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Friday, March 22, 2013

La Guerre Est Finie (aka The War Is Over) (1966)

A long time "professional" Communist revolutionary (Yves Montand), an exiled Spaniard living in Paris, regularly travels between France and Spain on secret missions for the party. He is worn down by the years and futility of idealism not coalescing. In other words, he's tired, somewhat cynical yet still goes through the motions like a good party member. Alain Resnais' film is affecting in spite of itself. There's a certain irritating pretentiousness hovering over the film. For example, not just one but two love scenes are shot via body parts: hands, thighs, arms, backs etc. while a heavenly chorus plays on the soundtrack! But that irritating "artiness" aside, the film perfectly captures the day to day monotony of professional revolutionaries. Of course, it helps that Yves Montand embodies the very nature of weary character. Resnais wisely eschews the melodramatic possibilites as the film heads to its open ended conclusion. With Genevieve Bujold, Ingrid Thulin, Michel Piccoli and Bernard Fresson.

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