Alain Resnais

Muriel, or The Time of Return

Muriel, or The Time of Return

Alain Resnais’s Muriel, or The Time of Return, the director’s follow-up to Last Year at Marienbad, is as radical a reflection on the nature of time and memory as its predecessor. The always luminous Delphine Seyrig stars as an antique shop owner and widow in Boulogne-sur-Mer, whose past comes back to haunt her when a former lover reenters her life. Meanwhile, her stepson is tormented by his own ghosts, related to his service in France’s recently ended war in Algeria. Featuring a multilayered script by Jean Cayrol and inventively edited to evoke its middle-class characters’ political and personal realities, the fragmented, emotionally powerful Muriel reminds viewers that the past is always present.

Film Info

  • Alain Resnais
  • France
  • 1963
  • 116 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • French
  • Spine #824

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Excerpt from the 1980 documentary Une approche d’Alain Resnais, révolutionnaire discret
  • Excerpt from a 1969 interview with actor Delphine Seyrig
  • Interview with composer Hans Werner Henze from 1963
  • New interview with film scholar François Thomas, author of L’atelier d’Alain Resnais
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar James Quandt
    New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Excerpt from the 1980 documentary Une approche d’Alain Resnais, révolutionnaire discret
  • Excerpt from a 1969 interview with actor Delphine Seyrig
  • Interview with composer Hans Werner Henze from 1963
  • New interview with film scholar François Thomas, author of L’atelier d’Alain Resnais
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar James Quandt
    New cover by Eric Skillman

Muriel, or The Time of Return
Cast
Delphine Seyrig
Hélène Aughain
Jean-Pierre Kérien
Alphonse Noyard
Nita Klein
Françoise
Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée
Bernard
Claude Sainval
Roland de Smoke
Laurence Badie
Claudie
Jean Champion
Ernest
Philippe Laudenbach
Robert
Martine Vatel
Marie-Do
Jean Dasté
Man with the goat
Credits
Director
Alain Resnais
Producer
Anatole Dauman
Screenplay
Jean Cayrol
Cinematography
Sacha Vierny
Art direction
Jacques Saulnier
Sound
Antoine Bonfanti
Editors
Kenout Peltier
Editors
Eric Pluet
Production manager
Philippe Dussart
Music
Hans Werner Henze
Singer
Rita Streich
“Déjà” by
Paul Colline
“Déjà” by
Paul Maye

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A Scorsese Interview, Fire Walk With Me on Vinyl, Kodak Brings Back Ektachrome!

With Alain Resnais’s Muriel, or The Time of Return now streaming on FilmStruck, Leo Robson explores how this radical meditation on memory “invites broader questions about what happens when we return to a movie: Is rewatching a compliment or a bet…

On Film / Short Takes
Jan 6, 2017
Muriel, or The Time of Return: Ashes of Time
Muriel, or The Time of Return: Ashes of Time

Time is both inescapable and irretrievable in Alain Resnais’s boldly disorienting masterpiece, which stars Delphine Seyrig as a widow haunted by her memories of World War II.


By James Quandt

On Film / Essays — Jul 19, 2016

Explore

Delphine Seyrig

Actor

Thanks to the two most famous roles of her career—the enigmatic woman referred to only as A in Alain Resnais’ _Last Year at Marienbad_ and the middle-aged widow stuck in domestic routine in Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles—Delphine Seyrig is often thought of as an inscrutable performer. But this versatile French actress was also capable of great emotional immediacy and openness in her roles. The daughter of an archaeologist, Seyrig was a cosmopolite at a young age, having already lived in Lebanon, New York, and the south of France by the time she was twenty. She then studied acting in both France and the United States (at the Actors Studio). Her first screen performance was in the 1958 beat generation short Pull My Daisy, also featuring Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsberg, shot in New York. A few years later, Last Year at Marienbad—in which Seyrig plays a woman wandering the fever-dream-like interior of a château, where she may or may not have been before—made her an icon of the French New Wave. She would go on appear in films by François Truffaut (Stolen Kisses, one of her most romantic parts), William Klein (she was never more delightfully off-kilter than in the satiric Mr. Freedom), Luis Buñuel (as the ever-gracious hostess in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie), Joseph Losey, Jacques Demy, Akerman, and other important film directors of the sixties and seventies. She died in 1990, at fifty-eight.