Foreign Film: You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
09/08/2013, 2:00 PM to 3:40 PM
$8/$6 Brooks members and students with valid i.d./Free with VIP Film Pass. map
Based on two works by the playwright Jean Anouilh,You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet opens with a who’s-who of French acting royalty (including Mathieu Amalric, Michel Piccoli and frequent Resnais muse Sabine Azema) being summoned to the reading of a late playwright’s last will and testament.
There, the playwright (Denis Podalydes) appears on a TV screen from beyond the grave and asks his erstwhile collaborators to evaluate a recording of an experimental theater company performing his version of Eurydice—a play they themselves all appeared in over the years. But as the video unspools, instead of watching passively, these seasoned thespians begin acting out the text alongside their youthful avatars, looking back into the past rather like mythic Orpheus himself.
According to New York Times film critic A.O. Scott, this latest film from Alain Resnais, the 91-year old lion of the French New Wave scene, “is a sly, elegant meditation on the relationship between reality and artifice. But it is a thought-experiment driven above all by emotion. The actual actors, united in make-believe grief, are moved to create a second reality full of pain, desire and loss. Eurydice is partly about the fleeting nature of love and the vain, glorious hope that art might somehow arrest the passage of time and give back what time so heedlessly takes away. The young unknowns of the Compagnie de la Colombe and the elder luminaries of French cinema and the Comédie-Française explore these themes with exemplary ardor. Even as the structure of the film makes it obvious that they are pretending, you feel right along with them.”
Gorgeously shot by cinematographer Eric Gautier on stylized sets that recall the French poetic realism of the 1930s, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is an alternately wry and wistful valentine to actors and the art of performance from a director long fascinated by the intersection of life, theater and cinema.
Director: Alain Resnais | France | 2013 | 115 minutes
French with English subtitles
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