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L'Année Dernière à Marienbad

Last Year at Marienbad

France/Italy 1961
produced by
Pierre Courau, Raymond Froment for Cocinor, Terra-Film, Cormoran Film, Precitel, Como Film, Argos-Films, les Films Tamara, Cinétel, Silver Films, Cineriz
directed by Alain Resnais
starring Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoeff, Francoise Bertin, Luce Garcia-Ville, Héléna Kornel, Francoise Spira, Karin Toche-Mittler, Pierre Barbaud, Wilhelm von Deek, Jean Lanier, Gérard Lorin, Davide Montemuri, Gilles Quéant, Gabriel Werner
written by Alain Robbe-Grillet, music by Francis Seyrig

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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At a posh hotel, a man (Giorgio Albertazzi) spots a woman (Delphine Seyrig), who he thinks was his holiday romance at a similar hotel, last year at Marienbad. She strongly denies that and asks him to leave her alone repeatedly, but he tells her the whole story of their romance nevertheless, how they met under some statues for the first time, and she saw to it that they bumped into in numerous times every day afterwards, and when she asked him to stay away from her, he knew that she only did that to calm her escort (Sacha Pitoeff), who might or might not be her husband.

Eventually, the man felt encouraged by the woman to follow her to her room and rape her while her escort was out. Upon his return, the escort misjudged the situation and shot the woman dead out of jealousy ...

But no, the man interrupts himself, this is not how the story went - even though the woman starts to remember, which would mean she is dead by now - and he tells the story how he and the woman finally ran off together ...

 

Even though in writing the plot of this film sounds incredibly thin, it's also a plot that totally defies interpretation, because it could mean all and nothing, it could mean that all of the involved are ghosts condemned to relive their past again and again, it could be his or her afterlife, it could be a mere nightmare, or a romantic fantasy, and it could be a hundred other things as well. The direction of the film perfectly mirrors the otherworldly aspects of the script: Settings and outfits often inexplicably change during scenes without interrupting theactual goings-on in the slightest, even the two temporal levels seem interchangeable every now and again (and seem to shift during scenes, semingly pointless sequences are repeated again and again in different contexts as are chunks of dialogue, extras and even key players often freeze in scenes when they are not needed, as if the whole thing was a photo novel, the actors movements often seem artificially as if they are just marionets caught in their own story, the sets seem a bit too controlled and composed to appear as natural, and every now and again, the organ filmscore blocks out all dialogue, even during key scenes. This all leads to a film experience that's pretty much one of its kind, something completely out of the world that's as weird as it's fascinating, and that's simply put a masterpiece.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD