Monday, January 09, 2006

Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

"You like my pagoda?"

Romance Drama War (France, Japan)

Starring: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada (Woman In The Dunes; Samurai Spy)

Directed By: Alain Resnais (Last Year At Marienbad; Night And Fog)

Overview: The story of a French woman who spends a night in Hiroshima with a new Japanese lover. They spend their time getting to know one another, discussing old love during the Second Great War.

Acting: You know, I'm fairly certain these actors know what they're doing. They were well chosen, and when pressed, they did a great job. However the director seemed to prefer them doing the overly melodramatic, with their Calvin Kline Obsession Nouveau Riche commercial poses and faces. Some scenes were just plain weird: she's breaking down talking about a really rough time in her life. He slaps her across the face twice in public, she calms down right away, keeps talking. WHO DOES THAT?! Completely ridiculous at times, way too out there. Was it for Art's sake? Who cares.
Rating: 4

Cinematography: This blew my mind. The first 15 minutes was a fantastic, heavy, high-art montage of the gory Hiroshiman past. It started at a 10. I couldn't get enough. It didn't last though, because the settings weren't all that exciting, bedrooms and restaurants being what they are. It's still way up there, with some great scenes visually, but in the end...
Rating: 8

Script: This also wavered. The first 15 minutes, like poetry. The dialogue was pretty deep and we always had a great sense of how things were going and the story unfolding was important and so personal between these two new lovers. But then someone would say the weirdest bull. Overall great, but you'll find yourself with a raised eyebrow time to time, spitting at the pretension of it all.
Rating: 7

Plot: The story starts off amazing, turns personal, turns a little cold, then becomes deep and personal again. The humanity of the story is incredible. This is about a couple of people learning about who they were when they were young, and retelling their tales of woe through the war that took place a dozen years or so ago. This won at Cannes, and you know what? The story deserved to be told.
Rating: 9

Mood: From time to time, due to the direction, this category suffered as well, but the black and white, the beginning, her whole story about Nevers, great stuff. All told, I really felt like they were doing all they could to make us hurt at how much was different, how much older they were, how they suffered and still were, so yeah. Nice.
Rating: 8

"To be completely honest, I prefer to call it your katana..."

Overall Rating: 72% (So Good and Yet So Bad)

Aftertaste: Did I ever love the first fifteen minutes! Jesus I almost cried, so intense and painful. It's a good story. Am I glad I saw it? Sure. Would I ever have heard of it unless it was on my 1001 Movies list? Nope. So good, right? Right. There's 14 down.