Saturday, August 3, 2013

369. L'Annee Derniere a Marienbad

L'Annee Derniere a Marienbad
Last Year at Marienbad
Directed by Alain Resnais

Well, that was a weird one.  No one seems to have any idea what really happened in this movie.  I think the fun comes from forming your own theory and yelling at other people via the internet who have a different opinion.  At least, that is what my research yielded.  In any case, I found it to be confusing to the point of annoying.

So this guy, X, (real names are so passé) tells this woman that they met a year ago and agreed to meet up in a year.  A, the woman, says this never happened.  Then, M, her husband, denies it as well.  And then, that's kind of it.  After that I, as in Amanda, kind of zoned out.

I am sorry people, I could not get into this one.  To me, it just came across as pretentious and dull.  This was very disappointed, because I have loved all of Resnais' other work.

I had no idea what was going on and what's worse, I didn't care.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Included in "The Fifty Worst Films of All Time".  Are intellectuals actually on my side for this?  Very shocking.

See for yourself:


  1. Ah, now I will beg to disagree somewhat.
    Yes, it is weird. No, I have no idea what is going on either.

    But.. ever since I first saw it, I have felt something rather mesmerising about it. Astonishingly, I am never bored by it. I can fully understand anyone who is. Next to nothing happens. long slow takes with no conversation. Not that conversation ever reveals anything in this film when you get it...
    I don't know what it is, or why.. but the atmosphere just pulls me in and I enjoy the ride, despite being utterly bewildered.
    If you now wish to dis-invite me from you followers for being a pretentious intellectual, I will understand!

    1. Haha Ray you are not pretentious (if you were defending Heaven and Earth magic then we might have to talk). I wish I could enjoy films like this but I just need a bit more. At least give the characters names! But I can see why this would intrigue you and therefore, you are not banished from my kingdom.

  2. Pretentious, for sure. Dull? I do not know. It is so out there that I actually found it fun to watch. I also have no clue what this is about, except that it is certainly not what appears to be happening. I suppose if I watched it again and again i might eve get to like it. But, alas, I cannot see that happening.

  3. AKA: Why Don't You Know What You Did Last Summer?

    This film is everything I imagined French cinema to be before I started on The List

    I don't mind the ambiguity. That's how it's supposed to be. I'm no longer one of those people who feels they have to tear that down then go around insisting that I know what the single actual outcome was.

    I admired it more than I enjoyed it, but it wasn't too painful to sit through and I can well imagine referencing it in my mind for years to come.

  4. "AKA: Why Don't You Know What You Did Last Summer?"

    Nice one....

    But I still defend it...even if, and you are right again, it is rather the blue print for Euroarty films...
    I doubt any one else remembers.. but there was a 'Steptoe & Son' episode where Albert was berating Harold for his pretensions to be an intellectual.. and that no wonder he didn't succeed with 'Birds' (OK, it's a very old program..) when he takes women dates to see films like that...

  5. Steptoe & Son? Now we're talking! One of my other side projects was a recently-completed run at watching every Steptoe episode. Someone's probably doing a Galton and Simpson blog somewhere if I looked for it.
    (Note to Amanda: S&S was remade in the US to somewhat lesser effect as Sandford & Son)

    I'm not intending to be judgemental about its artiness. I don't claim to know enough to say either way, even though in general I've got a lot more out of the Italian art films than their French counterparts. It just made me smile the way it reminded me of perfume adverts of a few years ago and Fry & Laurie and Fast Show sketches spoofing them.

  6. Another successful American show taken from the British! Does that ever happen in reverse?

    1. That's an interesting question. I shall have to give it some thought. There are gameshows recreated with a local presenter and contestants, of course. And you could trace the lineage of something like Footballers' Wives back to Dallas.

      But an actual, proper remake? I suppose that smaller nations are more used to simply buying the tapes to rebroadcast locally so audiences are used to and accepting of foreign productions. So if a US show was good, why go to the effort of remaking it if you can just show it like it already is?

    2. Couldn't think of anything

      Looked it up. Plenty of quiz formats etc.

      No dramas or comedies I'd actually heard of.

      We give you House of Cards, you give us America's Next Top Model? I demand a renegotiation of this trade deal!

  7. A few years back there was a British sit-com series called 'Coupling about a group of friends in London and their various romantic and personal failings. It was very, very loosely a sort of Friends... The 'very loosely' allows me to say it was better...

    1. Actually, you know that a US remake of Coupling was chosen to replace Friends in its broadcast slot after it finally ended? They probably saw the same similarity you did and thought ti would be a good fit.

      It got cancelled after just a few episodes. Never really stood a chance.

    2. Ah, thank you for the info... no, I didn't know that

      I actually liked 'Coupling'...I guess they were all as unlikable as the aweful bunch in Friends, but more rounded , fuller people. But that could just be Brit recognition..