62nd THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Carte Blanche to Yannis Chalkiadakis: screening of the film Muriel, or The Time of Return by Alain Resnais
The screening of the film Muriel, or The Time of Return by Alain Resnais took place on Wednesday November 10, at the movie theater Makedonikon, within the context of the carte blanche given by the Festival to the award-winning editor Yannis Chalkiadakis. The screening of the film is part of the tribute "In the Cut: Editing and its Secrets", hosted by the 62nd TIFF.
Prior to the beginning of the film, Mr. Chalkiadakis analyzed the reasons why he was fascinated by the film, thanking both the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the audience of the screening. "Thank you very much for being with us today, I thank the Festival team for this effort to highlight editing, because, as I said this morning in the masterclass, editing is an art that doesn’t take center stage quite often," he mentioned before commenting on the film.
"It's one of the most well-known films by Resnais, whose films lured me into the cinema world. Watching Last year in Marienband and especially Hiroshima, My Love, I saw a kind of cinema that I had never thought of. A cinema that reveals that someone has thought over the movie long before making the film, it is not t just a story that wants to be told. There is something more complicated inside the director’s mind," he added.
"It is interesting that Resnais started his career in cinema as an editor, so the element of editing in the film is very obvious. It is a film that deals first and foremost with the concept of time and comes in as a sequel to Hiroshima, My Love. There, Resnais casts his gaze on the trauma of nuclear devastation, while here he deals once more with the concept of memory, again seen as trauma, but in a very different way. In this film he avoids flashbacks, so we never see snapshots of the past, even though memory is omnipresent in the film. The film is not easy-to-watch, I have to warn you, it is fragmentary and seems to encrypt messages in its construction. I find it fascinating in terms of conception and of the way it incorporates editing, because editing here doesn't just have a narrative role, it's like a separate form. The universe of the film struggles with the concept of memory and trauma. On one hand, it struggles to remember, on the other hand, it fights to forget or even entertain the facts in a convenient way, as we do when we recall the past. What we find uncomfortable, we bury it in the past and focus on the present. The film tells its story through a scope of justice served. A quote by Derrida fits the film like a glove: "Justice must resist the irrevocable nature of mourning." In other words, if you mourn something you leave it in the past. The film tells us that the past is always present, it is what constantly comes back to eventually bring justice", Mr. Chalkiadakis noted, concluding his analysis.