Muriel, or the Time of Return (Resnais, 1963)

Muriel, or the Time of Return (Alain Resnais, 1963)

A lot of folks whose tastes I respect really love this movie, but I wasn’t completely amazed by it. I was completely amazed by parts, but I was too luke-warm on other parts to see this as a masterpiece. What stands out most is the unique editing. Though I would say the editing comes off as both good and bad. There are times when the spoken dialogue runs over several scenes, cutting from character to character, and back to the scene in which the dialogue takes place, and I found these instances poetic and interesting. It really gave the sense that things are going on outside these people’s immediate lives. Here I felt the fast editing brought an extra layer to the film. When the sound edits accompany the image edits, though, I had trouble keeping up. This gave more of a sense that too much was happening. Plus, I kept wanting some of the quick cut scenes to be more fleshed out. Regardless, the entire cast give great performances, and really makes a group of individuals I would have little interest in being acquainted with seem tolerable. Subtle self-servitude has never looked at all inviting, but here it somehow is.  7.5/10


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3 Responses to “Muriel, or the Time of Return (Resnais, 1963)”

  1. Have you seen La Guerre est Finie? I’m not all together convinced that Resnais made any worthwhile works after Last Year at Marienbad…. I just received the email of this in the mail so my opinions might change.

    • chrisfilm Says:

      No, I’ve only seen this and Hiroshima Mon Amour from Resnais, so I’m definitely no expert on him. But I’ve heard a lot of his post-Marienbad stuff is good. I’ll have to make him a priority one of these days.

  2. Definitely see Last Year at Marienbad! One of my top films (and most impenetrable) films of all time.

    I just wrote a review of La Guerre est Finie if you’re curious.

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