Community Film Picks: Je t’aime, je t’aime
Fri, Nov 18, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm SCREENING
As part of Community Film Picks, Bushel is pleased to present Je t’aime, je t’aime (1968, French, with subtitles), directed by Alain Resnais. See trailer here. Doors at 6:45 pm; screening begins at 7 pm. This program is free to attend. There is seating for 30; attendance is mask optional. Many thanks to Michael Carter for picking this film!
Je t’aime, je t’aime
directed by Alain Resnais, 1968
Alain Resnais’ fifth feature had the misfortune of being released at the onset of the May 1968 rebellions, a transformative period of civil unrest in France. When the Cannes film festival was shut down in sympathy with the nationwide strikes, the director, along with many of his colleagues, returned to the capital to march in the streets, and the film never saw widespread distribution. So it followed that Je t’aime, je t’aime would rarely be screened, and, perhaps in keeping with its theme of the complexity of memory, it was to be largely forgotten until its restoration and re-release in 2015.
The film follows Claude Ridder (Claude Rich) who participates in a post-trauma experiment in time travel. Whittling down the script from several hundred pages of automatic writing by his collaborator, the Belgian surrealist author Jacques Sternberg, Resnais created a unique work in which the materiality of film is integral to the narrative, providing a distinctive way of telling a story that could likely be done through no other art form (this last point to be debated after the screening!).
While Resnais’ better-known first two feature films, Hiroshima mon amour (1959) and Last Year at Marienbad (1960), are widely regarded as turning points in narrative film structure, Je t’aime, je t’aime is arguably more radical than either, or, for that matter, than most of the output of the French New Wave.
Michael Carter works as a librarian and divides his time between northern Manhattan and Bloomville.
Community Film Picks is a once-a-month film night at Bushel taking place on third Fridays at 7 pm. Bushel invites the community to propose films for future screenings. For information please send us an email.