by Douglas Messerli
Jean Gruault (writer), featuring the writings of Henri Laborit, Alain Resnais (director) Mon oncle d'Amérique (My American Uncle) / 1980
Resnais' My American Uncle is often described as a "didactic" film, since it features the theories of French physician, writer, and philosopher Henri Laborit, who is interviewed from time to time throughout the film by the director himself. Yet, I would prefer to call it a film "structured" around psychological and philosophical ideas in the sense that Resnais' characters are not so much examples of Laborit's ideas, but are closer to living experiments of his theories in the manner that Resnais himself, at one point in the film, comically suggests: as human rats.
Los Angeles, March 21, 2010