John Francis Kreidl
Stavisky is the beginning film of Resnais' second period—a period forced into being by financial problems rather than artistic intent. It is his Touch of Evil, not in the sense of the closed structure of Orson Welles' film, but in the nature of its handling: like Welles', it suggests a "comeback," a nervous desire to make good and regain public attention. (pp. 172-73)
Stavisky makes perfectly clear that Resnais' love of comics is not "slumming" but one facet of his purism in style, a purism that can only allow itself to take ideas and building blocks from high art and from simplicity, and not from middlebrow culture or masscult love of one-dimensionality….
(The entire section is 1816 words.)