Considered by many to be Renais' magnum opus L'Ann''e Derni''re '' Marienbad is a work of fantasy and experiment in line with the French New Wave films of the 50's and 60's. Renais and co-writer Alain Robbe-Grillet seem less concerned with the conventional use of character and more interested in the intellectual preoccupations of man. The film consists of a series of memories from a man holidaying at an enchanting European hotel. When a woman seems not to recognize him he reveals that they had spent some time together the year before and that now he has come for her.... However the presence of another man in the hotel complicates matters... [show more]
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Widely considered to be one of the masterpieces of the French New Wave, this existentialist fantasy tale is the result of a collaboration between director Alain Resnais and French novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet. In a luxury hotel somewhere in Europe, an unnamed man (Giorgio Albertazzi) attempts to persuade one of his fellow guests, a similarly unnamed married woman (Delphine Seyrig), that they have not only previously met, but that they had an affair and made plans to elope together. The woman, however, does not appear to recognise him, and so begins a cinematic puzzle that questions the very nature of truth and narrative.
In Alain Resnais's masterwork, L'ANNEE DERNIERE A MARIENBAD, each fantasy laden, heavily dramatised, aesthetically perfected scene is dictated by the memories of a man (Giorgio Albertazzi), who is one of many elegant, aristocratic guests vacationing at the enchanting resort, Marienbad. Because the story consists of foggy memories that may or may not be accurate, the film unrolls like a repetitious dream. In the opening sequences, the man describes the immensity and silence of the lavishly decorated baroque hotel as the camera roams its empty hallways. Soon after, the hotel guests appear, assembled for a theatre production inside the hotel. Like the actors in the play, the characters in the film make it obvious that they are also playing established roles and reciting lines. Sometimes they simply pose as the camera passes over them, while at other times, they stand like statues, trying to remember what happened last year. They amuse themselves with parlour games, ballroom waltzes, target practice in the shooting gallery, and strolls through the garden. Meanwhile, the man establishes the abstract plot about a love affair he began last year with a woman (Delphine Seyrig), reconstructed from his partial memories. She remembers nothing of the affair, not even the man's name. In fact, most of the guests cannot even recall the year in which these things might have happened--was it 1928 or 29