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.
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…
It's nice to know that if I ever have troubles sleeping, I can just flick up "Last Year at Marienbad" and get carried away to the lands of dream and salvation in less than 30 minutes.
Such a beautiful film deserves to be loved. It has a surrealistic, complex narrative that weaves reality and dream into one. The atmosphere is tense and unnerving with the dark, oppressive hotel and the haunting tones of the organ constantly evoking ominous undertones. It's such a well-made film in so many ways, that I just can't fathom why it shits the bed so hard.
"Last Year at Marienbad" falls completely apart because of the incredible tedious and boring storytelling. The main characters are lifeless…
'El año pasado en Marienbad' es la película enigma definitiva. Todo el conocimiento que se desprende del relato es parcial, semioculto tras capas y capas de no se sabe bien qué. Inasible más allá de la sensación; imposible de definirse entre el sueño, la pura fantasía, el delirio, el metacine. Él (el hombre, X) no puede dejar de narrar y narrar(se), pero su relato topa con la falta de memoria, de referencias, incluso con la pura incomprensión, de ella (la mujer, A). Como si la película tuviera una lógica onírica que no puede verbalizarse, como un sueño que tiene todo el sentido en el mundo onírico pero que lo pierde cuando se intenta poner en palabras.
Puro ‘fantastique’, la película…
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 definitely need to watch this again before I can determine what I think of it and form an actual opinion on it.
One of my all-time favourites.
An almost totally opaque story, full of confusing misdirection, and maddening in its art-house pretentiousness. The film was made somewhat tolerable by the incredible beauty of its cast and setting, but man this was a hard one to get through.
Well then. This is, without a doubt, the single most French film I’ve ever seen, and I don’t mean that in a good way. This is the film that terrifies people who think they don’t like foreign films. It’s full of all the staples of pointless art films; the complete lack of a narrative story, the absurd stilted dialogue, the confusing flashbacks and flash forwards. This is a film that can not be parodied, as it’s already the logical extreme…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Quite possibly one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen paired with one of the most pretentious and boring screenplays I've ever seen.
Don't feel cheated of this particular film. Yes, some would perceive differently than others. And that's the main intention of cinema. It is meant to bewildering you. It leaves the viewer perplexed in order to work by himself so one can fully understand it. "Last Year at Marienbad" is a film that perplexes you at first, thanks to Resnai's delivery as well as it's love-triangle story. And yes, I deny any involvement of surrealism in this film. Masterpiece.
Bueno, qué podría decir de esto. Simplemente es una genialidad que a primera como con Hiroshima mon amour no quisiera arriesgarme a darle un mayor rating (que con ambas estoy seguro se lo merecen) no antes de volverla ver y es debido a Alain Resnais se encargó de mostrar algo totalmente distinto en estas dos películas, algo que nunca antes se haya podido ver con tan increíbles aspectos técnicos, que es sin duda lo que hipnotizan de sus películas: Su puesta en escena magistral, las tomas y la fotografía hacen de Last Year at Marienbad una experiencia surrealista única que todos deberían ver.
"Nunca parecías estar esperándome, pero nos volvíamos a encontrar, una y otra vez..."
Whether you think it's the perfect film or a bunch of incoherent nonsense, we can agree that "Last Year at Marienbad" is the favorite film of your most pretentious friends.
I fall in-between, hence a middle of the road rating. This is a terrific looking film, like the artsiest episode of "The Twilight Zone." But while I love so-called "puzzle box movies" that tell twisted and out of sequence stories, "Marienbad" isn't really one of them because there isn't a story. There is no puzzle, there is no solution. The filmmakers themselves aren't sure of the story's "why" and have stated there isn't any. That's not a puzzle, that's entropy.
And maybe you like entropy in your cinema. Maybe you…
I've been dreaming this before I saw it for such a long time. But not just like this -- the trappings of the place may vary. But endless corridors, endless time, endless rooms, over and over, a memory or image suspended that can never be completed. Then sleep. The image again. And again. The garden on the edge of the world, of time. Talking endlessly, never arriving, walking endlessly. The vast architecture, the source of my dreams, where I have been forever wandering without knowing it. I am always returning.
The sublimest terror I've ever felt at the scream in the night. It wakes me to this dream again. I've heard it before.
The image, suspended. Always, again there in the stillness of eternal midnight, whispers. It knows the language of my deepest dreams.
How could it possibly know?
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Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!