Sunday, 8 May 2011

Alain Resnais' Last Year At Marienbad seems to be a film that divides audiences. Some find it incomprehensible, but I adore it.

A man and a woman are reunited at a chateau a year after first meeting, but she does not recall who he is. Or does she? Did they ever even meet in the first place? Around every corner of the chateau and its grounds, one is waiting for the other. Or are they?

The way the film has been shot and edited means that geographically the chateau and its gardens make no sense whatsoever. Characters remain inexplicably still, and the woman's signature expression is a blank stare. Time and space are nonlinear, almost nonexistent. The entire film is built on repetition and disorientation. It is beautiful and surreal, and the immense weight of the overarching confusion, ambiguity and melancholy is thrilling. Aesthetically it's stunning, with moments of over and underexposure only heightening the disorientation, while the woman's costumes - of which there are many - were designed by Coco Chanel. Those with a keen eye will note the references in Chanel's SS11 collection. Blur also managed 'recreate' the film for their clip below. It's eerie how spot on it is! The whole film is on YouTube here.


Joy said...

Awesome choice of film. I love taking inspiration from them!

Felix Curds said...

hi WOW! watching the Blur's clip gave me a bit of a head ache but it was beautiful all the same. the screen caps are also mighty promising:)happy tuesday!

danica said...

this film certainly polarises people but, like you, i enjoy its visual look and mystique.

love the new layout, steph. the banner in particular looks super!

hila said...

oh I can't tell you how much I loved this post. I'm pretty much in agreement with you - I think some films need to be accepted on their own terms, plus it's nice to see a film that explores rather than provides simple coherence.

anyway, your analysis is fantastic.

celine said...

i did an oral report in which i tied this film to a book we had read in class. it was confusing for everyone, since they hadn't seen the film, but i wanted to pique their interest and get them to watch it. :)

and also blur = <3

sorry for the longest comment ever! i'm new to your blog btw. :)