Newest Reviews
Old Guard, The
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
War of the Wizards
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Newest Articles
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
  Je t'aime je t'aime Love Hangover
Year: 1968
Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Claude Rich, Olga Georges-Picot, Anouk Ferjac, Alain McMoy, Vania Vilers, Ray Verhaeghe, Van Doude, Yves Kerboul, Dominique Rozan, Annie Bertin, Jean Michaud, Claire Duhamel, Bernard Fresson, Sylvaine Dhomme, Irène Tunc, Alan Adair, Gérard Lonin
Genre: Science Fiction, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Claude Ridder (Claude Rich) has recently made an attempt on his own life, and as he recuperates some scientists have taken an interest in him. They are conducting an experiment that they wish to recruit a guinea pig for; they have used a mouse with limited success, but really need a subject who can answer their questions about what their experience was like. Two of them are sent to intercept Claude as he leaves hospital, and ask him to come with them. He is intrigued, and not having anything better to do he complies whereupon he is escorted to a large mansion out in the country and given the lowdown...

The experiment is all to do with time, a common preoccupation of director Alain Resnais, and the beginning of one of his examinations of how the past can be unforgiving should you end up lost in it, which is precisely what happens to Claude. As we are filled on his background through the flashbacks we build up a picture of what brought him to his suicide attempt, yet the nature of time is so slippery that we can never be one hundred percent sure what is really going on and if what we are watching is a tragic story of loss or one of crushing guilt and sinister machinations. Arriving the same year as Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, this proved to be equally mindbending.

Not that Resnais indulged himself with a festival of special effects, as aside from the old trick of stopping the camera and restarting it to look as if someone has disappeared there were really none. This did not indicate the director was eschewing the outré in his visuals, as while there was a plain, oddly matter of fact quality to much of what we saw, there remained instances of Claude's memories warping and offering glimpses of a woman taking a bath in an office, a man with the head of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and another inside a telephone booth which has filled with water. With a plot like this, surrealism was evidently difficult to resist, but it wasn't the be all and end all.

Actually, Je t'aime je t'aime had influenced a cult movie of later vintage in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and you could well see its influence on Michel Gondry's work there, most blatantly in the manner of love being the chief concern of the narrative, though not in a romantic fashion. Here it was more like a curse, for Claude's attachment to his girlfriend Catrine (Olga Georges-Picot) proves to be his undoing, though the exact reason for that is unclear at the beginning, and by the end you may still be baffled. She is out of his life, that's certain, but is it because they split up, or did she contract a terminal disease, or more worryingly did Claude try to end it all because he couldn't live with the knowledge he had murdered her? As we are subjected to a barrage of clips, we can never know for sure.

And by the end, he's none too convinced himself, but we are left with a vision of love that suggests it's a burden which could be bittersweet, yet also all-consuming that will at best distract you, or at worst consign you to madness. Claude seems like a level-headed chap at first in spite of his recent actions, cynical maybe but that's to be expected, however once he enters the scientists' womb-like time machine (his only companion that intrepid mouse) his memories overwhelm him and he becomes trapped in his past, a state Resnais broadly hints could happen to any one of us without the aid of a time machine. Every happy reminiscence Claude has is tempered by the knowledge of how things ended up, and so his darker deeds and thoughts, the heartache he has suffered and the terrible things he recalls, begin to overtake him, sending him forward to that suicide attempt once again. But was Je t'aime je t'aime all bleak pessimism, or was it encouraging us to accept life's slings and arrows? That's where its obscurity fails it. Music by Krzysztof Penderecki.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1384 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser


Last Updated: