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LAST YEAR IN MARIENBAD

Director: ALAIN RESNAIS

94 minutes| France-Italy| 1961| Subtitled| Black and White| D-Cinema


RE-RELEASE EXCLUSIVELY AT IFI

To read screenwriter Alain Robbe-Grillet’s account, nothing could seem simpler: ‘a communication between a man X and a woman A, one making a suggestion, the other resisting, and the two finally united.’ Yet Marienbad remains the cinema’s ultimate puzzle that continues to enchant and enrage. Did X (Giorgio Albertazzi) meet A (Delphine Seyrig) last year, as he insists and she denies? Is the setting a palace or a sanatorium? Is M (Sacha Pitoëff) the husband of A, and is the mysterious ‘match-game’ he plays a metaphor for the film – a game you can never quite decipher? Director Resnais’ advice was to go with the flow: don’t seek a conventional narrative but live the film with the characters in their time and feel it as a mood-piece about frustration, longing, and the labyrinthine desires of the human heart. Once you have stalked the corridors of Marienbad, cinema is never quite the same again: it is a film that walks straight into your dreams. (Notes by Neil Sinyard).

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