Last Year at Marienbad [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray]

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Synopsis

A cinematic puzzle, Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad is a radical exploration of the formal possibilities of film. Beautifully shot in Cinemascope by Sacha Vierny, the movie is a riddle of seduction, a mercurial enigma darting between a present and past which may not even exist, let alone converge. The film stars Giorgio Albertazzi as an unnamed sophisticate attempting to convince a similarly nameless woman (Delphine Seyrig) that they met and were romantically involved a year ago in the same enormous, baroque European hotel. In the end, it hardly matters -- they're not characters so much as pawns anyway. Hypnotically dreamlike, Last Year at Marienbad is a surrealist parody of Hollywood melodrama, a high-fashion romance with a dark, alien underbelly. According to screenwriter Alain Robbe-Grillet, the movie is a pure construction, without a frame of reference outside of its own existence -- the lives of its characters begin when the lights go down, and conclude when they come back up. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi