Muriel

Not the easiest of Resnais films, but certainly his wittiest exploration of the vagaries of memory (teasingly set in Boulogne, a city largely lost under post-war urban developments). A spellbinding mosaic of images preserving, destroying, falsifying or testifying to the past, it sets two attitudes in opposition. A woman (Seyrig) attempts to ward off present tedium by conjuring the memory of her first love. Her stepson (Thierrée), treasuring some film of an atrocity he witnessed in Algeria in which a girl called Muriel was tortured to death, is determined to allow no escape from actuality. What both forget is that things change, that memory must feed on reality and vice versa. If her remembered love proves disappointingly remote from actuality, so his celluloid actuality turns out to need memory to bring it alive again. Impasse.

Release details

Duration: 116 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alain Resnais
Screenwriter: Jean Cayrol
Cast: Delphine Seyrig
Jean-Pierre Kérien
Nita Klein
Jean-Baptiste Thierrée
Claude Sainval
Jean Champion
Laurence Badie
Jean Dasté
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