The Film Within A Film in Hiroshima mon amour

Alain Resnais’ dialectical unity of contrasts

Elle pets a white kitten while Lui tries to talk to her.
Elle pets a white kitten while Lui tries to talk to her.
Image from doubleexposurejournal.com

Rivette proposes that Resnais chooses this dialectical style because it allows him to appear falsely objective.

The peace-march scene that Rivette cites is nicely illustrative of Resnais’ indirect style.

In case we might have forgotten for a moment that we are watching the making of a film within the larger film, this shot is an abrupt reminder.

Despite these multiple layers of artificiality and zombie-like extras, the scene remains powerful because it functions symbolically and allegorically.

It is important to stress that Lui is not a mere pawn in the life of Elle, and that he clearly feels a strong kinship to his fellow citizens.

Flannery has a PhD in Comparative Literature. She teaches French, Italian, and visual media. Her book on Taiwanese cinema can be found on Amazon.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store