Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beret Time - Last Year at Marienbad

Last Year at Marienbad is the epitome of French New Wave Cinema as well as one of the most confusing and enigmatic movies I have ever watched. And that's a good thing. The core story is this: a young man sees a woman at a luxurious hotel and tells her that he remembers her from last year, in which they were involved in a passionate love affair. She does not recognize the man nor does she remember any affair taking place. However, as the movies progresses, the viewers are left to wonder: did the affair actually take place, or was it all an illusion? As the man continues to tell the woman of what they did last year, the scenes travel in a loop, to which the possible future is displayed or perhaps it is the past or perhaps it never even happened. Is the woman denying what happened, or does she not remember? Each scene unfolds into dreamlike visions that are left open to interpretation; no one is right or wrong but simply IS. As I watched the film, I was rooted to my couch, waiting to see what would happen next while the organ music that played throughout the film added a level of creepiness that I found quite disturbing. Long hallways covered in shadows, ornate designed walls with mirrors to reflect the soul or perhaps remove it. Trees in the garden cast no reflection; are they part of the dream? Secrets are disclosed when everyone stops moving to wait for the next lie to be told. When the film "ended", I knew I had to have this movie in my collection. This film deserves to be watched over and over with a fresh and open mind. I will state, however, that this film is not for just anyone. The watcher must not arrive with any preconceived notions, nor must they expect for something to "happen" quickly. This film is one to remember from "last year". Quite the surreal experience.

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