478 Last Year at Marienbad

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stroszeck
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:42 pm

478 Last Year at Marienbad

#1 Post by stroszeck » Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:47 pm

Last Year at Marienbad

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Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal visual poem has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades. A surreal fever dream, or perhaps a nightmare, Last Year at Marienbad (L’année dernière à Marienbad), written by the radical master of the New Novel, Alain Robbe-Grillet, gorgeously fuses the past with the present in telling its 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-bedecked 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 ghost story.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Alain Resnais (with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
- New audio interview with Resnais
- New documentary on the making of Last Year at Marienbad, featuring interviews with many of Resnais’ collaborators
- New video interview with film scholar Ginette Vincendeau on the history of the film and its many mysteries
- Two short documentaries by Resnais: Toute la mémoire du monde (1956) and Le chant du styrène (1958)
- Theatrical trailer
- Optional original, unrestored French soundtrack
- New and improved subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Mark Polizzotti and film scholar François Thomas, and Alain Robbe-Grillet’s introduction to the published screenplay and comments on the film

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brownbunny
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#2 Post by brownbunny » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:15 am

i recently obtained a copy of last year at marienbad from a campus library. i viewed it almost hypnotically, in reverie, set afloat from all that was going on; the long, white and floral print corridors, stiffened and almost immobile people standing fixed, resolute and unimpassioned like statues. immediately after my viewing concluded i wanted to devour the film and obtain a copy for repeated, compulsive viewings. my balloon has since burst in the wake of a certain realization; namely, that the damned thing is nearly unobtainable for a price less than 130 dollars.

so, i'm curious as to whether or not anyone knows what kind of copyright or distribution issues have encumbered the release of this wonderful film. it seems an ideal criterion release, but i've yet to see any indication that they're intending to restore and release it, which is distressing (especially knowing that that godawful "sweetie" shall be receiving such coveted treatment soon). i'm hoping criterion rescues this film from obscurity, as they're doing with double life of veronique, or at least that some other valiant company will release even the cheapest, most dark and murky transfer imaginable. frankly at this point i'll take what i can get, ecstatically.

anyone know anything? any assistance is greatly appreciated!

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Dylan
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#3 Post by Dylan » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:11 am

This is one of the greatest films ever made, and the picture quality of the UKOptimum release is as perfect as transfers for black and white films come.

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Beyond gorgeous...

It is available here, and for only $15.00 US.

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Gregory
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#4 Post by Gregory » Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:51 am

What are the chances the Crterion release would have In The Labyrinth Of Marienbad and the Resnais short Toute La Memoire Du Monde? (not a rhetorical question)

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david hare
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#5 Post by david hare » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:12 am

Greg at least Toute la Memoire is available on the BFI Paris Nous Appartient DVD and its a knockout. (If not the Fucking BFI transfers of the Rivettes.)

It's certainly my fave Resnais.

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Gregory
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#6 Post by Gregory » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:55 am

EDIT: The Resnais short is on Celine and Julie Go Boating, not Paris Nous Appartient. I had forgotten that when I asked my earlier question.
Last edited by Gregory on Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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domino harvey
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#7 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:14 am

the little French documentary/thesis on the film on the Optimum R2 disc is really wonderful, I thought it covered a lot of ground and Criterion would probably want to make their own supplements so it's still very worth seeking out. Plus it goes on sale super cheap every once in a while on Amazon.co.uk-- pretty sure I got mine for ~£5.

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Petty Bourgeoisie
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#8 Post by Petty Bourgeoisie » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:25 pm

domino harvey wrote:the little French documentary/thesis on the film on the Optimum R2 disc is really wonderful, I thought it covered a lot of ground
I watched the film twice before viewing the documentary and it shocked me when they covered Hitchcock's "cameo". That visual trick went completely unnoticed by my eyes. The documentary also strengthened my opinion that the film concerns the emotional repercussions of a sexual assault.

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Antoine Doinel
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#9 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:19 am

‘Marienbad’ Returns, Unsettling as Ever

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HerrSchreck
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#10 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:01 pm

Seen LYAM at NYFF this afternoon. Sitting just behinf Chris Marker & DA Pennebaker's honorary seats.

The CC is going to have quite a bit of digital cleanup, as this exhibited an uncharacteristic (for Rialto) lot of edit marks, reel blips and static at reel changes. But the gliding b&w cinematography and the sublime first 20 minutes of the film itself were glorious nontheless.

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dadaistnun
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#11 Post by dadaistnun » Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:04 pm

Lee Kline writes about working with Resnais on the transfer. I like the idea of having the two audio options.

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Jeff
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#12 Post by Jeff » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:58 am

Lee Kline wrote:We watched the whole film together in HD, and he definitely wanted it to be brighter and less contrasty. Before he came in, I had been going in the other direction, since the print I viewed appeared to have a fair amount of contrast. But Resnais was clear that it should not be a very cold-looking film, and he liked going from dark to light very dramatically. The added contrast was only taking away from the needed warmth.
Sounds like a preemptive strike against those who will squeal, "too bright!" and point out that it doesn't look like other prints or transfers they've seen. "Hey it's not our fault. Alain wanted it that way." It's a recurring theme on the blog.

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arsonfilms
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#13 Post by arsonfilms » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:13 pm

Jeff wrote:
Lee Kline wrote:We watched the whole film together in HD, and he definitely wanted it to be brighter and less contrasty. Before he came in, I had been going in the other direction, since the print I viewed appeared to have a fair amount of contrast. But Resnais was clear that it should not be a very cold-looking film, and he liked going from dark to light very dramatically. The added contrast was only taking away from the needed warmth.
Sounds like a preemptive strike against those who will squeal, "too bright!" and point out that it doesn't look like other prints or transfers they've seen. "Hey it's not our fault. Alain wanted it that way." It's a recurring theme on the blog.
It most certainly is, but I do enjoy hearing the reasons behind some of the decisions that are made, especially in cases that may otherwise prove to be controversial. Resnais' desire to keep a warmer look needs no justification, but I'm sure that complaints would surface about the DVD not matching the theatrical presentation, and then I'm sure that a few critics would point out Criterion's new policy of not boosting contrast. They have to clarify these things somehow, after all.

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Person
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#14 Post by Person » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:28 pm

Just for reference: DVD Beaver on the Fox Lorber vs. Optimum editions

The Optimum (which I possess) sometimes appears a little too dark, though the Lorber is almost bereft of contrast. I hope that the contrast on the Criterion transfer is closer to the Optimum, but with better delineation. I also hope that a Blu-Ray edition is released and that Toute la Mémoire du Monde is included on the Criterion, as it is one of my favourite documentary shorts of all time.

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Antoine Doinel
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#15 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:31 pm

I like the idea and reasoning for two audio tracks, and I hope Criterion offers it.

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reaky
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#16 Post by reaky » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:21 am

Is the image a bit horizontally stretched? The bloke in the fourth DVD Beaver grab looks a little squat to my eye.

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Person
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#17 Post by Person » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:46 am

reaky wrote:Is the image [on the Fox Lorber] a bit horizontally stretched?
You're right! Damn, that transfer was horrific. A bad transfer for any film can never fully be excused, but for a film of the aesthetic calibre as Marienbad, you either aim for doing it 98-100% right or you don't do it at all. That's where Criterion come in. Hopefully. :wink:

DSelwyn
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#18 Post by DSelwyn » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:30 am

I like the idea and reasoning for two audio tracks, and I hope Criterion offers it.
What's the difference between a restored audio track and an unrestored one ? I thought the idea behind restoring an audio track was to create a track that comes as close as possible to how the movie sounded when it was released but Resnais, in Rendezvous With Resnais, makes it sound like an unrestored audio track would fulfill this objective.

ZLow
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#19 Post by ZLow » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:38 pm

Hey everybody,

I'm new to the board but I figured I'd give you guys the heads up -

Tonight at the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio, Criterion exec. producer Kim Hindrickson confirmed, among other tidbits, that "Last Year in Marienbad" is coming in May on DVD and Blu-Ray, unless I misheard, but I'm pretty sure that was the word.

Pretty cool news.

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Noiretirc
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#20 Post by Noiretirc » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:22 am

ZLow wrote:Tonight at the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio, Criterion exec. producer Kim Hindrickson confirmed, among other tidbits, that "Last Year in Marienbad" is coming in May on DVD and Blu-Ray, unless I misheard, but I'm pretty sure that was the word.
Pinch me.

Kowalski
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#21 Post by Kowalski » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:24 pm

Loving my R2 release. Wonder what the extras on CC release will be?

Giles
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Re: Last Year at Marienbad

#22 Post by Giles » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:38 pm

I saw this for the first time in 35mm last year at the AFI Silver Theatre and was very very impressed, eagerly looking forward to the bluray edition.

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kinjitsu
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#23 Post by kinjitsu » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:40 pm

Announced w/specs

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domino harvey
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#24 Post by domino harvey » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:57 pm

Doesn't really look like much reason to upgrade for those who have the Optimum, so thank God I don't have to have something with that cover on my shelf

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 478 Last Year at Marienbad

#25 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:06 pm

I saw this on it's last run-- I think its an interesting experiment but it runs way too long for its substance-- so I'll be happy to avoid that cover abortion on my wall unit shelf.

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