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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:34 am 
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Has anybody seen this film and would like to comment on it? It sounds absolutely fascinating, but it hasn't been officially released yet (though a bootleg is available).

IMDB Summary:

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Recovering from an attempted suicide, a man is selected to participate in a time travel experiment that has only been tested on mice...A malfunction in the experiment causes the man to experience moments from his past in a random order.

From Strictly Film School ... (have only skimmed through this because it may contain a spoiler)


Last edited by Dylan on Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:51 am 
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Saw it once only in 68 - I dont think it ever played in Oz outside the Festival circuit and Ive never been able to catch it again. So long ago my own comments are useless but I loved it. It and Muriel are screaming out for subbed DVDs. (Or I am.)

A reminder if you're a Resnais fan - the BFI second disc of Celine et Julie includes Toute la Memoire du Monde which is my favorite Resnais short film.

BTW Mods, Spelling of title is Je t'Aime, je t'Aime.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:56 am 
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BTW Mods, Spelling of title is Je t'Aime, je t'Aime

Just changed it. Thanks.

I too hope it receives a good DVD release in the next year or two. Until then, I'll check out my friend's bootleg by the end of the year.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:42 am 
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Dylan wrote:
I too hope it receives a good DVD release in the next year or two. Until then, I'll check out my friend's bootleg by the end of the year.

maybe it will be released along-side Last Year at Marienbad (whenever that one may come out)?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:08 pm 

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and throw in Providence too.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:13 pm 
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I mentioned this film in the Best Films You've Never seen thread - it's long been on my must-see list, even though the critical consensus is that it's a stinker. (Which was confirmed by one of the responses on that thread) Actually, the fact that it's been so consistently panned just makes me more curious: it sounds so intriguing, it seems to be a dream project for Resnais, so how could it go so wrong?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:46 pm 
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From everything I've read about this, it sounds like a 'dream project' for both Resnais and his fans (of which I'm definitely one of). When I see the boot, I'll report back here...but until then, I await other comments as I know a few of us on here have seen it.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:16 pm 
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zedz wrote:
I mentioned this film in the Best Films You've Never seen thread - it's long been on my must-see list, even though the critical consensus is that it's a stinker. (Which was confirmed by one of the responses on that thread) Actually, the fact that it's been so consistently panned just makes me more curious: it sounds so intriguing, it seems to be a dream project for Resnais, so how could it go so wrong?

It does have it's vocal supporters though. I believe Hoberman and Rosenbaum have both mentioned their affection for it at different times.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:54 pm 
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miless wrote:
maybe it will be released along-side Last Year at Marienbad (whenever that one may come out)?

Marienbad is already available in a rather nice edition from optimum and here is a price comparison of the various U.K. retailers.

It also has great extras:

In The Labyrinth Of Marienbad (Documentary)
Introduction By Film Critic Ginette Vincendean
Short Film By Alain Resnais Toute La Memoire Du Monde
Trailer

The transfer looks excellent to my eyes and it definitely shits all over the awful out of print U.S. edition and it's bloody cheap at the moment so my advice is to buy it now. I can post screen caps on the screen caps thread if anyone is interested.

Dylan wrote:
When I see the boot, I'll report back here

I hope you have a different bootleg version to the one I have because mine is fucking abysmal. I have heard a lot of comments on the wonderful cinematography of Jean Boffety in this film but my copy looks more like it was shot by Nick Zedd. Bloody hideous! I found this ruined much of the impact of the film - when watching a film in a quality of this calibre it's a bit like looking at a bad quality photocopy of Monet and impossible to judge on a visual level. What I can say, however, is that the editing and structure is classic 60s Resnais with a thorough exploration of his often explored themes of existence, identity and memory. I didn't find it to be as good as Marienbad, La Guerre est Finie or Hiroshima mon Amour (one of my top ten films of all time) but then one of the key elemets, the visual, was missing from my viewing. If a decent edition was available for viewing then my opinion might be much higher than it is, and I already rate it quite highly.
Another interesting aspect of the film for those into modern ('classical') music is the occasional and very effective use of music by Krzysztof Penderecki. This is also notable in some of Resnais later films from the 1980s with the music of Hans Werner Henze, particularly L'Amour à mort, a film which I rate very highly indeed.


Last edited by vogler on Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:19 pm 
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Resnais is surely a contender for most under-represented major (Western European) auteur on DVD. I am in the plebeian situation of having seen nothing post-Marienbad.

However, I don't know how his path of literary influence led from the experimentalism of Marguerite Duras to the tepidity of Alan Ayckbourn.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:57 pm 
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Gropius wrote:
Resnais is surely a contender for most under-represented major (Western European) auteur on DVD.

Definitely. I can't believe there is still no english subbed dvd of Muriel, one of the greatest masterpieces of the 60s. Please MOC, please!

There is a boxset of his 1980s films from MK2, details of which can be found here. There are reviews of all of these dvds which can be found by searching DVD Times. They are all excellent discs and all are english friendly. There is not a bad film in the box but Mon oncle d'Amérique and L'Amour à mort are the only two that I consider to be up there with his 1960s masterpieces.

In my opinion Resnais is one of the very greatest directors of the 1960s and his influence can be seen everywhere - particularly I think in the works of the directors of the Japanese new wave (amongst many others).

EDIT: and don't forget the pretty decent U.S. edition of La Guerre est Finie available for import on U.K. amazon here and U.S. amazon here. A truly brilliant film.


Last edited by vogler on Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:53 am 
I saw a brand new print of this film a couple years ago at MoMA with a surprisingly large crowd and loved it. Afterwards, trying to find a copy to rewatch it, I was able to find a subtitle-less bootleg on dvd, found the script in a French magazine from the late '60s (L'Avante du Cinema) and then translated the script (slightly longer than the actual film) using online translators (a headache, believe me) Eventually, a subtitled copy popped up on ebay. It doesn't hold up as well as the first time I saw it, but I still have great affection for it, and share the opinions of Rosenbaum which he posted on dvdbeaver.com in his article "Ten Neglected Science Fiction Movies"


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:52 am 
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chiefguardbarnes wrote:
and then translated the script (slightly longer than the actual film) using online translators (a headache, believe me)

I have a few films translated using sofware translators and they feature wonderful lines such as 'Ability of Dashan on so It is a duck. The duck has answered in duck way too. Picture duck answering. I native place the Fukuoka cherry-tree than the Tokyo one has been early for week open.' It's pretty funny but I have no idea what they are supposed to be saying. Ducks???

So you have the ebay version of Je t'Aime, je t'Aime? Can I just ask what the quality is like because if it's better than my absolutely hideous downloaded version then I will probably buy it.

Dylan wrote:
When I see the boot, I'll report back here

Dylan, do you also have the ebay version or is it another one? Have you watched any of it yet? I'd be interested to hear what the quality is like.

Also does anyone know where I can get a subbed copy of Muriel by Resnais? I have a copy without subs but I'm finding it a little bit hard with my limited knowledge of the French language.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:07 am 
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I don't have the bootleg with me, a friend of mine in Chicago (where I'm moving to in a few weeks) has it, so I'll see his copy, but probably not until near the year's end. I hope the quality isn't that bad...but then again, my first viewing of "The Conformist" was on a terrible boot as well, and it ultimately became damn near my favorite film...what I do with bootlegs is filter the bad quality through my mind's eye and try to imagine how it would look in better shape. It's a bitch, but for some films you have no choice until they're released, or until a better copy surfaces (thank God the aforementioned is getting released in December, but there's a whole other thread about that).

Can anybody post caps of the subtitled boot of Je t'Aime, je t'Aime on here?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:42 am 
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Here are some screenshots of the version I have (emule version). These are not from the bootleg dvd. Is anyone able to say whether the bootleg is better than this. My fear is that this could actually be a rip of the bootleg dvd but I hope not.


Image

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:17 am 
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vogler wrote:
I have a few films translated using sofware translators and they feature wonderful lines such as 'Ability of Dashan on so It is a duck. The duck has answered in duck way too. Picture duck answering. I native place the Fukuoka cherry-tree than the Tokyo one has been early for week open.' It's pretty funny but I have no idea what they are supposed to be saying. Ducks???

Where's our friend toiletduck! when we need him?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:42 am 
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vogler wrote:
Here are some screenshots of the version I have (emule version). These are not from the bootleg dvd. Is anyone able to say whether the bootleg is better than this. My fear is that this could actually be a rip of the bootleg dvd but I hope not.

Holy shit, do those look horrible! The print they showed at Lincoln Center's Resnais retro back in 98 or 99 was much better than this, and it wasn't even restored!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:26 pm 
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The source for this print (which is surely from the boot) appears to be a very old and faded 16mm print. I'll bet the boot doesn't look much better.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:37 pm 
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The boot is crap, I can certainly confirm. For me, unwatchable.

I'm a big Resnais fan and caught this at the Lincoln Center Resnais series a few years back (a series that, to my recollection, was not well-attended). I was a bit disappointed. Most of his films, of course, deal with issues of memory. Here it seems like he wanted to take that theme and be as extreme as possible, just for the sake of it. The result for me is too choppy and disjointed. Maybe I expected too much. Anyway, it is a must-see for any Resnais fan.

Since Resnais is out-of-fashion it doesn't surprise me that there is no DVD. I doubt it would have much of an audience beyond the Resnaisophiles--a pretty small group.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:06 pm 
Ha! Those "translated" lines brought me back to the days when I read such head-scratching results.

I transfered the Hen's Tooth vhs of Muriel to dvd a while back - the print they used is in pretty poor shape (and very dark) - I saw a brand new print of this at MoMA too, during their Seyrig retrospective and it was a beaut.

There was a french dvd that purportedly had out-of-sync dialogue and a sundry of other problems which caused Resnais himself to put the kabosh on its release (or so I read).

The first bootleg I had of Je T'aime, Je T'aime which was unsubtitled was pretty much the same bootleg that was/is on ebay nowadays... one was a bit darker in some areas than the other (I can't recall which one).

I still find myself thinking about this film often... it's structure and execution, its themes, et al. No, it's not perfect, but I think it's endlessly fascinating. Personally, I thought the disjointed-ness was very appropriate and not just a novelty, and the overall narrative of the film that ultimately results makes it a very worthwile experience... at least for me.

All this talk has arroused in me a desire to rewatch it, which I haven't done in a couple years now. The bootleg is quite unpleasing, but it'll have to do for the time being.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:53 pm 

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Once of Resnais' very best films. Sadly it's one of his least known in the U.S. The time-travel scenario expands on Marker's La Jetee but in a different key. Wonderful speech aout how cats are the center of the universe. And don't miss Alain Robbe-Grillet's walk-on.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:30 pm 
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I have the boot and it looks more or less the same as yours, vogler. Resnais had abandoned using Dyaliscope at this stage, had he not? This one should be 1.66:1, right? It's disappointing that so many of Resnais' films have not been released with english subs, but it's also strange some of his key films have not been released at all in France.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:57 pm 
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Gordon McMurphy wrote:
I have the boot and it looks more or less the same as yours, vogler.

Thanks for the information. I nearly bought that a while ago thinking it had to be better than the crappy version I've got. I'm very glad I didn't because I would have been mighty pissed off when I viewed it.

I have a feeling that in the not too distant future the lack of Resnais on dvd with English subtitles situation will be rectified with at least the release of Muriel and Je t'Aime, je t'Aime. Surely someone has got to release them sooner or later. Well I hope so anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:21 pm 

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Rosenbaum is definitely one of the torchbearers for this film, as evidenced in his writings on the previously mentioned Neglected SciFi Films and in his review of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind:

[Note: the quote does contain spoilers for Je t'aime, je t'aime]

Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote:
The movie has one particularly interesting if obscure source that can probably be attributed to one of the Frenchmen who worked on the script: the fifth feature of Alain Resnais, Je t'aime, je t'aime (1968), an SF curiosity scripted by surrealist Jacques Sternberg that may be the most underrated and neglected of Resnais' features (though one can order a blotchy video dupe with subtitles from Video Search of Miami).

The plot follows the free fall of a man who attempted suicide and has been enlisted in a time-travel experiment that goes awry, setting him helplessly adrift in his own memories, most of which concern a failed relationship with a woman who's since died. Resnais' film also expresses the same tone of irreconcilable lament as Kaufman's. I would have seen these similarities as a coincidence if it weren't for a virtual quote of one of Resnais' signature shots -- the man stretched out on the all-enveloping, billowing waterbedlike floor of the time machine, which resembles a giant brain.

I'd nominate Resnais as the most lyrical narrative auteur alive, as well as the unacknowledged inspiration for most of the significant narrative experiments in movies since the 60s. (I'm not counting gimmicky and unpoetic counterfeits like Memento or Irreversible, but I am including, just for starters, 8-1/2, The Exterminating Angel, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Celine and Julie Go Boating, The Shining, Naked Lunch, Groundhog Day, The Lovers of the Arctic Circle, In the Mood for Love, and 25th Hour.) As a director-auteur who selects his screenwriters and shapes his scripts without writing, Resnais is the opposite of Kaufman, but I think I can claim that none of Kaufman's scripts would have been possible without his example. Now 82, Resnais recently released in France his sublime Pas sur la bouche ("Not on the Mouth"), an eccentric and beautiful adaptation of a 1925 comic operetta that's showing in New York later this month but may not reach Chicago for quite some time (though you can find trailers and bits of the score on the Internet).

The film itself sounds like a must-see, but that bootleg doesn't look appealing at all. Is this really all we can look forward to? Muriel's situation is not so dire because at least that film is a bit more well known (hopefully Criterion can take a pause from Bergman and Kurosawa to give Resnais some accessibility.) It would be exciting to see more acknowledgement of Resnais in the West, but I fear that may be a long time coming (despite my earnest hopes).


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:14 pm 
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Arcadean wrote:
...hopefully Criterion can take a pause from Bergman and Kurosawa to give Resnais some accessibility...

Aye, what is it about Anglophone DVD companies (Criterion in the US, Tartan and BFI respectively in the UK) that causes them to churn out the entire back catalogues of those two directors? Why are Bergman and Kurosawa so drastically overvalued? Must be the winning formula of exotic-yet-accessible samurai glamour and/or Lutheran misanthropy. Or maybe there was just a large archive of cheaply-available prints.

A different can of worms from Resnais, but maybe worth opening (although doubtlessly it has been, many times).


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