Muriel (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Muriel (French:Muriel ou le temps d'un retour, literally Muriel, or the Time of Return) is a 1963 film by French film director Alain Resnais. Muriel followed Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and Last Year at Marienbad (1961) and was Resnais' second collaboration with Jean Cayrol, who had also written the screenplay of Night and Fog (1955).



Delphine Seyrig plays Hélène, a widow who runs an antique business from her own apartment in Boulogne-sur-Mer. She is suddenly paid visit by a past lover (Jean-Pierre Kérien). Bernard (Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée) plays the role of her stepson tormented by the memory of a girl named Muriel whom he had participated in torturing in Algeria.

Style and aesthetic

Like his previous works, Resnais once again explores past, present and memory, though this time he uses a linear narrative. Muriel's montage is strongly characterized by jump cuts, a style that is introduced early on during the first scene. The film is also punctuated by a recurrent female vocal sung in an operatic manner. Predominant is the idea that one can never fully know the people to whom they are even intimately close, as each person is a world of their own. Although the film does not take place in Algeria, it is a traumatic memory that affects Bernard's ability to carry on with his life normally.


Delphine Seyrig won a Volpi Cup for best actress at the 1963 Venice Film Festival. The film was nominated for a Golden Lion.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Muriel (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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