Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Les Herbes folles

Wild Grass. Ranska / Italia © 2008 F Comme Film / StudioCanal / France 2 Cinéma / BIM Distribuzione. P: Jean-Louis Livi. D: Alain Resnais. SC: Alex Réval, Laurent Herbiet – based on the novel L'Incident (1996) by Christian Gailly. DP: Éric Gautier - digital post-production: Dig Cinéma. AD: Jacques Saulnier. Visual effects: Def2shoot. Special effects: Frédéric Moreau. Cost: Jackie Breton. Makeup: Delphine Jaffart. Hair: José Luis Casas. M: Marc Snow. S: Jean-Marie Blondel, Gérard Hardy, Gérard Lamps. ED: Hervé de Luze. Cast: Sabine Azéma (Marguerite Muir), André Dussollier (Georges Palet), Anne Consigny (Suzanne), Emmanuelle Devos (Josépha Bellotch), Mathieu Amalric (Bernard de Bordeaux), Michel Vuillermoz (Lucien d'Orange), Nicolas Duvauchelle (Jean-Mi), Sara Forestier (Elodie). 104 min. An Orly Films print with English subtitles by Ian [Barley?] viewed at Cinema Orion (Tribute to Alain Resnais), Helsinki, 11 Jan 2011

The most engaging Alain Resnais film in 30 years, since Providence. There is a sense of play all through this film, from the beginning to the end. Éric Gautier's dancing camera conducts us through the film that plays with the concepts of "character" and "narrative".  There is a fundamental feeling of imbalance in the main personae. It is difficult or impossible to relate to them in any conventional way. The colour gamut is bright and unrealistic but not garish. The digital intermediate look is obvious but not irritating. Alain Resnais' early films were all about gravity (Hiroshima, Holocaust). Les Herbes folles defies gravity.

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