Brainy French director Alain Resnais made waves early in the Nouvelle Vague with Night and Fog (1956), Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), and Last Year at Marienbad (1961). Four of his later films?now on DVD?make a quieter splash.
Life Is a Bed of Roses (1983)
In this whimsical fable, Resnais deftly interweaves three story lines: the creation of an early-20th-century utopia; romantic high jinks at a school conference; and a fantasy sparked by F/X pioneer Georges Méliès. Trippy but more frosting than cake. B
Love Unto Death (1984)
An archeologist (Pierre Arditi) suddenly dies and miraculously revives, only to become obsessed with mortality. Resnais intercuts this poetic meditation on loss with image-free interludes and ethereal shots of falling snow that suggest the beyond. A-
For the first 20 minutes, a married couple (Sabine Azéma and Arditi) exchange banal pleasantries with their dinner guest (André Dussollier). The initial, intentional staginess subtly shifts into a riveting, beautifully constructed melodrama about infidelity. A-
I Want to Go Home (1989)
Co-written by Jules Feiffer, scored by John Kander (Chicago), and featuring Alice star Linda Lavin and Gérard Depardieu. Sounds crazeee, non? This odd dramedy about a cartoonist (Adolph Green) feted by a scholar (Depardieu) is unbearable. D+