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Hiroshima Mon Amour (The Criterion Collection) (1960)

Emmanuelle Riva , Eiji Okada , Alain Resnais  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dallas, Pierre Barbaud, Bernard Fresson
  • Directors: Alain Resnais
  • Writers: Marguerite Duras
  • Producers: Anatole Dauman, Samy Halfon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000093NR0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,283 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hiroshima Mon Amour (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary by film historian Peter Cowie
  • 1961 Cinepanorama interview with Alain Resnais
  • Archival interview footage of Emmanuelle Riva
  • Excerpts from Duras' annotations to the screenplay
  • Music and effects track
  • New essay by Kent Jones

Editorial Reviews

A cornerstone of French cinema, Alain Resnais' first feature is one of the most influential films of all time. A French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) engage in a brief, intense affair in postwar Hiroshima, their consuming fascination impelling them to exorcise their own scarred memories of love and suffering. Utilizing an innovative flashback structure and an Academy Award®-nominated screenplay by novelist Marguerite Duras, Resnais delicately weaves past and present, personal pain and public anguish, in this moody masterwork.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars French Cinema meets Art October 2, 2003
Hiroshima mon amour is a unique film. This is the grafting of cinema technique with literature. In a unique collaboration between director Alain Resnais and novelist Margaurite Duras one of the truly landmark films of the 20th Century was born.
This is a story about beginnings and endings about rebirth following tragedy. Moreover this is a story about memory. Fifteen years after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima a film crew arrives to make a film about peace. The actress in this film meets and has an intense affair with a Japanese man she meets in a bar on the night before she is to return to France.
In a startling series of flashbacks we learn of her love for a German soldier that left her ostracized in her native Nevers, France. The story, which all takes place in a twenty four hour period is striking because of its emotional impact. The atomic bomb destroyed Hiroshima and the WWII romance destroyed the womans life. Now is the time to grow and to be reborn. Rebirth takes place through a confrontation with our memories of the past. A facing of the things that made us what we are. This is the sense the viewer takes from this film.
The Criterion DVD has an excellent transfer of the print which is presented in its original monural sound. The extras on the disc deserve a look. There is an excellent commentary by film historian Peter Cowie that helps to explain the marriage of film and literature between Resnais and Duras while offering some anecdotal technical information. Also included are vintage interviews with Alain Resnais and star Emmanuelle Reve. A 2003 interview with Reve is a highlight of the disc and should not be missed. The annotated selections of the script are also worth a brief look.
Anyone interested in the history of film should do themselves a favor and view this important film classic.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film on the illusion of never forgetting March 18, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
One of the prime examples of the French New Wave, a style of cinema that focused more on a personalized visual and experimental styles, with increased depths of feelings and exploration of themes, was Alain Resnais's debut effort, Hiroshima Mon Amour, which explored the effects of the atomic bomb and underscored the need to remember traumatic but profound memories for fear of them being repeated.
There is a symbolic part in the movie of an arm enfolded over a body, all encrusted in frost. Soon, the frost turns to beads of water, which in turn is the sweat of two bodies together. Old passions reawoken, an intimate meeting of two cultures, and that depicts the love story between a French actress playing a nurse in a film on peace and a Japanese architect. Both, it turns out, are happily married, yet there's something wanting in the woman, and it all goes back to her traumatic past during the war, in her hometown of Nevers in Central France, Southeastish from Orleans, and situated on the Loire River. After a night in bed, the couple spend the remainder of the next day together. For the man, it's a desperate attempt to hold onto her, as she has to leave tomorrow for Paris. For the woman, it's an internal turmoil involving her past and her growing attraction to the man, to whom she confides in.
But it's interesting to see the POV's of both. For the architect, Hiroshima became a part of history indelibly imbedded in the Japanese psyche. For the actress, Hiroshima meant "the end of war, the real end...[I was] stunned that they had dared, stunned that they succeeded, then the beginning of a new fear, followed by indifference, and also the fear of indifference.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remembrance, pain, and love. March 30, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Hiroshima, Mon amour is a film that explores the idea of memory: what is to forget, and what is to remember? What is experience and what is reconstruction? Do we have total control over these notions, and do we need to have control over them? With the Hiroshima bombing tragedy as the layout of the film, Resnais and Duras mock the European (and maybe the Japanese themselves through the museum and other memorial things that they built) understanding of what had really happen there. Universally, the story then focus on the conflict of understanding that the Riva character is suffering in when she gets herself involved with the Okada character, thus revealing her past to him as they both struggle into creating their definition of what love is. Is it enough to compare one's suffering to others' when their sufferings are more 'horrific' in nature? Not only that this film tries to answer this question but it also brings out lots of other questions on our common humanity. A complex and very intellectual film, but one should be warned (or should be aware of its implication from Resnais and Duras) of the passive nature of time from the Riva character's subjectivity too when watching the film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audacious in subject matter as well as style... January 1, 2007
Alain Resnais does not neglect the blast of Hiroshima by wrapping it with a simple love-affair...

His film is puzzling, but, at the same time, a compromise, a promise, a pledge to human society... It is too daring by its conventional moral standards, distinguished in the way it was done, written, made and executed...

"Hiroshima, Mon Amour" is about the fortitude of man, with its mental and physical power... Alain Resnais and his writer-collaborator Marguerite Duras combined a love story with an anti-bomb story... They carry out the horror of Hiroshima and the sorrow of a lost first love...

Hiroshima is a tragedy that shocks us, while the story of love in Nevers makes us cry...

The story of Nevers does not trivialize the story of Hiroshima... We gasp at the tragedy of Hiroshima as we weep over the tragedy at Nevers... We contemplate a cosmic and a personal problem at the same time.

"Hiroshima, Mon Amour" is a new kind of film... It has great technical ability, illustrating hypothesis plus fact...

There is a close-up of Emmanuelle Riva , who has just glanced at Eiji Okada, asleep... Suddenly there is a brief flash-cut of the body of a wounded young man lying in approximately the same position in another place...

Resnais' camera moves like a stream from the present to the past and back to the present... It cuts back to Riva's face, and then back to Okada asleep, and in that split second the technique of the subliminal flash cut, used to describe a character's state of mind, is born...

This cut is the key to the film, for it is the man whom she calls 'Hiroshima' who reminds her of her lover at Nevers...

It is the tragedy of his race that reminds her of the small tragedy of her life...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensual juxaposition of sex, skin, Hiroshima, breath, sweat
One of my all time faves...
Sensual. Juxtaposing sexual images of skin... with devastation of Hiroshima
Marguerite Duras is one of my most beloved authors. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Annie Lanzillotto author of L is for Lion
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Hiroshima Mon Amour
This film is a classic, but I didn't find it all that interesting. Emmanuelle Riva who is the youngish female lead in this film, was also the star in Amour from a couple of years... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul Kao
5.0 out of 5 stars great service
on described...highly recommend...this is a classic piece of cinema and well worth having it in any serious collection. ok
Published 4 months ago by Michael terati
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect movie.
This is a classic film. I especially wanted to see it again after having seen Emmanuelle Riva in 'Amour.' And the Criterion Collection DVD comes with an splendid booklet!
Published 10 months ago by pan
This risible film is the perfect embodiment of existential kitsch. The absolutely shocking element is that Resnais exploited the genuine tragedy of Hiroshima (using actual... Read more
Published 13 months ago by rater25
1.0 out of 5 stars Found it tiresome and boring
My husband liked it. I only could get through 1/2 of it.
Too bad I can't put in two different ratings.
Published 13 months ago by Robyn Jamison
3.0 out of 5 stars wasn't a fan of movie but good service
I wasn't a fan of the story line but was super happy to be able to buy a movie and watch it instantly on my computer. G'job Amazon! Read more
Published 15 months ago by Puppy Luv
2.0 out of 5 stars don't know why it's a classic
Too allegorical for my taste -made almost no sense. Acting style stiff and dated. If I were to choose again, I'd pass.
Published 16 months ago by Pam M
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't say I didn't warn you
If ever there was an argument for going with your first reaction, this is it. Around the half way mark of this slight, dull, overpraised film, I resolved to persist in case... Read more
Published 17 months ago by dra
5.0 out of 5 stars Hatred versus Love
An end at the beginning. The opening scene of a man and woman's bodies entwined in apparent love making. Are the skins smooth? Reptilian? Mottled with third degree burns? Read more
Published 18 months ago by Lonesome Dove
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