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NEW Last Year At Marienbad (DVD)

4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 114.99
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A museum of hermetic beauties April 9 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This enigmatic film still hasn't yielded all of its mysteries - mostly because the viewer is awarded complete freedom to give its intricate rythms and figures the significations he or she perceives. The brilliant soundtrack, which combines a textured set of voice-overs and somber organ music, induces reverie... but a reverie highlighted by brief and unforgettable nightmares ('Marienbad' is unsettling to a degree that few movies are). The film's world is above all artistic: it is a 90-minute visit inside a museum of mirrors, statues, photographs and paintings; the characters themselves assume all of these roles over the course of the work. The cinematic image feeds on other images - some are seen in mirrors, others come from illustrations. Everything, from theme to form, is absorbed and transformed by art; this is in line with the notion of "l'art pour l'art" championed by 'Marienbad' writer Robbe-Grillet at the time. The film also has connections with Resnais' own work: memory is as much preserved as it is artistically constructed, and 'X' (Albertazzi) can be read as an artist-figure - something Resnais would return to in 'Providence' (1976). It is tempting to envision the Marienbad chateau and its surroundings as a dedalian labyrinth whose Minotaur lies just out of reach... but this is only one possible reading among countless others. This unique masterpiece should be seen again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resnais' ode to his predecessors Feb. 14 2004
Format:VHS Tape
As is usual for Resnais, there are two plots unfolding in the course of this film. The first, as defined by the outlines of the screenplay, is, to my mind, of scant interest in itself. Something surely happened last year at Marienbad, or not, and something or other may or may not be happening now, which is about as much as is certain. But its convolutions and inconguities only work to set into relief the other, parallel plot, which isn't about the characters.
The movie begins with the camera scanning the luxuriant palace where most (all?) of the action is to take place. It's a wonderful sequence, which lends the baroque interior a sense of elegiac mystery, as if one were entering excavated halls built by an extinct civilization. Only the voiceover, in its self-conscious mumbling, sounds a note that is vaguely of out sync.
This contradictory note germinates. What follows at first is a largely incoherent mixture of awkwardly pompous scenes, which are delivered with sometimes egregious overacting and set in a style that points to French cinematic drama of the generation preceeding Resnais'. Most of it is so hokey that one is hard-pressed to take it seriously, and you can't help wondering if this is a prelude that the film will snap out of, just like the wooden intonations in the opening of "Hiroshima, mon amour" give way to subtle naturalistic acting. The dialog, too, seems conspiratorial, alluding to unsolvable puzzles, subverted communication, and things intended to mean whatever one wants them to mean. By the time the script delivers a clear-cut joke, in the authoritative but absurd description of a statue which two characters had been trying to interpret, it is tempting to adopt the working hypothesis that you're watching a parody.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic conflict April 20 2004
A chronicle of what happens when the truth comes knocking in your life. At first the wild love affair while on holiday, but an affair only: When this heart comes back to carry you off for good, there's denial, conflict, and ultimately the hard choice between it and your stalwart, practical mate: the life you'd been leading so comfortably, so accommodatingly, for so long. Enthralling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Once again, Last Year at Marienbad, forever. Oct. 31 2003
Be warned up front that this movie will not suit everyone. This is film as art and it is in black and white; there are those who hate it and those who love it. It is subtitled in English but you will enjoy it even more if you understand French because the off voice is often hauntingly poetic. It was filmed on location in Bavaria, Germany, near Munich at the palaces of Nymphenburg and Schleissheim. The script is relatively easy to find both in French, L'Année dernière à Marienbad, and in English under a title slightly different from the one of the movie: Last Year in Marienbad.
I greatly admire and love this movie; I believe it to be a masterpiece of French cinema. This is a work that you'll watch over and over and of which you will not tire. A labyrinthian intrigue unfolds in an icily beautiful sprawling baroque palace --a dream-like deluxe palace hotel where tuxedos and evening dresses are de rigueur . Along with the protagonists you will enjoy losing yourself over and over in this enchanted yet disquieting movie.
He ("X " in the official script --he remains nameless in the movie) and She ("A" in the official script --also nameless in the movie) had met last year at Marienbad (thus the title). That's what he says. A romantic encounter, apparently. A short-lived affair, a summer long liaison? The true nature of their relationship is never disclosed. If they did not have an affair might they not have exchanged only a promise to elope, or merely agreed to meet again a year later? Did He grant her one year's reflection time to decide whether to follow him and leave her husband? Ah, yes, her husband is there also, a witness and party to this mystifying situation; quite a dispassionate and remote witness though.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic, surreal film now in HD Blu-ray...
"Last Year at Marienbad"(1961) is here presented by Criterion in remastered HD Blu-ray, and it is well worth the wait. Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2010 by Edmonson
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
I gave this movie 22 minutes I'll never get back again. If you like arty movies where nothing happens - go for it.
Published on Aug. 11 2010 by T. Gamble
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
I rented this movie instead of buying it a few years ago and it was one of the best choice in my life. I sat through it expecting a lot but I found it unnecessary long and boring. Read more
Published on July 1 2009 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.........
The most tedious film I've ever seen. I had to watch it in film school and I nearly went out of my mind with boredom. VERY hard to sit through. Read more
Published on May 6 2004
I've seen many a quaint film in my time, but this one absolutely takes the cake. It came recommended aggressively by a friend who studies film, reason enough for me to be coaxed... Read more
Published on April 3 2004 by Shashank Tripathi
1.0 out of 5 stars B*O*R*I*N*G*!!!!
As a French "New Wave" fanatic I wanted to love this movie! I purchased my DVD copy on Ebay for $83 and I was very geeked when I finally received it in the mail. Read more
Published on March 28 2004 by "johnpetersoniii"
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better films of the 20th century.
Marienbad is a classic that ranks high with Citizen Kane, L'Avventura, and 8 1/2. A movie that you will watch again and again, exploring new textures and sounds that add to the... Read more
Published on March 2 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars P.S.
After writing a review based on my first impressions, I read up a little bit about the film and learned that the contribution from Alain Robbe-Grillet included a detailed shooting... Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Moody Avant-Garde film
Filmed at the crumbling but elegant Marienbad Spa in Czech Republic, this beautiful film exemplifies the avant-garde film movement as it culminated in the Sixties. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2003 by Joanna Daneman
2.0 out of 5 stars overrated film by the usually excellent Resais
what a snooze!
I bought this film when I read all of the great reviews. Also, I loved "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" and "J'tme J'tme" and find Resnais familiar... Read more
Published on Dec 2 2003
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