Je t’aime, je t’aime

image from the film Je t’aime, je t’aime

image from the film JE T'AIME, JE T'AIME

Je t'aime je t'aime is a haunting tale of romantic obsession and time travel, a traumatic break-up caught in an endless loop. It is science fiction as only Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad) could have made.

Claude Ridder is recovering from a failed suicide attempt after the collapse of his relationship with Catrine. Given his apparent indifference to life, he is approached by an obscure scientific lab, who see in him the perfect participant for the potentially dangerous human trials of a new time travel device. This test is meant to last only one minute, but the machine goes haywire, and Ridder gets caught in a never-ending series of temporal leaps, re-living his tragic life out of sequence. A major influence on Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

“Resnais shows no concern for a hierarchy of importance here, instead granting every moment equal weight—from the lingering warmth of a lover’s skin to the fleeting craving for salted cucumbers. The result is a disarming cumulative ache that sneaks up on you in much the same way that life does.” (Film Comment)

“A puzzle movie with pieces deliberately withheld, Je t'aime je t'aime is less a problem to be solved than an experience to sink into, as Ridder fatally luxuriates in a time machine that's both womb and tomb.” (Sight & Sound)

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