Monthly Archives: March 2013

Resnais’ Secrets

This is my 31st “En movimiento” column for Caiman Cuadernos de Cine, formerly known as the Spanish Cahiers du Cinéma, written in late March, 2013.

For other thoughts of mine about Resnais, here are a few links:

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2012/03/on-alain-resnais/

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2009/11/the-unknown-statue-tk/

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2009/09/17072/

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2007/06/two-key-scenes-from-alain-resnais-films/

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2005/03/the-past-recaptured/

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2000/03/20108/

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1988/04/alain-resnais-and-melo/

— J.R.

After recently having caught up with Alain Resnais’ magisterial Vous n’avez encore rien vu, I belatedly discovered from diverse sources on the Internet that “Axel Reval,” the credited cowriter on both this film and Les herbes folles, is in fact a Resnais pseudonym, making it a typically sly acknowledgment of the personal nature of his filmmaking, which has been an essential part of his work since the 1950s. Remember the glimpse of the Mandrake the Magician comic strip found in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Toute la mémoire du monde? One could even argue that the fact that personal moments of this kind tend to be veiled or masked in Resnais only makes them more intense, as they sometimes are in the films of Sternberg. (Claude Ollier’s alternate title for The Saga of Anatahan: My Heart Laid Bare.)

Indeed, it might make an interesting exercise to run through Resnais’ oeuvre picking out such intense but half-hidden and fleeting details spelling out his personal investments in the films.… Read more »