A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
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>
Italian censorship visa # 35942 delivered on 31-10-1961. See more »
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 »
The grounds of the hotel were symmetrically arranged, without trees or flowers, or plants of any kind. The gravel, the stone, and the marble were spread in strict array in unmysterious shapes. At first sight, it seemed impossible to lose your way. At first sight... Along these stone paths and amidst these statues, where you were already losing your way forever in the still night, alone with me.
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A mystery, a love story, and a haunting exploration of memory
Scenes at a European spa unfold while a man's mind tries to recollect a love affair of the past season. In one of the most deeply psychological films I have seen, memory itself seems to be the protagonist -- or is it the villain? What plot there is simply provides the material for a meditation on the uncertainty of knowing. The accomplishment of _Last Year at Marienbad_ is to make this point convincingly even in the case of that which one would not expect a man to have difficulty remembering: a sexual involvement and loss. It does so by a hypnotic combination of wheeling, dreamlike images of the resort's architecture and grounds, together with the incantatory, obsessive, recurrent tone of the narrative voice over. In doing this it also transforms a place where people go to be waited on and to play, into a labyrinth haunted by unsmiling shades, where remembering is both impossible and necessary.
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