Wild Grass (DVD Review)20 Oct, 2010 By: Miko Revereza
Box Office $0.4 million
Rated ‘PG’ for some thematic material, language and brief smoking.
In French with English subtitles.
Stars Sabine Azéma, André Dussollier.
More than 50 years ago, Alain Resnais directed his most influential piece, Hiroshima Mon Amour. The film defied conventions and paved the way to a new developing film language in French cinema and beyond. Its uncompromising style and identity made Resnais a cinema icon forever.
Today, Resnais, well on in his years, continues to push the medium forward with daring and visionary ideas. Wild Grass is a masterful realization of new wave ideals and age-old craftsmanship. It’s Alain Resnais coming full circle as an auteur.
The story can be summed up simply: Two strangers fall in love. With this timeless formula, Resnais is free to explore the endless nuances of attraction and its fragility. An element of fantasy is ubiquitous throughout the film. Like a thin layer blanketed over the lens, the look is dreamy and surreal. Cinematographer Eric Gautier creates an ethereal world of lush colors.
The approach is an exercise of subjectivity in cinema: a first-person narrative that dives into the psyche of Georges Palet by using and sometimes overdoing his voice-over. Georges, played by André Dussollier (Amelie), finds the wallet of Marguerite in a parking garage. Instantly intrigued by the photo of this mysterious woman played by Sabine Azéma (Private Fears in Public Places), George begins to pursue her relentlessly.
There is a quote by Andy Warhol that holds true in romances such as this: “The most interesting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.” Like real life, the long and agonizing wait for something, anything to happen in the film gets frustrating, and the payoff is hardly worth it. It’s the effort and elaborate beating around the bush that makes watching the characters so interesting and relatable.
Extras include a portrait of master production designer Jacques Saulnier, an extensive documentation of his full creative process.