Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Last Year at Marienbad
In a sprawling baroque hotel, a man tries to persuade a married woman to leave her husband and run away with him. He reminds her of her promise when they met a year ago, at Marienbad, but the woman seems not to remember that meeting...
Self-indulgent cinema at its most beautiful. I wanted to love this because duh, but I hated it because also duh. It goes nowhere, it fails to create any kind of atmosphere, and the "nightmare" it portrayed was a pretty tame nightmare. I once had a nightmare where my penis turned into a snake and ate my butt. Make a movie about that.
Not a bad pick-up line.
Deconstructing cinema much in the way Bresson wanted to do but in more grand fashion. It is akin to the Dadaist art movement of anti-art, breaking the rules and destroying the notion of what we perceive as true art. Perhaps not fully to that extent but Resnais clearly experiments with the medium of cinema in a way majorly unaccepted and ironically it becomes the focal point of where the film's greatness lies.
Last Year at Marienbad begins with repetitive and poetic narration ominously filling the air of the long empty corridors and parlors it softly speaks of. In the first few opening scenes alone it is apparent Resnais is ready to deliver something entirely unique to the world of cinema.…
Warning: There might be spoilers ahead.
My first venture into Alain Resnais' filmography couldn’t possibly have left a better impression. As great as straight forward structures can be, it's films like Last Year at Marienbad that give cinema such a unique identity and the ability to tell a story in a way that no other medium can. I like ambiguous films, but it’s the experimental nature on top that really makes this a special piece of work. I don’t really know how to review a movie that often completely ignores typical movie conventions, instead I’m going to talk about observations I made regarding the content, style and what impression they left me with.
Last Year at Marienbad is a film…
The filmic style of Alain Resnais had the remarkable talent of completely staying away from the revolutionary cinematic movement denominated French New Wave and had the guts of literally playing with cinema and modifying its usual structural grammar. With Hiroshima mon Amour (1959), film that counted with the unparalleled brilliant contribution of acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Marguerite Duras, Resnais could offer a different perspective of a non-linear and poetical storytelling never seen in cinema before. His next true masterpiece called L'Année Dernière à Marienbad allowed him to perfect his style, not exactly resorting to surrealism in its purest form, but rather introducing a hypnotic cinematic subjectivity dependent on the viewer's own interpretation of the dreamlike sequences and events. Consciously or…
Whether being sleep-deprived had anything to do with it I'm not entirely sure, but something tells me I should've enjoyed Resnais' surreal, dreamlike Last Year at Marienbad a lot more than I did. It's without a doubt meticulously crafted and chock-full of innovation, a film with incredible visuals and a unique narrative that is guaranteed to leave you baffled. It's easy to see why it has garnered such a devoted following and I wish I could count myself in on it, but something felt missing in this otherwise excellent mind-bender. Maybe it's down to it being so emotionally distant and cold, but it never really clicked with me. It's one of those horrible moments in cinema of admiring the craft…
I'm all for surreal movies, but this was just way too abstract for me. I need more than gorgeous black-and-white cinematography to keep me engaged, and I just really couldn't enjoy this one. Well-made, but not for me.
Not a bad pick-up line.
Stunning location and sets and actors in beautiful b&w. Memory, mirrors, labyrinths, immortality, love, and the act of filming. Borges by way of Bioy-Casares. Solaris in French without the sci-fi, with a touch of Bunuel. A bit too loose and ambiguous for my taste.
Part of my 20 least favorite film viewing experiences list.
I've seen (and enjoyed) a lot of lengthy, poetic, pretentious, artsy nonsense in my time as a film obsessive. And a lot of it (The Mirror for instance) has turned me into nothing more than a pile of emotional goo. The problem with that type of film though is when they don't hit, they feel like your high school literature class. A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
That's how Last Year at Marienbad feels to me. It feels like Jay Sherman's student film from The Critic. It feels like I should be looking around the room to everyone else to explain what the heck they got out of…
*αν και σε αυτή την ταινία δεν υπάρχει rewatch αλλά κάθε φορά είναι ξεχωριστή
Αποδόμηση του σινεμά και ταυτόχρονη δημιουργία του από την αρχή. Δεν πρόκειται να υπάρξει κανείς όσες φορές και αν δει την ταινία που να ξέρει για αυτήν περισσότερα από τον Resnais τη στιγμή που τη γύρισε, και ακόμη και ο ίδιος αμφιβάλλω αν έφτασε ποτέ ξανά στα ίδια επίπεδα διαύγειας. Όσοι το είδαν το 1961 πρέπει να ένιωσαν κάπως σαν να βλέπεις σήμερα το Upstream Color. Αφαιρετικό σινεμά από το μέλλον που το νόημα χάνεται όταν προσπαθήσεις να εξηγήσεις τα πώς και τα γιατί, αλλά γίνεται once in a lifetime εμπειρία αν αφεθείς και το βιώσεις παρακάμπτοντας τη διαδικασία της κριτικής σκέψης. Το Marienbad είναι state…
What really happened last year at Marienbad? That is the question posed in Resnais' fascinating puzzle of a movie, a dazzling exploration of the subjective meanderings of human memory. Seyrig is sophisticated, composed and utterly charming in her role, a passive pawn in the game of persuasion being played by two men. And at the end of the film, the same question remains: what really happened last year at Marienbad?..
Encore. Two times today. Worth it.
A man and a woman, who may or may not have had an affair, meet at a hotel where he tries to force her to recollect the past year, while she tells him he is confusing her with someone else.
The surreal dreamlike atmosphere is heightened by the frequent non-linear temporal jumps and the slow zooms and tracking shots, which Resnais masterfully uses to create an aura of uncertainty, nostalgia, and hazy memories.
And RIP Alain Resnais.
RIP Alain Resnais
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