This first English-language film from French director Alain Resnais (Last Night in Marienbad, Hiroshima, Mon Amour) is a typically mesmerising and tricksy affair.
An ageing writer, Clive (John Gielgud), roams his shadowy, empty mansion one night composing the plot of his final novel, its characters based on his family, among them son Claud (Dirk Bogarde) and his wife Sonia (Ellen Burnstyn). The following day, the real characters assemble for his birthday lunch, and we see them suddenly without the filter of Clive’s warped imagination.
On the surface a sparkling comedy, it is at base another of the director’s famously knotted, thorny explorations of the distorting processes of memory and time, complete with surreal slips into dream logic, characters whose identities morph and merge, and an unsettling geographic fluidity to the locations.
Providence has been chosen for us by artist Tacita Dean, and is screened at her request from an archive 35mm print brought in especially from France. Tacita joins us after the screening for a ScreenTalk.
France 1977 Dir Alain Resnais 110 min
This ticketed event is part Doug Aitken’s project Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening
which takes over the Barbican from Saturday 27 June with more than 100
free events over 30 days and special ticketed events every Thursday,
Friday and Saturday evening. Visit the Station to Station microsite to find out more.
Join the conversation on Twitter @BarbicanCentre #STSbarbican