Life is a Bed of Roses (1983)
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as Walter Guarini
as Michel Forbek
as Nora Winkle
as Livia Cerasquier
as Zoltan Forbek
as Nathalie Holberg
as Raoul Vandamme
as Pere Jean Vatelet
as Juliette Vatelet
as School teacher
as Young lady
Critic Reviews for Life is a Bed of Roses
Resnais speculates on the utopian dream that life is infinitely perfectable, that human chaos, despair and horror can be spirited or educated out of existence. There are two stories, to correspond to each of these possibilities.
It's more memorable for various isolated witticisms and images than it is as a coherent whole. And its flightier touches can be deadly.
The material manages at once to be both precious and dry, the staging is unprofitably claustrophobic, and the structure less ingenious than arbitrary.
Utopia is folly, though human fluidity here is the stuff of both Wagnerian myth and Gallic farce
Audience Reviews for Life is a Bed of Roses
Im beginning to think that while Godard is the more historically important film maker, he was always been foremost a "critic", whose main aim was to create webs of references and change our ways of veiwing cinema as an art, andd though I have allot of respect and admiration for his work and the role of criticism in general, the poetry, politcs, and philosophy his characters often talk about second-hand is fully embodied in the films of Alian Resnais, who managed to absob Godard's self-awarness, but also to transcend it. Godard was always taking notes, while Resnais was writing essays(or so Ive come to feel of late). This is a strange, but brilliant multi-storied, pseudo-musical, about the role of fantasy and imagination. A wealthy Utopian group in the early 1900's builds an elaborate castle called "The City Of Happiness", where they can try to be "reborn" through a series of esoteric rituals like Jodorwosky's "Holy Mountain", while years later when the structure has become a boarding school a group of educators have a conference on the role of imagiantion in education. Several children who have remained at the school during the conference run around and imagine a world of knights and dragons and monsters. The three stories are edited together sublimely bouncing and contrasting their themes of off one another, in funny, insightful, and emotionally engaging ways.
So I thought I Want to Go Home was just an aberration for Resnais, but unfortunately I was wrong. This is every bit as over the top, but at least here the cartoon-like characterizations fit better into the children's fairytale-musical context. The humor works pretty well at first but it eventually gets tiresome and plain silly. The three parallel narratives are well juxtaposed together and thematically consistent. In the end the whole farcical arguing and fighting and seducing bullshit didn't do anything for me.
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