Alain Resnais, at 86 the grand old man of French cinema, was Sunday awarded a special prize for his half-century career at the Cannes film festival.
The onetime "New Wave" icon returned to Cannes this year with the surreal-tinged romantic comedy "Wild Grasses", 50 years after he raised a storm with his arthouse hit "Hiroshima Mon Amour".
About to turn 87, the author of such films as "Night and Fog" in 1955 or "Last Year at Marienbad" in 1961, Resnais said last week he plans to stay behind a camera, though he hasn't yet decided on the subject of his next film.
"I'm too lazy by nature to set myself goals," Resnais said ahead of the screening of his latest movie, which is adapted from a novel by French writer Christian Gailly.
"I allow my films to grow, rather like these wild grasses in the film."
"Wild Grasses", his first movie to compete at Cannes in almost 30 years, is the story of a man and woman in their 50s who embark on a romantic catch-me-if-you-can after he finds her lost wallet.
Played by a classic couple of French comedy, Sabine Azema and Andre Dussolier, the film delighted critics for the light absurdity of its tone, full of witty dialogue and quirky situations.
Azema plays a dentist and amateur pilot, coiffed with a shock of red hair, whose picture proves strangely entrancing to Dussolier's character, a cranky pensioner, when he stumbles upon her wallet in a car park.