Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
From zombie mutants to psychological terrors, click here to check out SWITCH's reviews from this year's Fantastic Film Festival!x
review, Last Year at Marienbad, Last, Year, at, Marienbad, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff, Françoise Bertin, Luce Garcia-Ville, Alain Resnais

LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD

★★★★

A BLACK AND WHITE BLAST FROM THE PAST

ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Ashley Teresa
1st April 2019

Those who do not like their cinema challenging and ambiguous need not apply for ‘Last Year at Marienbad’; however, if you’re after an unforgettable experience that will keep you thinking as you try to piece together what you watched for days afterwards, this is the film for you.

First released in 1961 but remastered in association with fashion giant Chanel for the 75th Venice Film Festival (where it won the Golden Lion award upon its initial release), ‘Last Year at Marienbad’ does not have a clear plot, its characters remain virtually unnamed, and the idea of a logical, coherent narrative is thrown out the window. I went into the film with little to no idea of what I was getting myself into, and I personally think it enhanced my experience. As such, I will keep the outline of the films story as brief as possible, in the interest of allowing others the same experience: during their stay in a luxurious chateau which may or may not be the titular Marienbad, a man simply named X (Giorgio Albertazzi, ‘The Assassination of Trotsky’) tries to trigger the memories of a woman known as A (Delphine Seyrig, ‘Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels’), who may or may not remember him, as he recounts the times they may or may not have spent together at the hotel in the previous year. Still confused? Unsure if you can trust X as a reliable narrator? You’ll probably still be feeling the same after the house lights go back up.

'LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD' TRAILER

The film is presented in black and white and in the absence of colour, the film relies on slow tracking shots of the jaw-dropping architecture of the sets, the impending doom of the organ-heavy, almost horror-like score, creative editing, and lighting to help the film establish tone. All of these elements are executed impeccably, and at times the film has the energy of a moving art gallery curated by a madman. While it is not explicitly disclosed as the correct interpretation, the reading of the film as a supernatural ghost story is justified and supported by the film’s presentation. The geometric layout of the chateau’s gardens, the robotic ways in which the characters do and do not move through the spacious halls and rooms, and the card games they play together feels as if the characters are bored, they’re stuck, they’re waiting for an unknown thing, and it appears as a purgatory of sorts between life and death. Unsurprisingly, the film feels like a fever dream; from the very opening credits, the dialogue is repeated in a lyrical fashion, repeated in different locations and different times, marked by changes in costume.

‘Marienbad’ is a unique cinematic experience that invites viewers to roam its monolithic halls again and again, feeling like a new film every time.

Speaking of fashion, the film has made a name for itself in the fashion world as one of the best-costumed films of the 20th century; A floats along in various Chanel creations, mixtures of black and white lace, jewels and feathers that make her feel like an otherworldly creature; and the audience can see for themselves why X has coveted her ever since their apparent interactions last year.

The beauty and lasting effect of ‘Marienbad’ lies in its rewatch factor: like the recent Black Mirror episode ‘Bandersnatch’, which literally let its audience control its narrative and put the decisions of the characters in the viewers hands, ‘Marienbad’ encourages viewers to become active in their viewing experience, to think of the story from different angles (I do mean this in a literal sense; certain character movements are shown from different angles, one after the other, all perfect in their execution). It is up to the viewer to decide how invested they are in story, how they want the story to end. Unlike films with more clear narrative structure that benefit from repeat viewings for picking up on clever clues, dialogue and detail normally missed the first time, ‘Marienbad’ is a unique cinematic experience that invites viewers to roam its monolithic halls again and again, feeling like a new film every time.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 07/03/1962
RUN TIME: 1h 34m
CAST: Delphine Seyrig
Giorgio Albertazzi
Sacha Pitoëff
Françoise Bertin
Luce Garcia-Ville
DIRECTOR: Alain Resnais
PRODUCERS: Pierre Courau
Raymond Froment
Anatole Dauman
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Honeyland - Two-time Oscar-nominated film flies into Aussie cinemas
TRENDINGWIN HONEYLANDTwo-time Oscar-nominated film flies into Aussie cinemas
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
Guns Akimbo - Just like Harry Potter but with guns and more violence... not really
TRENDINGGUNS AKIMBOJust like Harry Potter but with guns and more violence... not really
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
The Professor and the Madman - Mel Gibson's dictionary origin story a dry read
TRENDINGTHE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMANMel Gibson's dictionary origin story a dry read
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
Fantastic Film Festival Australia 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGFANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL AUSTRALIA 2020The reviews
Honey Boy - Shia LaBeouf turns his darkest times into an artistic masterpiece
TRENDINGHONEY BOYShia LaBeouf turns his darkest times into an artistic masterpiece
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
Backtrack Boys - Heart-rending and inspiring
TRENDINGBACKTRACK BOYSHeart-rending and inspiring
Blue - A thought-provoking underwater journey
TRENDINGBLUEA thought-provoking underwater journey
Lion - A raw and powerful journey of identity
TRENDINGLIONA raw and powerful journey of identity
Zombi Child - A subtle riff on the zombie genre
TRENDINGZOMBI CHILDA subtle riff on the zombie genre
Midsommar - Ari Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
TRENDINGMIDSOMMARAri Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
Richard Jewell - Man versus media
TRENDINGRICHARD JEWELLMan versus media
The Australian Dream - The conversation Australia needs to have
TRENDINGTHE AUSTRALIAN DREAMThe conversation Australia needs to have
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
School's Out - The children know too much
TRENDINGSCHOOL'S OUTThe children know too much
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us