A suicidal man is recruited by a team of scientists to test their time machine, which has previously only been tried on mice. A malfunction in the machine traps him in his past, where he is forced to relive fragmentary pieces of his memories in no discernible order…
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A puzzle movie with pieces deliberately withheld, Je t’aime je t’aime is less a problem to be solved than an experience to sink into, as Ridder fatally luxuriates in a time machine that’s both womb and tomb.
February 05, 2016
The narrative is emotionally involving, staged with Resnais’s customary resistance to flatulent sentiment—often misconstrued as a “cold” sensibility when it actually represents a passion so great as to resist platitude. But the film’s soul truly emerges through its incredible editing syntax, which anticipates the formal grammar of mysteries such as Don’t Look Now and Mulholland Drive.
it’s a criminally underappreciated genre piece, a radical and heartbroken experiment in which the filmmaker’s fascination with memory-as-story-in-flux gets an aerobic workout via that most fecund of science fiction ideas: time travel.
An excuse to shoot a story without any linearity. It lacks all the profound meditation on time and memory of "Hiroshima", "Marienbad" or "Muriel" ("Muriel" being one of Resnais' most underlooked and complex films). The ending has some sense of tragedy and the final shot has a powerful metaphorical resonance. That's about it.
I liked the atmosphere of the movie and the puzzle you have to put together. But the only real problems I have with it is that the sci-fi factor, the traveling in time, doesn't change or influences the actually theme or story of the movie. If this element wouldn't be in the movie it could be shot in the same matter, showing glimses of memory. Except of the ending that is, but I still don't know what to think about it
The trope of the well-spotted mind as a storehouse for lost and found time gets a zonked yet lucid (if hardly pellucid) going over in Resnais' fanciful, quasi-SF mash-up of Proust and Wells, a sort of spiritual sequel to Last Year at Marienbad that mostly Jettison's Robbe-Grillet's oracular self-seriousness in favor of a manically lapidary, umbrageous whimsy, as dazzling as Vian's L'Écume des Jours, but chillier.
Ah, Resnais once again plundering the mind-vault of an untapped literary resource (Jacques Sternberg, scenarist). T'was his thing. Canny of him. Anyhoo: we are dealing here w/ the most high-concept of ridiculous sci-fi conceits, and we are dealing w/ Resnais, so we are, by default, dealing in absurdity and melancholy. Cool. The power of the form makes forgivable the absurd machinations intended to make it palatable.