The premier of the restored version of Alain Resnais’ first feature film was held at the Cannes Classic Festival on May 20, with Emmanuelle Riva attending. Ms. Riva is well known for her role in Mr. Resnais’ 1959 classic. The restoration was the latest joint effort by the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage and the Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema, following joint restoration of films directed by Peter Brook, Jacques Demy, Pierre Etaix and Georges Méliès.
Hiroshima Mon Amour underwent a complete restoration, in 4K, in Bologna from Sept. 2012 to April 2013. The huge undertaking had two objectives: restoration of the film so that it could be widely screened and preservation of the original elements, including a film print, to ensure optimal conservation in an appropriate place. Only original film prints can ensure a work’s lasting existence, regardless of future digital technology evolution.
“Hiroshima Mon Amour is unlike other classic films, where the cinematography is the same throughout,” noted Renato Berta, Photography Director for Hiroshima and three other Resnais films. “The memory sequences filmed in France have nothing to do with the present-time sequences filmed in Japan,” said Berta, who supervised sampling, a critical element in the restoration process.
Cinema fans will be able to view the restored version of Hiroshima Mon Amour in many countries, including, after the July 17 opening in France, Italy during the second half of this year.