Arguably the single most important director to emerge from the French New Wave, Alain Resnais fed his early imagination a varied diet of popular movies, pulp fiction, Proust, Katherine Mansfield and comic books, retaining throughout his career the ability to bridge the gap between high and low culture in his films. He began making 16mm documentary "art" shorts in the late 1940s, visiting the works of Hans Hartnung, Felix Labisse, Henri Goetz and Max Ernst, among others, but it was his more ambitious "Van Gogh" (1948) which finally succeeded in truly drawing the observer into the artist's world. The film impressed producer Pierre Braunberger sufficiently that he requested Resnais film a 35mm version which earned the 1949 Best Short Subject Oscar. With "Guernica" (1950), a short directed in collaboration with Robert Hessen, the former editor took his filmmaking one step farther, employing the montage techniques he had gradually been mastering to create a passionate protest against war that is at the same time an affirmation of faith in humanity and the possibility of love. The director's subsequent move into feature films was equally acclaimed, resulting in some of the most powerful and emotionally resonant films of their time. Considered an auteur despite his reliance on collaborating screenwriters, Resnais consistently adhered to strategies of fragmented point-of-view and multiple temporality and has significantly advanced film's ability to express the vagaries of the human mind.