ALL THE MEMORY OF THE WORLD (Alain Resnais, 1956)

“The [Bibliothèque Nationale de France] is a model memory, stockpiling everything printed in France.” Alain Resnais’s wondrous documentary, marred a bit by Maurice Jarre’s jarring score, surveys France’s national library, which Resnais depicts as a world inside the world, a prison for books. During the film’s twenty-one minutes, voiceover narration indeed refers to the books […]

THE GRAND MANEUVERS (René Clair, 1955)

Under the spell of Max Ophüls’s Madame de . . . (1952), René Clair made his finest film since Quatorze Juillet (1933)—and his funniest since Le million (1931). Moreover, this film became his first in color—and such color: the cinematography by Robert Le Fèbvre and Robert Juillard achieved the loveliest, most gracious colors—restricted (as Garbicz […]