Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hiroshima Mon Amour, Part 3

By now, the third problem of “Hiroshima, mon amour” should be obvious, namely, the timelessness of these memories.  Nevers and Hiroshima are memories which are invoked, we might presume, in the present narrative of two lovers about to be separated.  Nevers and Hiroshima are the past and the film unfolds in the present—the future foretells their separation.  But this film disrupts the order which time brings.  Typically, time is the condition of experience, what gives it the semblance of sense and reason.  But we see the future impinges upon the present,
as their separation makes their love tragic; the future makes the present an illusion.  Also, we see, when he becomes the lost German lover, that this loss leads to the possibility that he, in Hiroshima, can be her lover.  The present returns to the past and witnesses how the present nearly never was.  But only this future, this impossibility, allows him to return to her past with her, in the present.

She recalls the moment where she discovered the German lover’s body.  She laid on top of him until he died, until the difference between hers and his bodies disappeared.  She follows him into death, but her death is the death of the mind, madness which is consuming, she recalls, to the point where one understands.  Her madness is an eternity, she says.  She has fallen out of the flow of linear time, discarded in the cellar for the shame she caused.  As well, the time in which the film occurs, this 24 hours of filmic time (90 minutes of our own), is an interruption in the flow of both of their lives (as well as ours), it is a break in the continuity of experience.  It is an opportunity for them to transcend the conditions of their lives: their jobs, their separate marriages.  This is a memory which will have to be forgotten.

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