As the staged version progresses on and off camera, Jean-Noël Brouté and then Azéma and Ardit (see below), stand to deliver their dialogue for their seated brethren. The latter two, Antoine's first Eurydice and Orpheé, accordingly turn to face one another as their intimate conversation continues - even as the rest of the room persists in watching the (now off-screen) televised version. As director Alain Resnais stages his two frequent collaborators on either edge of his CinemaScope frame - Azéma has been married to the director since 1998 - Mark Snow's orchestral score provides minor-key support for the suddenly emergent feeling emanating from the former legit leads. With Resnais and cinematographer Eric Gautier's camera finding the film's other Eurydice, Consigny's Orpheé, Lambert Wilson, rises from his former rear-ground position to join the whispering actress for a tender, face-to-face exchange. You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet (Vous n'avez encore rien vu, 2012), in other words, hastens to divide into its two previous casts, which is to say, into the two worlds of experience that animate the thespians' responses to the filmed play-within-the-film.
Free in its employment of artifice (see also the expressionistic, Oliveiraesque swirling doorway set-piece that greets each of the villa's visitors) and in its willingness to open itself up to contradiction, You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet is a work of advanced age in the best sense - and one, much unlike the substantially younger Michael Haneke's parasitic Amour (2012), which never succumbs to an act of loathing or pity for the experience. Though his actors are now past the ages of the characters they are portray, the spontaneous joy with which they throw themselves into their performances makes for a very different (and much richer) experience of encroaching mortality than Haneke's unsparing Palme d'Or. Of course, Resnais's semi-biographical 2012 Cannes debut - the filmmaker first attended Jean Anouilh's Eurydice seventy years ago and has been involved in around twenty of the source playwright's productions - is much more about life, and especially a life consumed by a passion for art, than it is death. Few subjects could be more appropriate to what is almost certain to prove one of the final masterstrokes of the nouvelle vague.
I would like to thank my viewing companion (and fellow Resnais lover) Lisa K. Broad for her significant contributions to this piece. Kino Lorber is doing the essential work of distributing the film in the United States. Upcoming dates include a July 24th screening at the Durango 9 in Durango, Colorado and July 26-27th screenings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.