Hiroshima Mon Amour ★★★★

Opens with sensuality and tragedy fused into something as emotionally raw as art gets, then digresses into a masterfully pure cinematic (but also verbally rich) exploration of not just the brief, stabbing pangs of a short-lived romance but the generalized human relationship with loss, memory and trauma. As in Last Year at Marienbad, with which it shares a hypnotic consciousness of the way the past lingers like a fog within physical spaces (indeed, this film is positioned almost perfectly as a narrative and stylistic halfway point between that subsequent triumph and the earlier Night and Fog), Resnais' avant garde textures are made easily communicative by the universal truths they express. It is dreamlike and probing but never confounding. And the longing betrayed by its two characters (though one naturally wishes for a broader window into Eiji Okada's inner life like the one we receive for Emmanuelle Riva) is many times as palpable, tragic and full of lived-in mystery as what we've given by so many more conventional love stories.