112 minutes| France| 1948-1958| Subtitled| Colour/B&W| Various formats

Resnais’ early reputation rested on a series of remarkable shorts about art or recent history. These included the Oscar-winning Van Gogh (1948), less a biography than a depiction of the inner life of an artist through his paintings; Guernica (1950), a poetic denunciation of the bombing of the city during the Spanish Civil War, which dynamically combined newsreel footage with details from Picasso’s famous painting; Les statues meurent aussi (1953), banned in France for 15 years for its linkage of the destruction of African art with French colonial imperialism; and a quirky sponsored short about the wonders of polystyrene, Le Chant du Styrene (1958). Most famous was Night and Fog (Nuit et brouillard) (1955). The years have done nothing to diminish the impact of its horror at the Holocaust and its nightmarish vision of man’s recurring inhumanity to man. As a young François Truffaut remarked at the time: ‘For a few hours it wipes out the memory of all other films.’

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