At a weekend gathering, a man tries to convince a woman that they had met there and spent some time together the previous year. The woman has no recollection whatsoever of having met this man and is convinced that he is just making all of this up. The more the man talks about their activities the previous year however, the more convincing he becomes. The question remains however - did they meet previously or not?Written by
The match game in the movie is named as "Nim". In order to win the game there is only one tactic including a system called "Nim Sum". If both players use this tactic perfectly, then the owner of the first move will eventually lose. Due to the same reason, it is always disadvantageous to start the game first. 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 »
[X wanders through the hotel's corridors cataloging items he sees]
Empty salons. Corridors. Salons. Doors. Doors. Salons. Empty chairs, deep armchairs, thick carpets. Heavy hangings. Stairs, steps. Steps, one after the other. Glass objects, objects still intact, empty glasses. A glass that falls, three, two, one, zero. Glass partition, letters.
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This mysterious film shows us a man and a woman in an extravagant and capacious hotel. The man insists that he had an affair with the lady last year in Marienbad (or was it somewhere else?) The woman denies it, and just wants the man to leave her alone. Perhaps the man did meet her, perhaps he didn't. Resnais puts the pieces there and lets us take what we can from it.
The beautiful looking establishment, complete with gardens of splendour, is an eerie setting for the film. The guests seem like they are in a trance most of the time. A card game is shown where a man cannot be beaten, he claims. The cinematography is brilliant. Dark, then white, giving a blinking effect at times; and constantly switching between different locations. The music throughout the film sounds like it's from an old church organ. I can understand why this film will put off some people, because it doesn't explain much, and does meander at a pedestrian pace. But approached in the right mood, and watched in a dark room, this is a film to appreciate. Peter Greenaway thinks so; the film was influential in the making of The Draughtsman's Contract, and is (supposedly) the film Greenaway most admires.
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