Le Style cinématographique d'Alain Resnais, de Hiroshima mon amour (1959) aux Herbes folles (2009)

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  • This article was downloaded by: [Eindhoven Technical University]On: 16 November 2014, At: 08:50Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

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    Le Style cinmatographique d'AlainResnais, de Hiroshima mon amour(1959) aux Herbes folles (2009)Keith Reader aa University of London Institute in ParisPublished online: 26 Jun 2013.

    To cite this article: Keith Reader (2013) Le Style cinmatographique d'Alain Resnais, de Hiroshimamon amour (1959) aux Herbes folles (2009) , Modern & Contemporary France, 21:3, 413-414, DOI:10.1080/09639489.2013.803052

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09639489.2013.803052


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  • turns in Chapter 2 to explicate Marcelsown approach to time and how it relates

    to the notions of contingency and

    eternity in his thought. Chapters 3 and4 then consider the implications that the

    varying forms of Marcels philosophyhave for his own understanding of time,

    and examine his ideas in relation toRicoeur and Levinas, and also from the

    perspective of his theatre. The last

    chapter is a consideration of MarcelsChristian belief in the light of his notions

    of time and eternity, notions whichTattam links together in an attempt to

    explicate Marcels understanding oftranscendence; transcendence, she rightly

    points out, is approached in Marcel

    through a phenomenological descriptionof central human experiences. This

    method reveals a path to the ethical in,for example, the way that various human

    experiences, such as love, fidelity andfaith, seem to transcend time and offer a

    corrective to materialistic, utilitarian orfunctional approaches to life.

    Overall, it is hard to pin down Tattamsmain theses with regard to Marcels

    thought. In particular, there is a con-

    fusion that is never fully clarified betweenMarcels critique of the increasing

    emphasis on a technical, scientificapproach to many human problems, an

    approach that cannot be finally successful(and that only leads us away from the

    realm of those profound experiences that

    are real and objective but that cannot befully described conceptually or scientifi-

    cally), and the critique of the metaphy-sics of presence one finds in Derrida.

    This latter critique faces insuperabledifficulties of its own, especially of

    relativism and self-contradiction; it is

    not a critique Marcel could accept, and

    one wishes for a fuller critical discussion

    by Tattam of how this notion relates to

    his ideas. It is fruitful to approach Marcel

    from multiple perspectives but there is a

    danger of not doing justice to what many

    take to be his essential contribution to

    philosophy: that one can uncover

    through the phenomenological method

    necessary connections in the area of

    human experience, connections that are

    ontologically objective but that cannot be

    totally revealed in conceptual knowledge,

    and that require an experiential involve-

    ment to be fully known. This is perhaps

    the key insight of Marcels thought.

    Despite these minor misgivings, Tattams

    study is undoubtedly a fresh, interesting

    and carefully documented contribution

    to Marcelian scholarship.


    Rockhurst University

    q 2013 Brendan Sweetman


    Le Style cinematographique dAlainResnais, de Hiroshima mon amour (1959)aux Herbes folles (2009)DEBORAHWALKER-MORRISONLewiston, NY, Edwin Mellen, 2012284 pages., 94.95, 978 0773426306

    Deborah Walker-Morrison (University of

    Auckland) provides a comprehensive and

    well-documented overview of Resnaiss

    feature-film output, with the exception

    of 2012s Vous navez encore rien vu,

    which was clearly issued too late for her

    to include. Her approach hinges on the

    interplay between the oeuvres formal

    qualities, an obvious starting-point for

    all commentators on this most intricate

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  • of directors, and its constitution ofsubjectivity. Resnaiss work does indeed,

    as Walker-Morrison suggests, set before

    us les paradoxes dun sujet qui, des quelon cherche a le cerner, seclipse, et qui,

    des que lon cherche a le chasser, revientau galop (1). The author opts not for the

    chronological approach one might haveexpected from her title, but rather for a

    nettement plus resnaisienne

    mosaque, beginning with On connatla chanson of 1997, which for her

    represents en quelque sorte le sommetde loeuvre (2). She situates Resnaiss

    work on the cusp of the moderne andthe post-moderne, viewing it as seeking

    to establish between those two poles unequilibre, non pas stable mais dynamique

    et createur (2). The counterpart to this

    duality is that between the mise enabyme often observed in the directors

    films and what she terms a mise en ecart,grounded in displacement and refrac-

    tionmost strikingly at work for thepresent writer in LAnnee derniere a

    Marienbad, but here argued to berecurrent in the film-makers oeuvre.

    Walker-Morrisons development of these

    often more apparent than real anti-nomies, thorough as it is, all too often

    struck me as lengthy and repetitive,turgidly over-egging its conceptual pud-

    ding; the deftness and lightness of touchso often evident in the gai savoir of

    Resnaiss work are nowhere in evidence

    here. Her view of Resnais as an auteurdialogique is however well argued, and

    the parallel between Alphonse in Murieland Albert Dehousse in Jacques Audiards

    Un heros tres discret is a point well taken. Itis, however, unfortunate that despite

    copious references to Derrida she makesno allusion in her discussion of the

    oscillation between the impossibility and

    the necessity of documenting (Chapter 6)

    to Mal darchive, so significant an

    exploration of that contradiction, and

    indeed that Barthess Journal de deuilin

    many ways his most Derridean textis

    nowhere mentioned. The work would also

    have benefited from a filmography and

    from name-checking (at least) of actors

    alongside the characters they portray;

    where would Resnais be without Delphine

    Seyrig, Pierre Arditi or Sabine Azema?


    University of London Institute in Paris

    q 2013 Keith Reader


    Between Republic and MarketSARAHWATERSLondon, Continuum, 2012viii 209 pages., 65.00, 978 1441128416

    France has a paradoxical relationship

    with the phenomenon known as globa-

    lisation. As Sarah Waters notes, France

    today, in economic terms at least, is one

    of the most globalized countries in the

    world (68) and yet at the same time it is

    in France that globalisation has pro-

    duced its deepest tensions and generated

    its greatest resistance (2). In this

    monograph the author does not so

    much seek to address this paradox as to

    analyse and explain the strong currents of

    resistance in France to neo-liberal globa-

    lisation and to assess some of the ideas

    and projects that have been put forward

    as an alternative. Eschewing an economic

    focus, where there is already a large and

    growing body of literature, Waters

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