Kino Lorber Inc., the esteemed distribution company known for its selective library of classic and art house films, acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Alain Resnais’s final film Life of Riley (Aimer, Boire et Chanter in its French title, which actually translates to “Love, Drink and Sing”). Kino Lorber hasn’t announced firm release plans yet, but said it intends to show the at festivals through the early fall followed by a theatrical run, beginning with a New York release.
Director Alain Resnais died earlier this year at the age of 91, but completed Life of Riley prior to his passing. Resnais’s filmmaking career spanned over 70 years – even beyond his French contemporary Jean-Luc Godard – and included landmark classics such as Night and Fog, Hiroshima mon Amour, and Last Year at Marienbad. He died March 1 at the age of 91.
Ironically, the film involves two friends who learn that their colleague, George, is fatally ill and only has a short time to live, but as the trailer (below) reveals, Resnais’s final endeavor seems more lighthearted than the synopsis suggests. The film recently won the Competition Prize of the FIPRESCI Jury and the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize “for a feature film that opens new perspectives” at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Richard Lorber, CEO of Kino Lorber, expressed his bittersweet feelings of the acquisition:
Though we were deeply saddened by the sudden death of the great Alain Resnais, Kino Lorber is greatly honored to be able to bring to U.S. audiences his delightful and ebullient final work…as fresh in vision and ideas as the best work of his youth…this Life of Riley, whether we call it that, or something closer to its French title, truly leaves us with deep affection, a glass raised and a cherished melody…we will love, drink and sing to his memory with our planned release of Aimer, Boire et Chanter…
Kino Lorber also released Resnais’s previous film You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Vous n’avez encore rien vu) last year and just recently acquired the rights to The Great Museum.