478 Last Year at Marienbad

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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knives
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#151 Post by knives » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:07 am

Are there any boxsets out there documentaries similar to the ones in this set? They don't necessarily have to be Resnais though that would be appreciated too. I would just like something odd along the lines of the two here with more emphasis on the style in Le Chant du Styrène than Toute la Mémoire du Monde.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#152 Post by Noiretirc » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:39 am

It's so strange, watching this tonight, over a year since I last saw it, and I had conjured up all kinds of scenes in my mind that weren't actually there. (No, I wasn't drunk the first time or tonight.) Past collides with present and real collides with imaginary in this film.......and in me too, in my experience thus far with this monumental work of art. No other film has done this to me. I'm shocked and confused.

(And 1:21:30ish to 1:21:40ish scares the shit out of me.)

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PfR73
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#153 Post by PfR73 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:30 pm

I know the Blur music video's been mentioned before, but I just came across this. The music video recreated using actual footage from the film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVWqDPVu7pg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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tarpilot
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#154 Post by tarpilot » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:44 pm

Excellent work. Thanks for sharing!

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Documaniaque
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#155 Post by Documaniaque » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:32 pm

knives wrote:Are there any boxsets out there documentaries similar to the ones in this set? They don't necessarily have to be Resnais though that would be appreciated too. I would just like something odd along the lines of the two here with more emphasis on the style in Le Chant du Styrène than Toute la Mémoire du Monde.
While no boxset like that exists, all Resnais' documentaries are on DVD (the others are Van Gogh, Gaugin, Nuit et brouillard, and Les statues meurent aussi). Among those, however, Le Chant du Styrène was stylistically something of an anomaly, whether in its use of colour cinematography or of Queneau's text for commentary. There was a whole "school" of documentary in postwar France, with many short films building on the models established by Resnais, Franju and others but I can't think of one I'd say was stylistically similar to Le Chant du Styrène, and not more than a handful of any postwar french docs have made it to DVD.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#156 Post by swo17 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:08 pm

Documaniaque wrote:all Resnais' documentaries are on DVD (the others are Van Gogh, Gaugin, Nuit et brouillard, and Les statues meurent aussi).
I think there are a lot more than that. For starters, there's Guernica as an extra on Milestone's Mystery of Picasso. IMDb lists numerous other films as well that I'm not familiar with.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#157 Post by Documaniaque » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:20 pm

swo17 wrote:
Documaniaque wrote:all Resnais' documentaries are on DVD (the others are Van Gogh, Gaugin, Nuit et brouillard, and Les statues meurent aussi).
I think there are a lot more than that. For starters, there's Guernica as an extra on Milestone's Mystery of Picasso. IMDb lists numerous other films as well that I'm not familiar with.
Yes, I'd left out Guernica by accident and yes he made some other short documentaries (mostly a series visiting artists in their studios) before Van Gogh in 1948, but these are all more or less missing (for example the French Film Archives don't have them, not sure about the Cinémathèque).

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Niale
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#158 Post by Niale » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:23 pm

I heard this movie was"impossible to understand". After watching it I believe that nothing can be said to be "inexplicable" in this film, which is the only thing I can think of which would hinder interpretation. Because the scenes, in this film, that came before, or after, match. Which is to say, it was accounted for by a cut of similar moods, image, or movements. A glass shatters on the ground, a butler stoops over to pick each piece up very reverently. As if the shards are still as valuable as the glass itself, but if it had value as a whole how did it come to be broken? This will tie in with a metaphor for sexual conquest later, its true value is nothing, we value what is worth nothing, because it would mean nothing to us otherwise. Why is this scene there though? We do not SEE the glass break... there were obviously no liquids in the glass! This is highly impractical.Well, the next shot is someone placing sticks on round table for some sort of betting game, the reverence in which the sticks are placed matches the ceremony of the shattered glass pieces... so we can say, that this was not "random". This is quite intentional... and if one follows the thread the meaning is clear! The notion of value in a pointless effort at sport, which is neither stimulating nor gainful should one "win". The "observation" is what is important. Many a time does the film cut to a table where gentlemen are involved in some such sport. Pulling cards towards themselves, the option to pick one or two, until the other person is left with an odd card or stick. No one is elated or sad, when they game is over, they merely look up at each other. Relationships are profoundly drawn in this film. These people are ALL wealthy, which means, that they want nothing, yet they must have a relationship with other people in order to be happy, but they have nothing they can give, because there is nothing these people don't have! The intercut of a woman looking at a pile of shoes all around her, and her standing next to interested male, both of them looking away from eachother, is quite extraordinary. Everything she could want she has, should he buy her another pair of shoes it would hardly matter, there is nothing for her now that she has everything. The shot of her with the shoes becomes important later, as she breaks the heel on her shoe when walking with the man, he picks up the "broken" shoe and holds it, and she shakes her head no.... Genius! A symbol for all that she has, and all that he can not give her. What he wants is the one thing that will make her no longer desirable to him. With each desire being fulfilled in these peoples lives, the only way for the girl to not become entirely inconsequential is for her to deny the men sex, but she knows this is what she is trading on, her sexual appeal... Which is the reason for her constant anxiety. Another example, when this female is sitting at a table opposite the male, they spot eachother, and yet sit at different tables. This does not stop them from having a conversation, and during this conversation, a near subliminal and seemingly pointless cut of her standing in a room filled with empty chairs is seen. This is utterly sensational! The meaning being clear enough to me, she is waiting for someone to occupy one of those chairs, and yet with her pose, she is physically seen as demure about it. The next frame of them talking to eachother has a chair between them, obvious to the audience it should be, that this chair should be occupied by the gentleman. In every frame the ladies jewelry glistens and dazzles... but her eyes are dead. A shot of a mirror reflecting the image of her looking in a vanity mirror that reflects her image three ways, she is able to be duplicitous to hide truth from herself, she turns from the mirror and sees something that frightens her, prompting her to scream. At what? I think the idea is that she looks away from the layers of vanity that she has constructed to contain her true self. the next cut is to a line of men that should we watch them for a few frames more, would have twirled around and fired a gun at the wall, one by one, as we have already observed them to do. I think the gun is the symbol for the male, their instinct their desire, which when it comes time to act upon it, is inconsequential at best and destructive at worst, it is to be observed that she will be "shot" later in the film. She runs from one room to the next, never staying too long, and often in conversations the director cuts to footage of her in other places, but the logic of the seen dictates that its all happening in congress with the other footage and that this constitutes one moment in time. I believe her inability to stay in one room, is her desire not to be entered, these rooms are a metaphor for her sexual and emotional identity, and she does not feel comfortable inhabiting them with another man. she will flee when he touches her, or if he should sit in one of the many empty chairs that she passes, that he might see into her, and see that there is nothing that she can offer in return for all that she needs. I opted to watch the film with NO subtitles! So I understood NONE of the dialogue... but, I really did not need to! I "got" what the film was saying. A large map of the house grounds, more specifically the gardens, is given many shots to seer it into our minds. More often we see a guest at the house staring at the map, I believe this map to be a LITERAL map to the film. The garden is the outside, the world, and in the garden are statues of triumph, men and women... and they represent the real men and women in the film, statues in stasis commemorating nothing more than being there after the fact and before the end. it is to be seen that that the house occupants are also quite stationary at times. Towards the end of the film two males who have been in competition throughout the film for the girl, have a betting game, with domino's laid out in a triangle, one of them wins, the one we have seen the most of, and he ascends the stairs to her room to claim his prize. She lays on her bed and has Polaroid's of herself in front of her in a triangle, mirroring the bet, they are fighting for her image, not her. when she is "taken" the camera flees from the room and barrels down a hallway, very penetrative, then the camera finds her, the camera fly's at her and she welcomes the camera with open arms, the camera comes at her again, and again, and again, and again... and still she opens her arms and smiles. She has submitted. after... a shot of the garden at night, the man reflecting by a pool of calm water, the camera reveals her to be near by, dressed in all black, her voice is tender and apologetic... he is filled with rage and his words sound harsh. She turns away from him and "sees" whatever she did before and screams again in the exact same way, while her back is turned he hops a set of pillars and escapes. The camera pulls out to reveal her screaming during a party surrounded by people, as well as the two males. one male comes up and offers her a drink, this is the same place where the glass shattered earlier. she walks away and is "followed" a shot shows her symbolically separated three ways, and in the shape of a triangle, the shape that the gambling takes on, as well as its sexual connotations. a shot of a broken pillar is shown, this should be seen as the pillar that the other man jumps over, because of this, she is now in bed with another man.. but he gets up and leaves her too. the main male and female find themselves in a room together again, they stare at eachtoher, but a bell chimes and they stalk off towards the place they have been summoned, moving without purpose. A tragic depiction of the ideal. The photgraphy, is sensational, and if for nothing else it can be called one of the most beautiful films ever made.

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John Edmond
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#159 Post by John Edmond » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:55 pm

oh wow

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#160 Post by Murdoch » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:20 pm

He wrote a wall.

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Niale
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#161 Post by Niale » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:53 pm

I tried to "pull the sword out of the stone". It was only when I finished, that I realized I had created something impenetrable, rather than penetrated the impenetrable. Or something to do with penetration.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#162 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:59 pm

Did you consider, like, paragraphs? Spaces? Whitespace of any kind? It works amazingly well.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#163 Post by cdnchris » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:02 pm

You put in a lot of effort but not many are going to read that. As matrixschmatrix suggested, paragraphs work wonders.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#164 Post by zedz » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:07 pm

And if what you're saying can't be easily broken down into those kind of discrete structural units, it's probably not going to make much sense to other people anyway unless you rework it.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#165 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:31 am

No one realizes this guy is just fucking with us. It's swimminghorses 2012

Calvin
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#166 Post by Calvin » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:39 pm

Perhaps he trying to mimic the supposed impossibility of the film?

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#167 Post by Guido » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:35 pm

Did you consider, like, paragraphs? Spaces? Whitespace of any kind? It works amazingly well.
Thomas Bernhard would disrespectfully disagree.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#168 Post by htshell » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:54 pm

While this thread is hot, I'd like to ask: where is the best source for the Resnais/Marker collaboration Statues Also Die.

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Matt
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#169 Post by Matt » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:05 pm


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PfR73
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#170 Post by PfR73 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:33 pm

I have both the US Criterion & UK Studio Canal Blu-Rays, and the opening credits for Le Chant du Styrène are different. Does anyone know why this is? The Criterion print is even simply called "Styrene" and doesn't credit Raymond Queneau.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#171 Post by ShellOilJunior » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:46 am

I first saw Marienbad a year or two before Criterion issued the blu-ray. In fact, I saw it twice at the Cleveland Cinematheque on consecutive nights. It's easily one my best cinematic experiences.

Criterion's blu-ray is gorgeous but one MUST experience this film on the big screen at least one time. It's even more hypnotic and spell-binding on the big screen.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#172 Post by Trees » Tue May 24, 2016 11:19 pm

This film is staggeringly beautiful. It must surely be among the 10 most beautiful films ever made, alongside pictures like Barry Lyndon, In the Mood for Love, Days of Heaven, Blade Runner. Though by more subtle modern standards, Last Year at Marienbad is overlit in places (especially Seyrig's face), this only adds to the glamour of the film. It's a celebration of black-and-white photography.

The picture, for me, is pure dream. I did not feel frightened or unsettled by the film, just mesmerized. Enthralled. The film seemed to be about passions and memory. Trying to figure out what the "reality" of the film is misses the point. These are not ideas being conveyed, they are emotions.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#173 Post by cpetrizzi » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:19 pm

I agree with Trees. This is not "Inception." There is no "ground floor" of reality that needs anchoring.

I would go further and say there is a metaphysical aspect of Marienbad. I also feel the film doesn't need to be a metaphor for anything either, as previous posters postulated. Marienbad can be considered absolutely stand-alone.

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#174 Post by domino harvey » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:38 pm

Mondo is selling a limited edition print of the film. I think it's a pretty ugly design myself, but maybe you'll enjoy it

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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#175 Post by Ovader » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:39 pm

No idea if this was discussed elsewhere and couldn't find any search results. On my Criterion blu-ray of MARIENBAD at precisely the 16:14 minute mark "M" (Sacha Pitoëff) disappears as the camera dollies past his shoulder as illustrated by his full silhouette disappearing against the painting. I didn't see a jump cut unless the editing was so precise but this is something I never noticed before in previous viewings.

EDIT: I do see a slight jump in the editing so excuse my excitement over what may have been a new discovery of the M character.

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