A compendium of memory traces and fragments, unsettling and meditative, signals the great Resnais back to form. With an uncanny eye that blends the cinematic icon (obvious but throroughly original 'interpetations' of 'Citizen Kane' and "The Conformist') with personal desire/guilt, this is a splendid and stylish self-observation of bourgeois values, of latent and unconscious fascism and of finitude. Haunting!
Resnais pulling a Resnais, nihil sub sole novum here. Not on par with his greatest work, but not bad, either. I pondered about giving it 4 stars, but was actually a bit bored here and there, so I judge it a tad overlong & kind of redundant once you acknowledge how the aesthetic structure works. But nice juxtapositions here and there & some great dialogue with a brilliant, brilliant cast.
John Gielgud's all-too-gradually dying novelist, a self-described former revolutionary turned monster of ego, has a searing pain flashing right up his ass. Inaccessible to alcoholic succor (despite his persistent application of heroic doses), the pain keeps him up at night, a demonic muse spurring the composition of one last novel, a convoluted contortion of his family's history into rebarbative, devolutionary farce.