Last Year at Marienbad (L’Année dernière à Marienbad)

Last Year at Marienbad (L’Année dernière à Marienbad)
Directed by Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet
Friday, August 9, 6 pm
Saturday, August 10, 3 pm
$9/$7 Speed Alliance Française members

“One of the strangest artifacts of cinema history . . . no other film has affected fashion as deeply.”—Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal Last Year at Marienbad (L’année dernière à Marienbad) has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades. Written by Alain Robbe-Grillet, this surreal fever dream (or nightmare) gorgeously fuses the past with the present in telling an ambiguous tale of a man and a woman (Giorgio Albertazzi and Delphine Seyrig) who may or may not have met a year ago, perhaps at the very same cathedral-like, mirror-filled château they now find themselves wandering.

Unforgettable in both its confounding details (gilded ceilings, diabolical parlor games, a loaded gun) and haunting scope, Resnais’ investigation into the nature of memory is disturbing, romantic, and maybe even a ghostly story.  The chilly demeanors of the characters are accentuated by the crisp and resplendent costumes of Coco Chanel. Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. 1961, France, 4K DCP, in French with English subtitles, 93 minutes. Recommended for 13+.