/ Last Year in Marienbad
Is this film basically just a bloke spending an hour and half trying to get a woman to sleep with him on the basis that he (unlike her) is sure he met her a year ago?
Or have I missed some major allegory?
I think it's supposed to be a mystery, and if there's any allegory it's that in the end making sense of our lives is a bit of a mystery, one which we can never solve. (To be interpreted in the context of French existentialism, black polo-necks, cafes, coffee and Gauloise smoke.)
I watched in a cool independent cinema in Portland, Oregon (the hipster/black-turtleneck/Gauloises/thick-rimmed-glasses capital of the USA) whilst drinking expensive Oregon craft beer and wearing a surplus discounted t shirt marking the cinema’s earlier screening of a 7.5 hour edit of Bondarchuk’s 1968 War and Peace
Prime conditions for liking it then... What went wrong?
I didn’t say I didn’t like it! I was just wondering if I “got it”!
Ah, I see... your original post hinted at disappointment. I suspect if you're mystified you probably got it.
If you look at the reviews, then and now, some people thought it was a load of cobblers whilst some, more so now it seems, thought it was a masterpiece. I take the superficial approach - it does look fantastic!
I remember watching it in either Bradford or Sheffield film theatres (both superb venues, with great films, both closed down!)
As we trooped out, a lady behind me exclaimed, "My God, it was wonderful - absolutely wonderful! But... what did it mean?"
As Tallulah Bankhead once opined, "There's less to this than meets the eye."
The original writer of the film, Alain Robbe Grillet, the most eminent exponent of the Nouveau Roman* movement, does not intend that the spectator leaves with a firm view. He observed of the viewer's experience and his own intentions: "Two attitudes are then possible: either the spectator will try to reconstitute some 'Cartesian' scheme – the most linear, the most rational he can devise – and this spectator will certainly find the film difficult if not incomprehensible; or else the spectator will let himself be carried along by the extraordinary images in front of him [...] and to this spectator, the film will seem the easiest he has ever seen: a film addressed exclusively to his sensibility, to his faculties of sight, hearing, feeling."
In other words you can fight to construct a logic that will continually elude you. Or sit back and enjoy. The choice is yours.
The woman was hot and the man was handsome
Good to see you're with me in the 'superficial' camp!
> As we trooped out, a lady behind me exclaimed, "My God, it was wonderful - absolutely wonderful! But... what did it mean?"
> As Tallulah Bankhead once opined, "There's less to this than meets the eye."
Tallulah Ok with the bons mots but Sheffield/Bradford lady is understandable, you can apply that to a lot of films. David Lynch’s Lost Highway is the example that springs to my mind right now
I simply found her response hilarious!
She probably made professor of media studies by the mid 1990s. Then the honours list by the early 2000s. Then the charity commission...
Cynical - moi?
> Or have I missed some major allegory?
French bloke sees beautiful unaccompanied woman. Gives it the old "excuse me, don't I know you from somewhere?" (hackneyed even in 1960). Relentlessly pursues the same line hoping to wear her down through sheer persistence.
No allegory, it's basically a documentary.
Lake District-based runner Kim Collison has set a new speed record on the Bob Graham Round in winter. Kim completed the round in just 15 hours 47 minutes, knocking a big chunk from the previous fastest winter time of 18:18 set by Jim Mann in 2013.