Love Unto Death

1984 [FRENCH]

Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 6.9 10 985

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 13, 2021 at 07:23 PM



André Dussollier as Jérôme Martignac
Fanny Ardant as Judith Martignac
864.06 MB
fre 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jotix100 6 / 10

Love you to death

In a solitary house in the country, a botanic researcher, Elisabeth, coming home happens to see her lover sprawled on the floor, by the bed. She cannot do anything to wake him up and calls a doctor, who proceeds to tell Elisabeth the man is dead. Imagine our surprise when moments later, Simon, refreshed and somewhat recuperated appears to her. Fortunately for the couple, the doctor made a mistake in his assessment.

Alain Resnais' film is from the period where he was involved in more esoteric matters. Working with his frequent collaborator, Jean Gruault, he made a film that deals with the obsessions of Simon with death, and how he deals with it. Elisabeth, who loves Simon, wants him so, that even she decides to do whatever it takes to follow Simon to the beyond. The film is told in brief scenes interspersed by blackness, what one can interpret as a trip to the beyond among galaxies, or a trip during a dark night in the midst of a snow storm.

Mr. Resnais was preoccupied by questions about theology that have no easy answers, as Simon is told by a couple of Protestant ministers, Judith and Jerome. In fact, Jerome offers a sarcastic advice to Elisabeth at a low point in her desperation over having lost Simon. "What if there is nothing?", he asks her. Elisabeth finds out about Judith own involvement with Simon, something she did not even suspect.

The director brings back the four principals, Sabine Azema, Pierre Arditi, Fanny Ardant, and Andre Dussolier together again. Having worked with them in the making of "La vie est un roman", must have impressed him to include them in his new film. The actors show great chemistry following Mr. Resnais orders in this enigmatic film. The film wants to make the viewer ponder on that ultimate moment of our lives.

Reviewed by zetes 5 / 10

Somewhat interesting, but it's ruined by an annoying editing technique

A Bergmanesque drama about mortality and religion. In the opening scene, Pierre Arditi dies in front of his girlfriend, Sabine Azema, but then miraculously comes back to life as if nothing happened. It changes his outlook on existence, and the two go through something of a spiritual journey. Their best friends (Fanny Ardent and Andre Dussollier), both pastors at their church, try to guide them via their religion, but they don't quite buy into the Christian views. This film certainly has its interesting points, and the acting is very good. The religious and philosophical discussions are a bit flat and certainly not up to Bergman's level. Whatever I could have enjoyed in this film, though, is absolutely ruined by a horribly annoying editing gimmick: the film is comprised of very short vignettes, which is fine, but when one of these scenes ends, the film cuts to a black background with snow (or perhaps dandruff) floating around in front of it. A pretty image, once, but these shots last anywhere from ten to thirty seconds, and this must happen a hundred times. I would say these snowy shots take up a good 30 minutes of this 90 minute film. To boot, they are accompanied by a loud, obnoxious, dissonant musical score. Resnais might as well have just shouted "BRECHT!" between each scene. At least it would have been faster!

Reviewed by Polaris_DiB 8 / 10


Alain Resnais films are uncanny in the way that they aren't really edited for continuity, but instead the shot seems to finish right where a memory has edited. Love unto Death is at times a quiet existential drama and a roundly creative magical realist movie, and either way treats the audience to a whole new aspect of the Eros/Thanatos relationship... or perhaps creates a new relationship, that of Agape/Thanatos.

The beginning is like a bizarre surrealist horror movie. A woman desperately runs around the house while a man lays dying in his bed--did she kill him, or what happened? Soon that tension is dissolved as a doctor arrives and pronounces him dead, but from there a newer, stranger drama begins: the man wakes up, and after being dead the woman and man fall in love to actually quite tragic consequences. Meanwhile, their friends, who are both priests, watch on and submit their own debate into the nature of love, faith, and devotion.

Resnais always seems to have some device to make these sorts of narratives work, and what's so amazing about his films is that those devices always work. In this case, Resnais intercuts the scenes with shots of snow falling to an arousing orchestral score, which fades off and bleeds into the subsequent shots that continue the story. Trapped in this elegiac aside periodically, the film develops a rhythm not too unlike an epic poem, and I got strange flashbacks to Dante's Divine Comedy from this one, despite the lack of direct reference within the movie. Resnais is known as a very poetic filmmaker but this extends past just the cinepoem structure to something that forces a degree of introspection in the viewer, which has the possibility to bring to surface some odd recollections. Memory-narrative, Resnais creates.


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