Monday, March 3, 2014

Alain Resnais, Acclaimed French Filmmaker, Dead at 91

French film director Alain Resnais has died at age 91. The New York Times obit for Resnais mentioned Louise Brooks.

Resnais' famous 1961 film, Last Year at Marienbad  was based on/inspired by Adolfo Bioy Casares' 1941 novella, The Invention of Morel, whose key character, Faustine, was in-turn inspired by Brooks. Perhaps that is why the New York Times wrote, "The film achieves its hypnotic force through repeated lines and situations, a time scheme that folds back on itself, and ominous, black-and-white wide-screen images that evoke both surrealist paintings (human figures cast long shadows, but not the decorative shrubbery that frames them) and the society dramas of silent film. (Ms. Seyrig is costumed to resemble the enigmatic silent star Louise Brooks.)"

For more on this little known, but fascinating connection see Thomas Beltzer's "Last Year at Marienbad: An Intertextual Meditation."

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