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Tuesday, Aug. 27: "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!"

The Grand Cinema

Director Alain Resnais designed a movie that celebrates his actors: their varying ages, their versatility, their heart.

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French filmmakers' influence in shaping the world of cinema can't be overstated, and any effort to adequately convey the fullness of that influence within the limits of this article would fall far short. You'll just have to trust me when I say that it is a treat to review You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!, the latest from director Alain Resnais. Resnais, 91, began his directorial career shortly after the Liberation of Paris from the Nazis, so to say he has played a bit of a role in French cinema over the years is putting it mildly.

The film opens with the sudden death of (fictional) playwright Antoine d'Anthac, (Denis Podalydès).  A cavalcade of legendary French actors, (playing themselves), are summoned to d'Anthac's home for the reading of his will.  Via a prerecorded statement, d'Anthac asks that this his colleagues evaluate an experimental theater company's taped performance of his play Eurydice, a play in which each actor in attendance performed a role at some point in their career.  However, as the viewing progresses, the actors find themselves slipping back into the roles they played years earlier, reenacting scenes from the play as they unfold onscreen.  In some cases, actors who played the same role in different productions of the play decades apart from one another reenact identical scenes, but their individual idiosyncrasies make both performances unique and equally valid. Things take a turn for the dreamlike when the viewing room gradually transforms into stage sets to fit the scenes being performed and the actors in the viewing room give pointers to the actors onscreen, and the onscreen actors answer them, but their performances are so captivating, you just don't question it.

Read Jared Lovrak's full review of You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet! in the Music and Culture section.

YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET!, 2 and 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27, The Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma, $4.50-$9, 253.593.4474

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