Muriel or The Time of Return 1963 Criterion Collection
Resnais has said that Muriel's narrative is "…a film in facets, a film made of mosaics" and as such, reviewers has found summarizing the film a thankless, nearly impossible task. But some basic plot points: the film takes place in Boulogne-sur-Mer (a port city on the northern coast of France) and begins when, on a whim, an aging antiques dealer named Helene (Delphine Seyrig, Last Year at Marienbad) asks an old flame, Alphonse (Jean-Pierre Kerien) to come visit her for several days. Alphonse readily accepts the invitation, but much to Helene's surprise, he shows up accompanied by his niece, a beautiful, enigmatic young actress named Francoise (Nita Klein, Total Eclipse) who is later reveled to be his mistress.

What is intended as a happy reunion quickly sets itself up as an extremely messy domestic situation, particularly in light of the increasingly erratic behavior of Helene's stepson Bernard (Jean-Baptiste Thierree), who has recently returned to France upon finishing his military service in Algiers. As this quartet begins to interact with each other it becomes clear that all are playing games, each attempting to mask a secret from their past. Most of the film revolves around unraveling these secrets over a two-week period, and how it prevents the characters from connecting with each other, and perhaps most importantly, stops them from moving on with their lives.

Director: Alain Resnais
Cast: Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kerien, Nita Klein
Country: France, Italy
Genre: Drama


• Excerpt from the documentary "Une approche d’Alain Resnais, revolutionnaire discret". Jean Cayrol talks briefly about working with Resnais. (1980, 4:43)

• Excerpt from the French TV show. The great Delphine Seyrig discusses the differences between her characters from "Muriel" and from "Marienbad" (1969, 4:11)

• Excerpt from the French TV show "Discorama". Composer Hans Werner Henze discusses his strident, operatic score for the film. (1963, 4:18)

• New interview with film scholar Francois Thomas, author of L'atelier d'Alain Resnais. Thomas provides some historical context regarding the Algerian War and also discusses writer Jean Cayrol's collaboration with Resnais. (2016, 27:10)

• Trailer (3:55)

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:56:37 | 42.7 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English

DVD9 | NTSC 16:9 | 01:56:30 | 7.46 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English

Download Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour / Muriel, or The Time of Return (1963) DVD9 Criterion Collection:


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