Marguerite Duras wrote dozens of plays, film scripts, and novels, including The Ravishing of Lol Stein, The Sea Wall, and Hiroshima, Mon Amour. She's most well known for The Lover which received the Goncourt prize in 1984 and was made into a film in 1992. Kazim Ali is a poet, essayist, and novelist, and has published a translation of Water's Footfall by Sohrab Sepehri in addition to co-translating Duras's L'Amour. He teaches at Oberlin College and the University of Southern Maine.
Marguerite Duras was born in 1914 and died in 1996.
Reviews - What do customers think about Hiroshima Mon Amour (Folio Ser. : No. 9)?
The inaugural event of the French Nouvelle Vague Jan 31, 2008
Godard anointed it "Faulkner meets Stravinsky". That should be enough of an evaluation. But if you insist...
Hiroshima Mon Amour is equally beautiful and baffling. The challenge of the film is its narrative structure, which fluidly blends past and present through bursts of flashback. You might say that the form of the film is a cinematic attempt at capturing the mechanism of memory at work (who can really know if it was a successful attempt, memory is a subjective experience).
Marguerite Duras' screenplay is chillingly spare, but a subtle beauty, Sacha Vierny's cinematography, with all its graceful tracking shots is the work of a master, and Emanuelle Riva and Eiji Okada, the handsomely paired couple at the center are played with tenderness and sympathy, and eventually a bitter edge. Alain Resnais pulls them all together for a film that is something of a revolution.
Is It A Documentary? Is It a Movie? We'll Never Know..... Dec 19, 2007
Part of my fascination for this French film is the fact that it never once makes it clear if its either a documentary or a feature film. On one hand, you have the unlikely romance between a native Japanois and a French beauty, and their slow, languid conversations are definitely the highlight of the movie. On the other hand, the opening half hour is a montage of post-bomb Hiroshima and the fallout, complete with LIFE Magazine stills and graphic details of genetic complications ensuing in future Japanese generations.
The good thing is that ALL of it is interesting, but I can understand some of the negative reviews here that compare this to the works of Antonioni who sacrificed everything in the name of slowness. Thankfully, the performance Alain Resnais extracts from his leads here is nothing short of masterful. The Japanese actor, in particular, elevates the film to a whole other level, as he appears to be an Eastern Commentator who is readily acceptable by the European audiences (thanks in part to his ability to speak the French language).
"Hiroshima Mon Amour" works as a photo exhibition of sorts. Despite its fragmentation, its very well crafted, and obviously a sincere work of art. Its got its heart in the right place, and if at all you enjoy watching black and white French films, this one clocks in at a close second, preceded only by the works of Marcel Carne (and honestly, how could ANYTHING be better than Carne?)
Criterion has done another remarkable job of cleaning up an old print. The care given to the print is masterful, and there is not the slightest smudge or visible grain anywhere. The audio is crisp and clear, though do remember that the primary voice here is of the female lead. She almost single handedly provides commentary for the first half hour of the movie, and it is to her credit that the film unravels and presents itself as a bonafide classic.
A Superb Effort by Criterion.
Hope rises from the ashes Aug 6, 2007
9 seconds 200,000 dead 80,000 wounded
Those figures are horrific. In the first half this movie dwells on this tragic but often avoided piece of history. The stats and images presented here are heart-breaking. In this monumental film, a French actress and a Japanese architect are having a brief affair, plus they discuss their own personal torment from the past and present. I'll admit, I was totally engaged with the first part of the movie, which concentrates on the after-effects of that devastating day. But then it trails off into the love-stricken past which haunts the actress. This lost my interest a little bit. Still, this is a profound cornerstone of French cinema, hailed as one of the most influential films of all time. It has a dark premise and is eloquently shot. Oscar-nominated for best screenplay.
Hiroshima Mon Amour Jun 26, 2007
Alain Resnais's widely acknowledged masterpiece is a work of profound beauty. Beyond its sensitive presentation of a most unusual (and then, quite daring) love story, the film is one of the most visually striking black and white films ever made. Both Riva and Okada project vulnerabilities and emotions that feel achingly real, and we stand right beside them in their alternating bliss and torment. A mesmerizing, deeply affecting film.
Persistence of Memory Apr 20, 2007
"Hiroshima mon amour" (1959) is an extraordinary tale of two people, a French actress and a Japanese architect - a survivor of the blast at Hiroshima. They meet in Hiroshima fifteen years after August 6, 1945 and become lovers when she came there to working on an antiwar film. They both are hunted by the memories of war and what it does to human's lives and souls. Together they re-live their tragic past and uncertain present in a complex series of fantasies and nightmares, flashes of memory and persistence of it. The black-and-white images by Sasha Vierney and Mikio Takhashi, especially the opening montage of bodies intertwined are unforgettable and the power of subject matter is undeniable. My only problem is the film's Oscar nominated screenplay. It works perfectly for the most of the film but then it begins to move in circles making the last 20 minutes or so go on forever.