Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Last Year at Marienbad is a very unique movie.  In it, a man meets a woman while staying at a luxurious hotel and is convinced that he met her last year, that they had an affair, and that she was waiting to meet him again at the hotel.  Only problem is that she says she has never met him before.  The whole movie is about the man trying to convince her that they really did meet last year and fell in love.

I thought this movie was quite fascinating, I have never seen anything quite like it before.  The whole movie is like a strange dream, it’s all very surreal.  It has a very non-linear structure, there are a lot of flashbacks to what the man claims happened last year.  The viewer is left to try to distinguish what was true from what wasn’t.  Its atmosphere was brilliant, full of incredible shots, beautiful cinematography, and haunting  music.  Although I thought it was very interesting, I can easily understand how someone else might find it frustrating for the exact same reasons I liked it.  If you want to see Last Year at Marienbad for yourself, I suggest not going into it for the plot because that isn’t what important.  Instead, just go into it for the atmosphere.  It’s a movie that was meant to be an experience, so just sit back and try to get lost in this completely surreal world.

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5 comments

  1. In the my top ten films of all time! Have you seen any Resnais’ other films? Such as, ‘Muriel, or The Time of Return’ or ‘La Guerre est finie’?

    If you enjoyed Last Year… you’ll definitely enjoy his first feature film, Hiroshima mon amour…

  2. I just wrote a review for ‘Muriel, or The Time of Return’ if you’re curious… However, Hiroshima mon amour is MUCH MUCH MUCH better — I tend to review lesser known works and not the masterpieces (well, and the unknown masterpieces)…

    1. I took a look at your reviews for Muriel and La Guerre est Finie, and both sound interesting, as does Hiroshima. I think I might have to add some more Resnais to the Netflix queue.

  3. Cool.

    You won’t be disappointed in Hiroshima mon amour — you might be disappointed in the other two I mentioned (I tried to make their shortcomings apparent in my reviews despite the fact that I still enjoy both films…)

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