Sunday, March 30, 2008

Last Year at Marienbad


The film Last Year at Marienbad (L'Année Dernière à Marienbad) is probably one of the most pretentious, gripping, obnoxious, fascinating, sickening, outright boring yet undoubtedly fabulous movies I've ever seen. It is a MUST-SEE for anyone who is interested in film, in fashion, and especially in both! But be prepared to hate it at the same time that you become convinced you should be loving it...

The film begins with a 10-minute narration which describes a glamorous, isolated, baroque resort hotel and its guests - slowly you realize it's the same set of words over and over and you really begin to believe it will never end.

Once the "action" starts, it is clear that the film - while mesmerizing - will continue in the same vein of subtle, slow "advance and retreat". The events - such as they are - involve a married woman who is the object of desire for a stranger who begins to convince her that they carried on an affair the year before at the same resort, though she has no recollection of the affair or of him. A bizarre card trick - run by the woman's tall, gloomy husband - is repeated continuously throughout the film, along with varying angles of the same group of guests murmuring quietly in expensively fashionable attire as the stranger works on the woman's mind...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How great to find this article! Last Saturday at a bbq at friends (Hollywood) I met the woman who made the dresses--she is French and we were talking about fashion from the 60's...she was working for a major designer in Paris and somehow ended up working on the film. Of course I had remembered the dresses (esp the black one) and she told me how she had to hand sew all the coq feathers on...
I was trying to find something on the web to send to the friends who had the party to explain the conversation..and came across your blog. I'm forwarding a copy of the entry so they can send it to her..
I know she'll esp. appreciate the drawings!
regards,
Lynda

Johanna said...

I'm working on a project involving Last Year at Marienbad at the moment and was intrigued by your post and also the above comment. I would love to speak to the woman who made the dresses for the film. If it's at all possible to get in touch with Lynda (who left the comment above) I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Johanna