Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

The Meditations of Cinema

Hiroshima mon Amour became an experiment in Alain Resnais’ concern, becoming one of the deepest meditations in the history of cinema. While the film preoccupies him, it explores how suffering, history, time, and war are the benchmarks of the film. The film grew from a commission into a short documentary about the atomic bomb. However, Resnais considered it an impossible task.

He has directed many short documentaries, for example, the phenomenal Night and Fog. When Resnais himself finds it very difficult to make a documentary about Hiroshima, it is unspeakable if the audience sees what happened in Hiroshima. Such inquiries become the director’s narrative, a fictitious love story that he employs to frame the film. It allowed him to present universal investigations of memory, suffering, and psychology.

Despite being far less ominous than many French New Wave films, Resnais’ power of impact juxtaposes macabre imagery with poetic yet rhythmic dialogue. When the screen goes black for a long time, the extraordinary beauty of watching the film combines elements that haunt the audience. In short, the film is contrasting yet bold, standing as a testament to the history of cities in which people have rebuilt after disastrous wars.

Immersing the Audience

The past will never be able to escape it. In a word, Resnais presents a story about two lovers. They are trying to face a similar history that they cannot escape. It was in their story that Resnais immediately immersed the audience. In the first one-shot, the film opens its story with a close-up of two hugging but naked bodies. Outside, dust was raining down and covering them, taking a picture of shocking destruction.

It pulls the audience back into the past, remembering countless bodies. In addition to the war debris burying it, deadly atomic dust rained down on Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the close of WWII. In the present time, beads of sweat replaced the dust and covered the two lovers. Elle tells us in voiceover what she saw there. The woman is a French actress in Hiroshima who is currently starring in a film about peace.

In such cases, Resnais crops images in museums and hospitals. In her quest to understand her experiences, Elle knows what it means to forget. She kept repeating that she saw them. In addition, Resnais presents a gruesome picture. The images range from human hair and flaky skin to moving images of charred bodies.

Inevitability of Memories

There are also children with disabilities. On the other hand, Elle’s Japanese lover, Lui, is an architect who interrupts the narrative by pointing out that she saw nothing in Hiroshima. The suffering in Hiroshima mon amour is deeply personal. When memory is both personal and collective, it can be known to them. In the scene, Elle tells Lui about her passionate love story for a German soldier during the war in Nevers, her hometown.

In her flashback, they meet while witnessing an insult at the townspeople’s hands for the murders that are happening everywhere. Simply put, she is also afraid to forget it, and telling their story is a way to keep her alive. On the other hand, she is aware that every step she takes in the future is one step ahead of her past. She tells Lui that she will always remember him like a forgotten love.

On the other hand, she feels that in telling her story, she has forgotten her time in Germany. When memories fade, people forget each other. The melancholy inevitability of such an embrace of the future or the past. At the end of the film, Resnais somewhat definitively resolves such a dilemma. However, it had a feeling of sadness for the future.

Framing Intimacy

Broadly speaking, Resnais circularly reaches time through the repetition of dialogues. As well as employing a wholly innovative film aesthetic, he gives the past, present, and future a distinct narrative existence. It heralds a new but exciting cinematic language. Resnais presents a challenge to the classical form of narrative cinema through voiceover and flashback narration. His membership in the New Wave is distinct from the rest of it.

However, he was closer to the Left Bank early in his career, making Hiroshima mon amour a cinema full of ideas and pictures. It has everything from story development to plot conventions that make the audience feel very comfortable. As well as developing with respect, the film’s linear construction narrates through this time loop. When the repetition of dialogue creates such intimacy, the film is very intimate.

Despite all the weighty ideas, it frames a shot at a distance and an angle that traps the audience in the frame. Nevertheless, it is neither dreamlike nor immersive. Regardless, the film uses such realism in expressing its conceptual origins as a documentary film. If certainty is impossible when talking about what happened in Hiroshima, it is easier to imagine the impact of what happened through the experience of forgetfulness.

Representing Tragedy

Finally, what the audience brings to Hiroshima mon amour is a time burden in survival. Perhaps it’s not too surprising when the film does not act as fiction but as a documentary. In proposing an idea for a project about the bomb and its effects, it became the first Japanese and French co-production. The flash of an atomic bomb blast reflects and defines the Renaissance idea of turning it into fiction.

The impact becomes biased when foreign perspectives bring the project to the end of the decade. He achieved literary fame, taking two months to produce the finished script while working together. Nevertheless, that does not make the film about a tragedy or a woman and her tragedy. In one or two places, it represents a separate tragedy, both publicly and privately. Such statements belong to the film itself in another sense.

While the facts continue to defy its definition of comfort, the film helps explain Resnais’ nervousness when he departs for filming in Japan. Ironically, uneasily worrisome aesthetic objects walk within a fidgety world. In the narrative of an actress who goes to Hiroshima, she has always hoped to erase her tragic past. With only a glance at her memory, the greater destruction’s collective memory of the atom never found its pinpoint.


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