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Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

L'année dernière à Marienbad (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery | 7 March 1962 (USA)
In a strange chateau, a man insists to a woman that they have met before.

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(scenario and dialogue)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Giorgio Albertazzi ...
Sacha Pitoëff ...
Françoise Bertin ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel
Luce Garcia-Ville ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel
Héléna Kornel ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel
Françoise Spira ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel
Karin Toche-Mittler
Pierre Barbaud ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel
Wilhelm von Deek ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel
Jean Lanier ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel
Gérard Lorin ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel
Davide Montemurri ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel (as Davide Montemuri)
Gilles Quéant ...
Un personnage de l'hôtel
Gabriel Werner
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Storyline

In a huge, old-fashioned luxury hotel a stranger tries to persuade a married woman to run away with him, but it seems she hardly remembers the affair they may have had (or not?) last year at Marienbad. Written by Otto Oberhauser <Oberhauser@cc.univie.ac.at>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It Has The "Marienbad Look"

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Last Year at Marienbad  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$19,113 (USA) (18 January 2008)

Gross:

$143,381 (USA) (8 August 2008)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters in the hotel attend a performance of a Henrik Ibsen play. Director Alain Resnais discovered Delphine Seyrig in an American stage production of Ibsen's "Enemy of the People". See more »

Goofs

Exterior night scenes were shot day-for-night, but the sky and reflections of it were allowed in the frame, and they appear as bright white instead of black. This may have been intentional to emphasize the surreality of the film. See more »

Quotes

X: I must have you alive. Alive, as you have already been every evening, for weeks, for months.
A: I have never stayed so long anywhere.
X: Yes, I know. I don't care. For days and days. Why don't you still want to remember anything?
A: You're raving! I'm tired, leave me alone!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Marien's Last Year (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A modernist classic
1 August 2005 | by (Liverpool, UK) – See all my reviews

Cinema has, for the most part, been a relatively conservative art form. Perhaps it's the expense of making a feature film which has meant that they largely remain within limits and conventions imposed by commerce. Often those willing to experiment have been forced to work with low budgets and poor production values, and those regarded as more radical directors often have a very traditional approach to narrative.

But then there's Last Year in Marienbad. Robbe-Grillet was the leading light and main theorist of the nouveau roman, and already had masterpieces like In the Labyrinth and Jealousy behind him. His literary style is obsessed with visual description, meaning the jump to cinema was an obvious one. And he did it utterly without compromise.

Not that all the credit goes to Robbe-Grillet's scenario: Resnais' realisation of the ideas is near perfect, and Vierny's photography is a thing of wonder, creating a film of unique beauty.

It's possible just to sit back and enjoy it as a sumptuous treat, but there's a nagging feeling that you have to figure out what it all means. You just have to try to analyse it. Amongst all the repetitions of the dialogue, a phrase suddenly jumps out, that seems to be a key to crack the enigma, or is it just a red herring. Maybe next time I watch it, I'll crack it...

Apparently Andre Breton was one of the first to see it, and (understandably?) hated it. For all it's dreamlike atmosphere, this is fiercely structured, a game, but quite distinct from surrealism's Freudian games of chance. For Foucault and Deleuze, Robbe-Grillet's endless, inescapable mazes were paradoxically a route out of the prevailing existentialism and post-Marxism of the French intellectual elite.

A genuinely original film, showing the true potential of cinema, a challenge few since have had the courage to follow.

I need to watch it again...


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