If the chief merit of Last Year at Marienbad was to hypnotize the viewer with a story that may or may not have happened or be happening, director Alan Resnais achieved the same effect fifteen years later with Melo, a trite play from the boulevard theatre of Paris. The eternal triangle, wrapped in pretentious dialogue which was the trade mark of playwright Henry Bernstein. To admire Resnais achievement, one has only to look at the previous film from the same source: Paul Czinner's Dreaming Lips (1936)starring his elfin-like wife Elisabeth Bergner, a very good melodramatic film with a magnificent work by Miss Bergner and Raymond Massey, but nothing more. The Resnais film hypnotizes you and forbids you to apart your eyes from the screen, simply by moving the camera among the characters in close-up after close-up, while they deliver an extremely intelligent but not specially profound dialog. A six-minute close up of André Dussolier while he tells a story, is only one of the astounding achievements of the director in treating a film as if it were a play and at the same time treating a play as if it were a film. We have even a curtain between the acts. But the marvelous camera movements make all the difference. I know nothing about Sabine Azema (except that she won the French Cesar award for her work in this film) but certainly her performance in Melo is something that anybody would like to tell about to his grandchildren. The film is slow, but you don't feel it as slow, because all the performers are taking their work seriously, and giving their best to their parts. Melo proves that Alain Resnais is a true artist. Many have tried to do something like Melo, but only Resnais has succeeded. I must be fair and declare here that I did not care a bit for Hiroshima mon Amour.
Drama / Romance
Drama / Romance
In Paris in the 1920s, a concert violinist meets and falls in love with a stylish young flapper who's the wife of an old friend. Romaine instigates the affair with Marcel, and carries it ...
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May 2, 2019