When I was in London earlier this month, I found out about the tribute season to Alan Resnais at the BFI (I wish I can live at the BFI!). The screening schedule included Last Year in Marienbad (L’Année dernière à Marienbad), which is also celebrating 50 years this year.
I could not pass the chance of watching this film which has been described as "there is, quite simply, no other movie like it". It does look sublime and yes, I can't think of another film like it. It's up to the viewer to decide what's real and what isn't. It was a pleasure to watch. So here's a little taster.
To know more about this film and Alan Resnais, I suggest you read this essay by Mark Polizzotti, "Last Year at Marienbad: Which Year at Where?".
Defining the words 'art film' for a generation, Marienbad is every bit as extraordinary today as when it was premiered in Venice, 50 years ago this August. The plot is banal and, as in Hiroshima, the characters have no names. X (Albertazzi) pursues A (Seyrig) through the endless corridors of a luxury hotel, trying to persuade her that they met last year, while M (Pitoëff), who may be A's husband, looks on. But, in the eternal present of Robbe-Grillet's screenplay, drenched in the organ score by Francis Seyrig (brother of Delphine), there can be no 'last year' (and probably no future either). Don't miss the chance to see this timeless masterpiece on the big screen, for which the inky blacks and flaring whites of Sacha Vierny's cinematography were made. There is, quite simply, no other movie like it.
Image via criterion.com