As Alain Resnais’s You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet opens, we’re greeted by a catalog of the director’s regulars seen in cross-fades as they’re invited to a deceased friend’s will-reading ceremony—an event that brings together a who’s who of classic French cinema for an evening of mourning and performance. This might fit the purview of an old man’s cinema, but Resnais, now 91 (!), still has the puckish sensibility of an artist a quarter his age. The title isn’t meant to be taken as ironic: This is the work of a director very much capable of surprise. The reunion and commemoration of these actors—among them Michel Piccoli, Lambert Wilson, Anne Consigny, Pierre Arditi, Mathieu Amalric, Anne Duperey and Sabine Azema, all (ostensibly) playing themselves—represents only one of the many layers in what is perhaps the richest of Resnais’s recent efforts. The group’s departed mutual friend, a fictional playwright named Antoine d’Anthac (Denis Podalydes), has posthumously gathered everyone in a lounge-like screening room, where a caretaker presents a video of a young theater company rehearsing a new production of the deceased’s adaptation of Eurydice. Each attendee, we learn, has performed in it for d’Anthac over the years. As the show unfolds before them, their faces rapt, these legends of the French cinema find themselves plunged through a shared personal history and back into the world of the play, as if their youth were restored. This heady confluence of realities and fictions, in which d’Anthac’s assembled mourners begin to mount their own impromptu Eurydice. The result both elucidates a classical text and, more significantly, contemporizes it for the modern cinema.
Alain ResnaisMathieu Amalric, Pierre Arditi, Sabine Azéma, Jean-Noël Brouté, Anne Consigny, Anny Duperey, Hippolyte Girardot, Gérard Lartigau, Michel Piccoli, Michel Robin, Sabine Azéma, Jean-Noël Brouté, Gérard LartigauJean Anouilh, Laurent Herbiet, Alex RevalJean-Louis LiviKino Lorber