Je t'aime, je t'aime (1968)
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With Je t'aime, je t'aime, Alain Resnais uses the literal conceit of time travel to motivate his exploration of a doomed relationship, one that has apparently led the protagonist to a suicide attempt. The time machine is a weird psycho-symbolic chamber that allows him to quantum leap into moments of his past, obviously guided by his frame of mind, but he is incapable of ever changing anything. It's memory as time travel, and leaving the dry formalism of the science-fiction thriller behind, Resnais makes his story unfold like a Proustian novel, forcing his lead and his audience to skip from moment to moment, repeating some, aborting others, and generally teasing the mystery of just what happened bit by bit until... Well, that's a little ambiguous. Is Claude whipping himself towards another suicide attempt, drowning in his own guilt, or truly looking for an exit to shock himself back to the present? That might be up to you. An influential editing tour de force.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #62 in TimeOut's 100 Best French Films
This movie ranks #568 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films