Biography of Alain Resnais (1922-2014)

Director of French cinema, born in Vannes (Morbihan) on June 3, 1922 and died in Paris (France) on March 1, 2014. The disease was that turned to Resnais's normal channels of learning. Asthma made his home school, and in this introverted life discovered a window to the world. At the age of thirteen, with a group of friends, rolled for the first time. The result was Fantomas (1943), in which left for posterity, and in three minutes, the first mark of his fledgling art; a trail to follow, although even without debugging. So the kids seem older, he/she came the camera. It was possibly the first unintended foray into the essence of the characters. More recovered from his illness, he/she spent a brief time in a secular school and, when he/she finished high school, became interested in the theatre.

It was the creation of the Institute of advanced studies film (IDHEC), in 1943, which provided the opportunity to make the leap to film. Resnais was part of the first class and there found in mounting the essence of cinema as he/she saw it. His interest in art is reflected in his first works, short films dedicated to Van Gogh (1948), Paul Gaughin (1950), Guernica (1950), on a text of Paul Éluard, and which won the Film d'art Prize in the Festival of Punta del Este in 1950-, among others, that had the opportunity to show what they had learned as editor in Transfo transform l' énergie du pyrium (1947)directed by Rémo Forlani, or Jean Eiffel (1948), of Sylvain Dhomme.

The short film developed for Resnais into something more than a start. It is a format that defend, as for many artists it is drawing, and in 1953 became a part of the Group of thirty. Within his first works of art began to consider the transit of the aesthetic to the ethical. Les statues meurent aussi (1953), which comes with the intention of exploring the black art, become a complaint before the cultural ethnocide, which earned him problems with censorship. Between 1957 and 1958 dedicated himself to short films for chemical industries, such as Le Mystère de l'Atelier quinze or Le chant du Styrene.

Emmanuelle Riva and Eiji Okada staged his first feature film, with a screenplay by Marguerite Duras. Hiroshima, mon amour (1959) became a symbolic tale where the characters, Elle and Lui (representatives of the woman and the man), are but the first couple, the first two; then would come the number of days and the Parallels: alegria-desesperacion or sociedad-individuo, to mention a few. The film, inscribed in the Nouvelle Vague, was discarded at the Festival de Cannes for diplomatic reasons, but then had the opportunity to recover with the FIPRESCI award in France and the Critics Awards and the distributors in the United States.

From this moment on, his career grew in distinct contributions with respect to the production of his time. In the last year at Marienbad (1961) he/she would return to romance main theme, but this time with a touch of mystery that allows the Viewer to know less than the protagonists. The screenplay was nominated for the Oscar in 1963; the director had gotten the Oro León at the Venice Festival two years earlier. Muriel (1963), made from a text by Jean Cayrol, was one of the most complex works of Resnais. The opacity of the universe that portrays and his characters is perhaps in line with death, that same year, the father of the director. The following year he/she met Jorge Semprún and began to emerge joint projects whose discussion would lead to the war is over (1966), a script in which Semprún again eyes the Francoist Spain to convert to Yves Montand in one of the heads of the Communist Party. The film won the NYFCC Award for best foreign film, and the screenplay was nominated for the Oscar in 1968. Loin du Viet Nam (1967) developed in a joint project involving other directors such as Chris Marker, William Klein, Joris Ivens, Agnes Sarda or Jean-Luc Godard. Through him, and under the formula of the documentary, each of the directors showed their sympathy for the North Vietnamese army.

In 1969, Resnais was married to his collaborator, Florence Malraux, and re-entered talks with Semprún to find new projects. The result was Stavisky (1974), with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Boyer, around an amoral character who just paying expensive process of seduction. In 1976 was responsible for an original screenplay of David Mercier with Providence into the derogative vision of a man towards their families. It was declared best European film at the Bodil Festival and won seven César Awards: to address, installation, film, music, production design, sound and screenplay. Resnais continued to hold Awards with his next title, my uncle from America (1980), where the Professor Henri Laborit - who played himself - reviews, through the lives of three people, the principles of survival, punishment, anxiety. The screenplay was nominated for the Oscar and Resnais won the grand jury prize at Cannes.

Research on life, their difficulties and their pledges followed in the following titles: La vie est a roman (1983) and L'Amour a mort (1984), by which Resnais got a nomination to the César. A work by Henry Bernstein, written for the theatre in 1929 resulted in Melo (1986), the story of two violinists, with design Art Déco Fund, which returned to have love as poso Azéma-Arditi partner for the third time under the orders of Resnais; both, moreover, were awarded the César in 1987. After a comedy with Paris as a central theme, I want to go home, which won the Golden shell for best original screenplay at the Venice Film Festival, Resnais took part in a joint project. Chantal Ackerman, Denis Amar, Jane Birkin and Jean Becker, among others, rolled Contre l'oubli in support of political prisoners.

In 1993 came the double movie Smoking / No Smoking, a comedy based on the work of Alan Ayckbourn in which Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azéma interpreted several characters each. Silver bear acknowledged outside France the work of Resnais; and in his country, the film would get four César: to actor Pierre Arditi, production design, the script and the film. On same old song (1997) showed that 75 years Resnais was preserving its ability to surprise. Embraced by his favorite cast, he/she used the excuse of the comedy to portray human feelings, the soul to the end and Cape, with a heartfelt tribute to Paris. Although underlying it, how no, a bittersweet social satire. Resnais was again nominated for the Golden bear at Berlin, and was also awarded the Prix Louis Delluc. The César awarded le in eight categories.

Resnais was one of the most representative and indispensable French cinema figures. While his debut film made him to be removed from several festivals, time and political changes were responsible for doing justice to one of the most accurate explorers of human intimacies.

In 2006 he/she released Coeurs (hearts), film which was awarded at the 63rd Venice Film Festival with the grand jury prize. In 2009 presented Les herbes folles, in Cannes, where he/she also received a tribute.


As a director

Short films in 16 mm

1946: Fantomas (in 8 mm); L'aventure Guy; Schema d'une identification; Ouvert pour cause d'inventaire. 1947: visit Felix Labisse; Visit Lucien Coutaud; Visit Hans Hartung; Visit Cesar Domela; Visit Oscar Domínguez (unfinished); Bague it; Portrair d'Henri Goetz; L'alcool tue; Journée naturelle; Tue Campagne; Le lait Nestlé; Campagne Premiere.1948: Châteaux of France; Les jardins de Paris; Van Gogh; Malfray (code).1957: L'Organisation du travail.

Short films in 35 mm

1948: van Gogh.1950: Paul Gaughin; Guernica (code).1953: Les statues meuren aussi (code).1955: Nuit et brouillard (and screenplay). 1956: Toute la Mémoire du monde.1957: Le Mystère de l'Atelier quinze (code).1958: Le chant du styrene.1967: Loin du Viet Nam (code).

Feature films

1959: Hiroshima, mon amour.1961: last year at Marienbad (and screenplay). 1963: Muriel.1966: war has terminado.1968: I love you, I love you (and screenplay). 1974: Stavisky.1976: Providence.1979: my uncle's america.1983: La vie est a roman.1984: L'Amour to mort.1986: Melo (and screenplay). 1989: want to casa.1991: Contre l'oubli. 1993: Smoking / not Smoking.1997: On the chanson.2003 same old: sur Pas the bouche.2006: Coeurs (hearts). 2009: Les herbes folles.

As editor

1949: Tournée Boussac in Afrique.1952: Saint-Tropez: devoir de vacances.1955: La pointe courte.1956: Aux frontières de l´homme. 1957: Broadway by light; L'oleil du maitre.1958: Novembre to Paris.

Other works

1945: Le sommeil d'Albertine (lighting); Paris 1900 (production assistant). 1946: Transfo transform l' énergie du pyrium (lighting). 1948: Jean Eiffel.1949: Versailles et ses Fantômes (special effects). 1960: A long absence (technical advisor).


BERTETTO, p.: Alain Resnais, Firenze: Nuova Italy, 1976.

WHO, M.: Alain Resnais, Paris: Editions Rivages, 1988.

ROOB, j. D.: Alain Resnais, Lyon: ed. La Découverte, 1986.

RIAMBAU, e.: The science and the fiction. The film by Alain Resnais, Barcelona: Ed. Lerna, 1988.