Alain Resnais’ You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

| June 7, 2013

Combining two pieces from celebrated French playwright Jean Anouilh (Becket, 1964), Resnais gathers the most noteworthy of French to lead You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet. While this may be a welcome treat to European moviegoers and American fans of Michel Piccoli, it certainly marginalizes start power to the continent; (something tells me Mr. Resnais could care less.)

To craft the narrative of You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, Resnais channels what the press notes label as “30’s Naturalism.” Readers of this review and/or fans of Resnais will without a doubt have see a film from said era and, while Resnais does emply rather nostalgic cinematic techniques – (a hazy, glowing frame) – they are bogged by frank computer generated images. Cringing during selected scenes that even early pioneers of CGI would believe were old hat, one is in want to question whether the director was aware of such disastrous images filling

Where You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet and Resnais excel is in message. Despite losing the charm of being acquainted with the finest actors and actress from French cinema, (except Mr. Piccoli, of course), their performance does not fall on blind eyes or deaf ears. The ‘gimmick’ of the film is the power memory that compels Antoine’s former muses to perform the play they are watching on the screen, despite having outgrown the appropriate age for the characters. Thankfully, the change is only surface level. Supported with Resnais’ trademark of ponderous monologues, the actors in You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet play their parts as if they had actually been performing Eurydice for the last decade.

In the end, what You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet lacks is a vigor that persisted in Resnais’ earlier efforts. While it is unfair to complain that an artist lacks the virility once so bountiful in youth and turbulent 1960’s, but perhaps enjoying a bit of leisure – Resnais is reportedly already in post-production for his next film, supposedly released this year – between  projects would return some of that fresh vitality.

About the Author:

Daniel currently resides in New York City working as a freelance writer and director. He is a graduate of the Film and Video department of Columbia College, specializing in Italian Neo-realism and French & British New Wave cinema.
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