If cinema has its equivalents to the master modernists of music, painting, or literature, then one of the tradition's foremost practitioners is undoubtedly Alain Resnais - and "Muriel, ou le Temps d'un retour" represents one of his earliest, and greatest, triumphs. In Resnais' two preceding features, the master filmmaker pioneered new ways of representing inner reality and emotion; but with Muriel, he merged the vicissitudes of his characters' personal pasts, and married them to the traumas of the political present - namely, the French war in Algeria. The story of the middle-aged Helene, an antique dealer located in the provincial port-town of Boulogne-Sur-Mer, who resides amid her wares inside the same flat that serves as her business showroom. An old lover of Helene's comes to visit and soon takes up a more permanent residence within her life, despite the presence of a suspicious, tortured, and sexualised stepson who is haunted by a woman, a name, from his own past: "Muriel". Scripted by Jean Cayrol, the co-writer of Resnais' landmark early short film Night and Fog, Muriel is one of the great family films, and stands like a cinema landmark as one of the most complex and rewarding films of the 1960s.