sun 20/09/2020

DVD: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

DVD: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

Yet another rumination on the nature of memory and time from Alain Resnais

The cast of 'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet' gather to be spontaneously taken over

By declaring that You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet wasn’t his final film, the 89-year-old Alain Resnais might have been acknowledging his lack of a fixed relationship with time and memory, his continual exploration of their interchangeabilty. In his mind, final could mean anything at any given moment. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking he might pack it in and this would become his last. His next film is already in production.

By declaring that You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet wasn’t his final film, the 89-year-old Alain Resnais might have been acknowledging his lack of a fixed relationship with time and memory, his continual exploration of their interchangeabilty. In his mind, final could mean anything at any given moment. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking he might pack it in and this would become his last. His next film is already in production.

The Pirandello-esque You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet (Vous n’avez encore rien vu) is a deliberately paced, deliberately choreographed and deliberately stilted exercise. It’s slow. But it does envelop, providing the patience can be summoned to get past the enervating first 15 minutes, after which it beds in. From a screen, deceased (fictitious) playwright Antoine d’Anthac addresses a gathering of the actors who have appeared in his play Eurydice. After he has finished, they watch a projection of the play featuring a young cast. Gradually, the watchers are spontaneously taken over by what they see, becoming what d’Anthac has written, however age inappropriate they are (now) for the parts.

As a meditation on time passing and reflection on who we once were and whether that is lost forever, You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet works a treat. As cinema though, it isn’t filmic – it could work just as well on a stage, despite the Purple Rose of Cairo-style bleed between the cast and what they see on screen. It draws from two Jean Anouilh plays: Eurydice and Cher Antoine. The actors are credited as themselves and Resnais is within his comfort zone, employing familiar faces: Mathieu Amalric, Pierre Arditi, his own wife Sabine Azéma. Anny Duperey and Lambert Wilson also appear.

With Michael Haneke’s Amour, a more affecting consideration of ageing, attracting more attention - and the Palme d’Or at Cannes, which Resnais was also up for - You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet has been overshadowed. This isn’t vintage Resnais and the self-referencing is hardly subtle, but it does feed the continued fascination his work exerts. The only extra on the DVD is the film’s trailer - seen, in a meta-Resnais way, below.

Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch the trailer for You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet' isn’t filmic – it could work just as well on a stage

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Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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