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Joey Wellman, an American cartoonist from Cleveland now largely forgotten at home, visits France with his partner Lena to attend an exhibition in Paris about the comic strip (bande dessinée) which features his work. He also hopes to be reconciled with his daughter Elsie who has been a student in Paris for two years, in flight from the American culture of which she sees her father as a typical example. Elsie is naively infatuated with French literature, and is trying to secure an introduction to the brilliant university professor Christian Gauthier, an expert on Flaubert but also an enthusiast for comic books. The meeting of father and daughter goes badly, but Elsie is persuaded to join Joey and Lena for the weekend at the country house of Gauthier's mother, Isabelle. During a comic-themed masquerade party, all of the characters are made to reconsider their present and past relationships.
Source : Wikipedia
The project initially arose from Resnais's admiration for the plays of the American writer and illustrator Jules Feiffer. Although there was originally no intention of highlighting the comic-strip, Feiffer suggested using the character of a comic illustrator as the means of exploring American and French attitudes towards the appreciation of cartoons and comic-books. This appealed to Resnais's own longstanding enthusiasm for comic-strips, and allowed him to develop a film that was dense with references to cartoon characters and their creators. (Animated characters often appear within the frame to converse with one of the live-actors.) Resnais was also fascinated by the question of whether people could appreciate comics on the same level as a literary work such as one by Flaubert.
Another source of reference was American musical comedy, underlined by the casting in the central role of Adolph Green, writer of classic musicals such as On the Town, Singin' in the Rain, and The Bandwagon, and by the choice of John Kander, composer of Cabaret and Chicago, to provide the musical score.
The film was made predominantly in English. A dubbed French version was subsequently created (without Resnais's participation).
Source : Wikipedia.