You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
Vous n’avez encore rien vu
Veteran maestro Alain Resnais summons a dazzling French cast for a witty, enthralling investigation of life, art and mortality through the plays of Jean Anouilh.
Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.
- Director Alain Resnais
- Producer Jean-Louis Livi
- Screenwriter Laurent Herbiet, Alex Réval
- With Mathieu Amalric, Pierre Arditi, Sabine Azéma
- France-Germany 2012
- 115 mins
- UK distribution STUDIOCANAL
Following a dizzying return to form in 2009’s Wild Grass, veteran master Alain Resnais again airs his fiercely experimental sensibility in this offbeat take on two plays by Jean Anouilh. A group of prominent actors (Sabine Azéma, Michel Piccoli et al), playing themselves, are summoned to a château where a recently-deceased friend invites them on film to watch a screened version of his play Eurydice and decide whether it merits another production. As they watch the filmed play-within-the-film, the assembled thesps find themselves assuming their former stage roles... Deconstructing time, space and narrative alike, Resnais keeps Anouilh’s Eurydice as a stable base, while various levels of reality intermingle dizzyingly around it. A superb cast enthusiastically fling themselves into this witty, seductively staged contemplation of life, art and mortality – a melancholy but joyous piece by a legendary auteur whose intellectual and philosophical energy are undimmed.
When did you decide to tackle an adaptation of a Jean Anouilh play?
When my producer, Jean-Louis Livi, and his associates Julie Salvador and Christophe Jeauffroy suggested I do a new film with them after Wild Grass, we started looking for a play that would very quickly result in a script for us. In my films, I’m constantly looking for a theatre-style language and musical dialogue that invites the actors to get away from the realism of everyday life and move closer to a more offbeat performance. I read or reread different playwrights before I settled on Jean Anouilh. Since the end of the 1930s, I’ve been involved with the production of around 20 of his plays. When I came out of a production of Eurydice at the Théâtre de l’Atelier 70 years ago, I was so emotional that I cycled right around Paris, and saw the play again the following week. As I had done with Wild Grass, I asked my friend Laurent Herbiet to look at adapting two works as a director. After two or three days, Laurent suggested combining Eurydice with Dear Antoine, one of Anouilh’s other plays that I’d asked him to read. So for our purposes, Eurydice became a play by the dramatist Antoine d’Anthac, an eternally dissatisfied man who lacks in self-confidence and feels unloved. Antoine’s actors and friends who were in the very first performance of the play, or appeared in it 10, 20 or 30 years later, then come together to watch some recordings of a young theatre company who are now rehearsing Eurydice, which they want to perform on stage. During the screening, Antoine’s friends are so overwhelmed by their memories of the play that they start performing it together, despite no longer being the appropriate age for their various roles. I still feel a very special emotion when I see a scene being performed by an actor who is taking on one of their former roles. The challenge of the film was to sustain the drama across the back and forth between Antoine’s friends and the actors in the recording. And it also seemed to me to be a way to reinforce the emotion when Orpheus and Eurydice are reunited, these two mythological characters who have been immortalised by the power of the popular imagination and subconscious.
Alain Resnais (from an interview with François Thomas)
Born in Vannes, Brittany in 1922, he briefly studied acting and then trained as an editor in the mid-40s, and produced a string of short films which gradually exhibited a unique eye, and many of which can still startle today (Guernica; Night and Fog; the Chris Marker collaboration Les statues meurent aussi; Toute la mémoire du monde). The unconventional narrative tropes of his early features saw him uncomfortably shoe-horned into the so-called Nouvelle Vague; but he was soon exploring issues of modernism, memory and politics in a highly individualistic manner. He also became increasingly interested in cinema's interface with other art forms, specially theatre and music. He received a Lifetime Achievement award at Cannes in 2009.
1946 Schéma d’une identification [lost]; Ouvert pour cause d’inventaire [lost]
1947 Visite à Lucien Coutaud [doc]; Visite à Hans Hartung [doc]; Visite à Félix Labisse [doc]; Visite à César Doméla [doc]; Portrait d’Henri Goetz [doc]; Le lait Nestlé [s]; Journée naturelle (Visite à Max Ernst) [doc]; La Bague; L’alcool tue [doc]; Christine Boomeester [doc]
1948 Van Gogh [doc s]; Malfray; Châteaux de France (Versailles) [doc]
1950 Guernica [s; co-d Robert Hessens]; Gauguin [doc s]
1952 Pictura [ep Goya only]
1953 Les statues meurent aussi (Statues Also Die) [co-d Chris Marker]
1955 Nuit et Brouillard (Night and Fog)
1956 Toute la mémoire du monde [doc s]
1957 Le Mystère de l’atelier quinze [co-d André Heinrich]
1958 Le Chant du styrène [doc s]
1959 Hiroshima, mon amour
1961 L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad)
1963 Muriel ou le temps d’un retour
1966 La guerre est finie (The War Is Over)
1967 Loin du Vietnam (Far from Vietnam) [doc; co-d]
1968 Je t’aime, je t’aime; Six Cinetracts [docs; uncred]
1973 L’an 01 [ep Séquence de New York only]
1980 Mon oncle d’Amérique (My American Uncle)
1983 La vie est un roman (Life Is a Bed of Roses)
1984 L’amour à mort (Love Unto Death)
1989 I Want to Go Home
1992 Contre l’oubli [ep Pour Esteban Gonzalez Gonzalez, Cuba only]; Gershwin [TV doc]
1993 Smoking/No Smoking
1997 On connaît la chanson (Same Old Song)
2003 Pas sur la bouche (Not on the Lips)
2006 Cœurs (Private Fears in Public Places)
2009 Les Herbes folles (Wild Grass)
2012 Vous n’avez encore rien vu (You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!)
Read the Time Out review.