Honoured with a special award for his whole career and for his contribution to the history of film in 2009, Alain Resnais returns to Cannes with a film enigmatically entitled, You ain't seen nothin' yet!, a very free adaptation of two plays by Jean Anouilh: Eurydice and Cher Antoine.
Alain Resnais sur le tournage © DR
Almost 90 years of age, Alain Resnais bears witness to a spirit that is eternally young. Always on the lookout for new experiences and new forms, the French filmmaker has his actors play their own roles. Only Denis Podalydes plays a fictional character: Antoine d’Anthac, a playwright who finds that he is the author of Eurydice!
Antoine d’Anthac brings the former actors in his play together to show them the filmed rehearsals of a young company. During the screening, the actors are overwhelmed by the memory of their lines (which Lambert Wilson really did act on stage in 1991) and they start to act together. The film is thus a movement back and forth between the new captation of Eurydice and the reactions that it stirs up amongst the spectators-actors. You ain't seen nothin' yet is thus an exploration of what film, theatre and actors are all about and a reflexion on life, death and love beyond the grave (the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice).
Beyond this device with its many twists, Alain Resnais wanted to push the game a little farther, by delegating the direction of the filmed rehearsals to Bruno Podalydes. Alain Resnais refused to give him any advice: "The game of the film is that I will not have anything to do with what you are going to do. The more different it is from what I have filmed myself, the closer it will be to the spirit of the project." This manner of giving the unknown its due is the reason that from one film to the next, Alain Resnais continues to surprise us. We ain't seen nothin' yet, Monsieur Resnais.
B. de M.
The screening of the film is in the Grand Théâtre Lumière on Monday 21 May at 8:30 a.m. and at 7 p.m.