The world’s lost a great filmmaker, France a prodigious artist.
In his films Alain Resnais, a force of nature whose career spanned no fewer than seventy-seven years (his first documented film dates to 1936), was preoccupied with the themes of memory, history and time. He created films of staggering importance like, “Night and Fog,” “Last year in Marienbad,” and “Hiroshima, mon Amour,” cinema’s most profound meditation on the dreadfulness of war.
Resnais was connected with the French New Wave in the late fifties, although by then he had already started making it on his own after a decade of directing documentary short films (the New Wave movement allowed him to find better financing opportunities, which resulted in his making “Hiroshima mon amour.” This film, his most important one yet, is referenced in our 100 Years of Must-See Films available in the sidebar (see also the related article from Senses of Cinema).
Resnais liked to collaborate creatively. He usually declined writing his own screenplays and attached great importance to the contribution of his chosen writer.
He earned a number of awards at Berlin, Cannes and Venice as well as a Cesar, France’s answer to our Academy Awards. He was married to actress Sabine Azéma.