Sunday, November 20, 2016

Persistence of Memory

Last Year at Marienbad/L'Année dernière à Marienbad (1961) - Resnais
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Camera tracks endless corridors, columns, doors, rooms in an opulent chateau. Lines are repeated, scenes replicated in different variations. Labyrinthine nature of one's memories- recalling, yearning, regretting and desiring. Time is relative and often standing still in Marienbad. Every gesture, gaze, word means something. The whole film is like a long piece of music, its rhythm flows up and down, pushes and pulls in and out. As does many of Resnais films, Marienbad deals with the persistence of memory. But more than anything else he has done, it deals with the subject with formalist rigor (even more so here than Hiroshima mon amour). The stilted placement of the actors and precise tracking shots can feel more machine than human. But he accomplishes uneasy feeling of someone pulling the rug out of your feet.

Marienbad makes a very strong case for film as an art form, that it can be as great as painting or sculpture or music.

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