Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last Year at Marienbad

I'm just going to come out and say it as plainly as I can: this film was awesome. I will also come right out and say I didn't fully understand a lot of it, and I got lost several times throughout the film. Despite being tossed back and forth by the film I was captivated by it the entire time.

The basic premise is that a man and a woman meet at a large old fashioned hotel, and the man proceeds to try and convince the woman that they met a year ago. Furthermore he tries to convince her that upon meeting a year ago, they decided they would rendezvous a year later and run away together. She of course denies it, insisting they've never met before. What follow is the most confusing viewing experience I have had in a long time. Before you know it, the man has almost convinced the viewer that the two did in fact meet before, and then she'll turn it back around and you think he's crazy again. That's pretty much it as far as story goes, but the story isn't what people should watch the film for.

Everything about the film visually is fascinating and perfect. The black and white, the overly ornate backgrounds, the lighting, the actors alternately standing still and moving...everything. All of the different visual elements contributed to make the film as dreamlike as it was.
I could go on and on about how this movie floored me with it's visuals.

In my opinion, the location is the strongest point of the film. The opening shots of the ceiling help prepare the viewer for what they are about to see, an ornate and unique experience that will leave them dizzy. The seemingly endless hallways and rooms are the perfect setting for this surreal experience.

I can't really say much about the fim's message or meaning; that all most definitely went over my head. All I can say is that I have the strongest appreciation for the film visually, and would watch it again in an instant, were it available in Region 1 (yes, i've tried to purchase it).

I've since been referred to the music video for Blur's 'To the End', which was done as an homage to 'Marienbad'. Here's the link, and now we can all share a nice laugh at a joke that very few will be able to get.

I wish I could say more about the film, but it is so breathtaking that it really did leave me at a loss for words.

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