Around this time of Autumn, we may begin to notice the sun waning earlier in the evening. With that, the much contested opener to Marcel Proust's In Remembrance of Lost Time (1913) comes to this writer's mind (out of aspiration perhaps): "For a long time I used to go to bed early." A literary masterpiece, the protagonist flickers non-linearly between past and present, studying memory and its involuntary fictionalization.
When Alain Resnais showed his first feature Hiroshima Mon Amour in 1959, it received instant acclaim at Cannes and the Academy Awards. It was celebrated for its Proustian, temporally fragmented narrative that conflated present time and memory— the first to do so in cinema.
Resnais was originally commissioned to make a documentary about the Hiroshima bombing. Instead, he brought on novelist Marguerite Duras to produce a classic love story against the backdrop of the Hiroshima tragedy, a story where “planes with atomic bombs were circling the earth all the time but everyone seemed oblivious.” In the context of commensurate historical experiences, Resnais and Duras recognized the paradox of the mind and its recollections: it focuses on the small, intimate events such as a personal slight or injury, or in this case, the two fateful lovers' entwined love and loss. Ah, as time goes by.
MUSIC THAT EVOKES MON AMOUR
Sway—Rosemary Clooney, Pérez Prado
Garota De Ipanema—Vinícius, Antônio Carlos Jobim
Besame Mucho—Andrea Bocelli
(Where Do I Begin) Love Story—Shirley Bassey
Love is a Many Splendored Thing—Matt Monro
That's Amore—Dean Martin
Spanish Eyes—Al Martino
O Sole Mio—Jerry Vale
Sleepy Time Gal—Jerry Vale
It's Not for Me to Say—Johnny Mathis
O Grande Amor—Joao Gilberto Quintet
As Time Goes By—Frank Sinatra