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.
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…
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…
In my review for Eraserhead, I dismissed the idea of assigning a star rating to the film as reductive, and immediately wondered if the same stance applied to "Last Year at Marienbad" as well. "Marienbad" is a loose, slippery, meditative exploration of interaction and memory and famously looks like a Magritte painting with celluloid in place of oil.
However, "Marienbad" is very much a film, and it is the constant mastery and subversion of these very filmic techniques that give "Marienbad" the hypnotizing effect that drew me in. It is a powerful orchestration between bold optical movements and tricks and jarring cutting that makes you feel relaxed and dozy but then jolting you to attention. Shot with quick dolly movements,…
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…
Not sure of what I saw but I knew it was something I hadn't seen before.
Watching this Enigmatic Art-house classic is like sleepwalking through a foggy maze, ghostly, darkly.
Striking, floaty cinematography, clever use of repetition and the ambiguous and non-linear narrative structure make this film a wonderful, entrancing movie, and once it finished it feels like you have just snapped from a dream.
This film feels like exactly what people imagine when hearing the word 'arthouse', and it really does feel like a perfect example of films doing something completely different and resulting in something wonderful.
It is relatively simple to isolate the techniques Alain Resnais uses in this dream-like story of a man and a woman who meet in an opulent hotel. More complicated is the task of synthesizing these techniques and coming to an understanding of the film's themes. I'll begin by focusing on the first task.
Resnais does nearly everything possible to disrupt the audience's viewing experience, trying to shock them out of the complacency that settles so easily over a watcher. Apparent continuity errors are abundant. Costumes change from shot to shot, as do locations. At one point, the couple is walking towards the chateau, and after the next cut they are further into the garden. Resnais sometimes chooses to repeat actions.…
Visually is one of the best things I've watched, but I'm not completely sure if this is a pretentious piece of void or an avant garde experiment on puzzle film making.
What the hell do I know.
I'll watch it next year. See what happens.
The best interpretation I've ever heard about this movie was by someone who wasn't sure if they'd seen it.
Stunningly beautiful, staggeringly difficult.