My American Uncle (1980)

Alain Resnais directs Gérard Depardieu, Nicole Garcia and Roger Pierre in this French arthouse film following three intersecting lives that illustrate the complexities of human behavior according to theories of renowned writer/philosopher Henri Laborit (who portrays himself as a distant narrator.)

Experimental editing and moments of fantastical montage enliven this tale of humans who cannot escape their inherent behaviours. Watching their humdrum life stories expand, you are often reminded of a soap watched in fast forward. The actors carry the time skipping drama, Resnais ties it to the complex philosophies of Laborit with accessible finesse. Surprisingly engrossing for a didactic exercise.


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