Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|La Guerre est Finie|
Actors: Yves Montand, Ingrid Thulin, Geneviève Bujold, Jean Dasté, Dominique Rozan
Director: Alain Resnais
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
For some soldiers, the war is never over... Legendary "New Wave" director Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad) helms this emotionally-charged suspense-drama set in France and on the streets of fascist Spain, starring Eur... more »
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A Fine DVD Edition of this Underappreciated Resnais Gem
TUCO H. | 02/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Until now only poor video transfers of "La Guerre Est Finie" have been available, so I was very eager to see how this DVD transfer looked. Needless to say, the transfer is wonderful and exceeded my expectations. Although one will not mistake this Image Entertainment transfer for a Criterion release, the presentation of this film is better than the those of the other two Resnais films currently available on DVD (Last Year at Marienbad" and "Mon Oncle d'Amerique"). Image's releases have been inconsistent, yielding wonderful issues of "Othello" and "City Lights," while producing horrible editions of Eisenstein's films. Although this issue of "La Guerre Est Finie" offers no special features, special features are often overrated anyway--what counts is that the film is shown here in its original widescreen presentation with removable subtitles, the value of which some producers have not yet recognized (I am thinking of Fox Lorber). Resnais is a director whose work has been vastly underrated, so I can only hope that DVD issues of some of his ultrarare later films will follow this release of a rare early work. This DVD is highly recommended. Now how about producing DVD editions of "Life is a Bed of Roses" and "Smoking/No Smoking"?"
TUCO H. | 04/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"*La Guerre Est Finie* is about a Spanish revolutionary (Yves Montand) in his 3rd decade of agitating against Franco. For the nonce, he lives in France and has two mistresses. Ripe enough for you? Well, the movie was directed by Alain Resnais, a man who will never be confused with Ian Fleming. Therefore, don't expect an action flick or a spy spoof. Instead of shootouts, Resnais gives us the meticulous altering of passport photos. Instead of glamorous casinos, he shows the interior of a small garage of some guy's house and nondescript bedrooms. Instead of martinis, there's coffee. Instead of tuxedos, there's cardigans. You get the idea. But all the mundanities only serve to provide a depressingly realistic context for the movie's deeper themes, the main one being Time as destroyer. Time has certainly beat up Montand's Diego: his face is pock-marked and sagging. (It contrasts nicely to then-newcomer Genevieve Bujold's peppy little-girl face.) There's a grievous sense in *La Guerre Est Finie* that the world is running down, grinding to a halt, like Diego's comrades who keel over from coronaries. And when the clockwork finally breaks down someday, no one will be where they need to be. (Yes, Franco's dictatorship will even pass away, but too late for the characters in the story. Time destroys EVERYTHING.) This is one of the best films of the French New Wave by its best practitioner -- indispensable for movie lovers everywhere. Highest possible rating. The score, by the way, is one of the most beautiful ever put to film. [The DVD, by "Image Entertainment",[stink]s. The glories of Sacha Vierny's photography will remain obscured till this movie finally gets the Criterion Treatment (which it had better!). Yes yes, the movie is darkly composed, but not THIS darkly. No features, natch. Whatever. It's one of two Resnais films available on DVD, so I guess you'd better get it anyway.]"
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 08/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Throughout history anytime there is a war you will find the youth and elderly people see the world and its problems two different ways. According to the youth, elderly people have given up fighting the good fight. They have fallen through the cracks and have conformed to what society wants them to think and say. The youth, the elderly say, are dreamers. They are inexperienced and optimistic. They actually believe they can change the world with their ideas. I think that's what Alain Resnais' "La Guerre est finie" (aka "The War Is Over") is about. The clash between these two ideas.
Yves Montand plays Diego Mora a member of the Spanish Communist Party who now lives in France. His group is trying to stage a strike during the Spanish Civil War. On his way back to France, travelling under a false passport, since it is feared the police may know his true identity, he finds out about a partner, Juan (Jean-Francois Remi) who may be arrested as soon as he arrives in Madrid. Diego and his partners treat this information as business as usual. They sit down and discuss the situation, taking notes. Diego, who considers himself a professional revolutionary, says the most important trait to being one is patience.
Back home in France Diego has a girlfriend, Marianne (great Bergman actress Ingrid Thulin). She yearns for a "normal" life. She wants to have a baby with Diego. She evens says she is willing to move to Spain, just to be with him. But she can sense, just as we can, Diego doesn't want a family. To a man like Diego his work is his first priority. A family would just get in his way.
While in France Diego meets a group a young radicals who are on the side on the Communist, headed by Nadine (Genevieve Bujold). They have a much different approach on how to solve Spain's problems. They believe in action. Diego and his friends believe in talk. Neither can understand the other. But, there must be a common ground. And they have to find it. Whether or not the movie does I will not say.
"The War Is Over" is so far the best Resnais film I have seen. I admit I have not seen them all, but I have enjoyed everything I've seen so far from the high talented filmmaker. "The War Is Over" may be described by some as slow moving. Boring or the worst film they have ever seen. It is none of these things. It is though a movie about ideas. There is not a lot of action scenes. No car chasing scenes. If that sounds boring to you I guess you shouldn't see this movie, but all I can say is I'm glad I did.
And what about the film's title, "The War Is Over"? What does it mean? That might be open for intrepretation but I think it means Diego is going to stop the fight. In the film we hear him talk about settling down in Madrid with Marianne. He asks her if she would join him. He doesn't think he is really being useful to the fight. The war may be over for Diego but the battle wages on.
Bottom-line: Alain Resnais' "The War Is Over" is a thought provoking well acted film. In my opinion it is Resnais' best work."