SAME OLD SONG (1997) [Feature]

France (MIFF 1998 , East of Broadway)
Director: Alain Resnais

Simon is secretly in love with Camille, but Camille has fallen for Marc. Marc is Simon's boss, and he's trying to sell an apartment to Odile, Camille's sister. Odile is determined to buy the apartment, despite silent disapproval from her husband, Claude. Claude looks unfavourably on Nicolas, who is Odile's old friend and Simon's confidant. Confused? Well, there's only one way to undo this tangle of love - song.

Contrary to the title, Same Old Song is as fresh as any of veteran filmmaker Alain Resnais' classic works. Resnais teamed with Agnés Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri, co-writers of Renais's Smoking and No Smoking (both 1993), and found inspiration in the work of Dennis Potter. The British screenwriter is most well known for his television series including Pennies from Heaven (1979) and The Singing Detective (1986). As Renais's says, "I showed them (Jaoui and Bacri) extracts from his TV-films. In some of them, the characters regularly lip-synch to popular songs. Gradually, the online of the film came into shape. The challenge was how not to copy Potter, given my passion for his work".

Armed with popular tunes from the likes of Maurice Chevalier and Johnny Halliday, Renais' characters ride out every storm with musical style. This is more than a Hollywood musical in France. Same Old Song is a thoroughly delightful romance, perfect from the first note to the last.

Born in 1922, Alain Resnais studied acting and attended the Institute des Haute Etudes Cinematographiques in Paris. His first feature film, Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959) launched an extensive and acclaimed film career including Last Year in Marienbad (1961), Muriel (1963), Je T'Aime Je T'Aime (1968) and Life is a Bed of Roses (1983). Resnais has often worked with avant garde writers such as Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet and Jean Cayrol.

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