A new 4K restoration of Hiroshima Mon Amour, the 1959 film that marked director Alan Resnais' feature film debut, will have its U.S. premiere tomorrow, Friday, October 10th as part of the NYFF52 Revivals section of the 52nd New York Film Festival. The film opens in theaters next Friday, October 17th.
I saw the restoration at a press screening yesterday. While I just don't have the time right now to write a full review (that will have to wait until next week), let me say that it looked wonderful as projected in the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) format. I never saw the original, so I can't make any comparison, but here the tonal range is slightly clipped. By that I mean the whites are not brilliantly white, even in direct sunlight, and the blacks are not a pure, dark black. For me this look was just right for the moody, mysterious and poetic nature of the film.
I think this new restoration is a "must-see" regardless of whether or not you've previously seen Hiroshima Mon Amour.
Here's what the Film Society of Lincoln Center says about this classic film:
"This modernist masterwork began as a documentary commission from Daiei Studios, secured for Alain Resnais by producer Anatole Dauman. Resnais decided that the bombing of Hiroshima and its impact needed fiction, brought Marguerite Duras onto the project, and worked with her to create a story—of a French film actress (Amour Oscar-nominated Emmanuelle Riva) who goes to Hiroshima to make a film and has an affair with a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada)—that would exist “in two tenses… the present and the past coexist.” Few films have had such a lasting, wide-ranging impact. Hiroshima, mon amour [sic] is a devastating experience on every level: visually, sonically, emotionally, intellectually."
The restoration was realized by Argos Films, Fondation Groupama Gan, Fondation Technicolor, and Cineteca Bologna, with support from the CNC.