Hiroshima mon amour

Hiroshima mon amour

DVD - 2003 | French
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A Japanese architect and a French actress engage in a brief intense affair in Hiroshima in 1959. Both deal with their personal memories of World War II--he by articulating his firsthand experience with nuclear disaster, she by remembering her traumatic affair with a German soldier.

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princeofdarkness
Sep 28, 2016

Resnais has certainly chosen to tackle two very large issues here - love and war - and posits some type of link between the two. Whether or not he is successful in showing us that link is up to the individual, as one can see by the polarized viewpoints outlined previously. There is much to recommend in seeing here, the performance of Emmanuele Riva being the most notable element of merit. Artfully photographed and thoughtfully written (both aspects at times lucid and enigmatic, to my eye and ear). Collective vs. personal memory, and how individuals and people as a whole exist in the past, present and future are placed before us, like a great work of art that has layers of meaning. We see them or not, as we wish.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Dec 11, 2015

This film is now over half a century old. When I first watched it decades back, I didn't like it. Now in my second attempt, my feeling has not changed much. I think this film is way over-rated. It's too abstract and philosophical for my taste. At times pretentious too. I enjoy arthouse films at times, but not this one. In French with subtitles.

v
voisjoe1_0
Oct 28, 2015

Ranked as one of the top 200 films of all time. Initially it was to be a documentary about the effects of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, but the director Alain Resnais chose to make it a fictional story with the nuclear bomb as only a part of the film. Pressure was put on the film by the American government to hinder the world's knowledge about the horrible effects of atomic bombs on innocent civilians (the USA is the only country to ever subject humans to this horror). This Criterion Collection release includes discussion of what may have been the first French New Wave film. Viewers left the theatres discussing what might be its meaning.

1
1aa
Jun 15, 2015

The first half hour or so is very engaging, but most of the rest has a tendency to drag as it is consumed by the female lover talking about herself and her early love with a Nazi.

f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Aug 12, 2014

1959's Hiroshima Mon Amour (HMA, for short) was kind of like watching 3 quite different movies all seemingly rolled up into one. (And, as it turned out, that wasn't necessarily a good thing)

HMA certainly started off quite promising. It began as something of a pseudo-documentary that screened vintage, newsreel footage, showcasing the devastating aftermath effects of the A-bomb once it had been dropped on the city of Hiroshima in 1945.

I was actually quite shocked by these horrific images of burn-victims (and such) who managed to survive this monstrous blast of mass destruction.

Following this startling and impressive opening sequence, HMA abruptly shifted gears as it morphed into a weepy, little Chick Flick, where (through flashbacks) Elle retold (in the minutest detail) the tragedy of her lost virginity and public humiliation at 18.

You can be sure that after being witness to the visual horrors of Hiroshima, the recycled memories of Elle's deflowering seemed quite pathetic and almost laughable by comparison.

Following this dragged-out episode (which took Elle a whole half hour to get it out of her system), HMA then "mutated" (literally) into a major "WTF!?" soap opera which highlighted Elle & Lui's puzzling, dime-store romance that was quickly coming to an end.

This whole business had me wishing, and hoping, and praying that the ground would suddenly open up, swallow these 2, and, with that, promptly put this movie out of its pain and misery for good.

Unless HMA was deliberately meant as some sort of weird audience-torture, I honestly don't see the point that French film-maker, Alain Resnais was trying to get across with this 3-in-1 cinematic montage. But, whatever it was, I'd say that he clearly missed the mark.

l
ladiablesse
Apr 25, 2013

Terrific movie. It's easy to see why Michael Haneke ("Amour") was drawn to Emmanuelle Riva from her performance here. This movie feels fresh more than 50 years later. It's treatment of the huge theme of nuclear war and its aftermath are seen through an allusive interracial love story that's tangled in memory of an earlier, doomed romance.
The opening sequence is stunning: over a montage of documentary footage of radiation victims and other immediate after-effects of the atomic bomb, Emmanuelle Riva intones Marguerite Duras' haunting words. Yet every statement is tersely contradicted by Eiji Okada. This contested duet sets the tone of the movie, as it draws you into its mystery. A cornerstone of the French New Wave, the movie provides an interesting look back at Japan in the late 50's through French, rather than Japanese eyes. And it's surprisingly contemporary—maybe even ahead of its time—in its treatment of interracial romance and unfussy nudity.

Vincent T Lombardo Apr 06, 2013

This is supposed to be a great and influential film, but I found it boring and pretentious.

o
ohialehuadef
Nov 07, 2010

Great movie - gets richer and richer each time you watch. Take the time to listen to the commentary as well.

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