Friday, 4 January 2013

dvd review: you aint seen nothing yet

Half a decade since his hypnotic feature debut Hiroshima Mon Amour, Alain Resnais’ latest reverie dissects many of the same themes: love and death, performance and identity, time and memory. A meta-adaptation of two works by playwright Jean Anouilh, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is overtly intellectual and formally audacious. Yet, as its title suggests, it’s lithe and playful with it, with a who’s who of French cinema playing fictionalised versions of themselves, summoned together to commemorate a departed dramatist friend.

As the thespians (including Lambert Wilson, Mathieu Amalric, Anne Consigny and Michel Piccoli) watch a recorded performance of the deceased’s magnum opus Eurydice, they begin to interact with the onscreen Orphean drama, revisiting past roles while their surroundings shift and change around them. It’s an adventurous and cerebral undertaking, and while arguably more interesting in concept(s) than execution, it’s pieced together with skill by a filmmaker who, at 90, has evidently lost none of his passion for the art-form.

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