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Alain Resnais

Alain Resnais, Hiroshima mon amour, 1959, 35 mm, black-and-white, sound, 90 minutes. Elle (Emmanuelle Riva) and Lui (Eiji Okada).

IN A TRIBUTE to the great Left Bank filmmaker Alain Resnais published shortly after his death at ninety-one on March 1, fellow director and sometime collaborator Agnès Varda remarked that he was a cineast who proved his love for filmmaking to the very end of his life. Indeed, Resnais’s last film, Aimer, boire et chanter (Life of Riley), had premiered at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival—where it won the Alfred Bauer Prize (given to a film that “opens new perspectives on cinematic art”)—less than a month before his passing. It was the nineteenth feature-length work he made over the course of a career that began in the late 1940s and spanned eight decades.

In a late interview in the French film journal Positif, Resnais spoke of his sensitivity to the melancholy of his source material, Alan Ayckbourn’s play Life of Riley (2010). Over time, Resnais mused, all our

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