Sunday, September 17, 2023

L’Année Dernière à Marienbad (1961) directed byAlain Renais

This is a staple of the French New Wave and for good reason. The cinematography is beyond amazing. The camera moves precisely with tracking shots I would not have thought possible at this time period and lighting and composition is fantastic. Delphine Seyrig and Giorgio Albertazzi are beautiful, cold and impeccably dressed. 

One thing you should not expect from this film is answers to what is going on  or even who the characters are. No one is named, we don’t know exactly where, or even when they are  or what is happening or merely in the head of the characters. A man and woman meet at fancy hotel and agree to meet again a year later. A year later, they are both there but the woman says she doesn’t remember the man and is with a guy who “ might be her husband… or not”. Dialog is repeated, time is fluid, the actors start in one location and time and are suddenly continuing the dialog in another location and time. There is amazing editing and the man or woman might be killed by the maybe husband… or it’s all in someone’s head. There really isn’t much of a resolution and it doesn’t really matter. It’s beautiful to see. 

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