unpredictability and the all around spectacular cast. Its style seems to change substantially after 30 minutes in, when it leaves behind its almost Malick-esque representation of memory for a much more naturalistic and down-to-earth approach. It's also interesting to see the parallel growth of cinema and socialism, forever aligned ever since
3.5. Basically a string of episodes in the life of a young man who's incapable of holiding down a job. Goes on too long, rambles too much, but is also often very sharply observed (those mosquitoes on the hands!) and always nice to look at.
At last this forgotten masterpiece gets a Blu-ray release! More than ten years ago I saw it by chance in the Brussels cinematheque, didn't know what to expect and was blown away by it.
Mike Leigh is also an admirer and introduces it here:
Jan Troell is one of cinemas great humanist. This is raw, truthful and presents life without much fabrication. On the other side it remains having its delicate sense of movie making and fantasy which enlightens us all.