Thursday, January 7, 2016

Toute la mémoire du monde - the movie (Alain Resnais)

When I was an undergradute in the 1980s I took a film course on Three Directors of the French New Wave (the three directors were Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Alain Renais). The first night of the class we watched a short film by each. Our instructor told us that the short documentaries we watched represented the kind of work that the directors were trying to move away from. The film we saw by Resnais was Night and Fog" (Nuit et brouillard) - a graphic film with actual footage from the Nazi concentration camps. I think I managed to watch the whole film, although I know I walked out of it the first time I saw it when I was in high school. I only just learned about Resnais' work Toute la mémoire du monde when I read about it in the recent publication The Meaning of the Library edited by Alice Crawford (watch this space for a review coming soon!). I requested the film through interlibrary loan and after I watched it discovered the entire film is available on YouTube (embedded above). A documentary about the Bibliothèque Nacionale de France this should be required viewing for all library school students. It is the library as poetry. I must admit to getting a little emotional about it. I love that the last word in the film is "bonheur" (happiness). I also love that it is in French. Although regular readers of my blog know that I am a Spanish instructor in addition to being a librarian, it is a lesser known fact that my husband and I hold a special place in our hearts for the French language (the language of love) - we met in French class. 

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