[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

Last Year at Marienbad (1961) - Alain Resnais

Related: art films - experiments with cinematic time - Anatole Dauman - Delphine Seyrig - Alain Renais - 1961 - surrealism film - Nouvelle Vague films - unreliable narrators - Alain-Robbe Grillet - French cinema

Last Year at Marienbad (1961) - Alain Resnais

From interviews, it appears that Resnais and Robbe-Grillet consciously designed Last Year at Marienbad to accommodate a multiplicity of equally plausible interpretations. But the temptation to interpret Marienbad should be resisted. What matters in Marienbad is the pure, untranslatable, sensuous immediacy of some of its images, and its rigorous if narrow solutions to certain problems of cinematic form. --Against Interpretation and Other Essays (1966) - Susan Sontag

Hailed as a triumph of the modernist aesthetic, the film is formally severe and utterly modernist. Its characters are nameless and locked in a zone of their own, a zone that may not even be of this world. At a baroque resort, an unnamed man "X" tries to convince an unnamed woman "A" that they had an affair last year and agreed to meet at the resort and leave her current paramour "M". She doesn't remember him at all, but what he tells her has the power to create a past for her and to blend it into her present. They are all caught up in a surreal loop of disjointed time. --Thomas Beltzer, 2000 via http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/00/10/marienbad.html


  • Last Year at Marienbad (1961) - Alain Resnais [Amazon.com]
    One of the most ferociously iconoclastic and experimental films of the French New Wave, Alain Resnais's 1961 feature, winner of the grand prize at that year's Venice Film Festival, is based on a script by Alain Robbe-Grillet --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

    L'année dernière à Marienbad (English title: Last Year at Marienbad) is a 1961 French movie directed by Alain Resnais, starring Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff. It is famous for its enigmatic narrative structure, in which truth and fiction are difficult to distinguish, and the exact temporal and spatial relationship of the events is open to question.

    The film was nominated for the 1963 Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay (Alain Robbe-Grillet), and it won the Golden Lion at the 1961 Venice Film Festival.

    In some of the movie's most memorable sequences, characters engage in a version of the game Nim.

    Marienbad is a town in the Czech Republic, but the movie was actually filmed at the Nymphenburg palace, Munich, Germany. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Year_at_Marienbad [Dec 2004]

    Postmodern film theory [...]

    Alemany-Galway points out that formalism (Eisenstein), phenomenology (Bazin) and structuralism (Metz) have dictated the history of film theory. After interrogating each of these areas in turn she posits that it is through their interaction that the basis for a postmodern film theory can be developed. According to Alemany-Galway, the New French Novel is the turning point of postmodernism and Alain Resnais' Last Year in Marienbad is the first important poststructuralist/postmodern film. Alemany-Galway, in her final chapter, reiterates the importance of these three prongs by highlighting their influence on the ruminations of others about the postmodern film. --Dirk de Bruyn, http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/03/27/postmodern_cinema_canada.html [May 2004]

    your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

    Managed Hosting by NG Communications