Author Topic: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad  (Read 1273 times)

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2019, 07:09:40 PM »
I read another comment from the director last week which I can't find at the moment but was along the lines of "the events of the film could entirely have taken place in one minute" which for me only makes things more confusing.  I can't really work out what he was driving at with that, but it's interesting.

Perhaps the idea that the film is the representation of the creative process, lead character represents the writer shaping the world but also looking to shift the female lead to being self aware.

I do tend to think you see some influence beyond visuals on Kubricks Shining as well there is the link to Jacks character almost seeming to be writing his own story.

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Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2019, 07:41:15 PM »
I really enjoyed this which came as a surprise as ten minutes in I thought it was going to be a right old struggle, but the tone and atmosphere of it captivated me and it has a hypnotic feel, I can certainly buy in to the persuasion theory though what he's trying to persuade her to do is another question altogether. I loved the score as well, I can understand why some found it intrusive and annoying but it drew me in and created a sense of real dread and unease and so I think it did it's job well. I like the idea that you can have various interpretations without it definitely be one thing or the other too, it exists in a sense of flux which fits with the feel of the film. I do lean to the 'afterlife' idea myself but I'm open to others, and I noticed towards the end that when it comes to the woman's outfits at one point they have a white feathery almost angelic quality but then in the next scene she's wearing a seductive black dress, though again what that suggests is open to question.

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2019, 10:12:29 AM »
I really enjoyed this which came as a surprise as ten minutes in I thought it was going to be a right old struggle, but the tone and atmosphere of it captivated me and it has a hypnotic feel, I can certainly buy in to the persuasion theory though what he's trying to persuade her to do is another question altogether. I loved the score as well, I can understand why some found it intrusive and annoying but it drew me in and created a sense of real dread and unease and so I think it did it's job well. I like the idea that you can have various interpretations without it definitely be one thing or the other too, it exists in a sense of flux which fits with the feel of the film. I do lean to the 'afterlife' idea myself but I'm open to others, and I noticed towards the end that when it comes to the woman's outfits at one point they have a white feathery almost angelic quality but then in the next scene she's wearing a seductive black dress, though again what that suggests is open to question.

I remember feeling the same way originally watching it, the first 10 mins or so is rather dry and more inline with the films reputation but after that I do think there's a good deal of drama even if its nature is obviously rather obtuse.

The key scene to me seems to be the woman in term hotel room looking at various thngs within it such as the hairbrush, a shift away from her purely reacting to the mans actions towards showing some independence of thought.

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2019, 01:58:37 PM »
Completely missed that the existence of this thread.

Marienbad is a very good film. I think it makes a lot more sense if you're familiar with Robbe-Grillet, especially his major themes of sexual violence, impotence and voyeurism, as well as the games he plays with narrative "slidings". The film deliberately leaves things open to interpretations. Like the game with matches it builds up towards a narrative, then the rhythm is suddenly broken when the game fails. It's like someone searching their shattered memory for the truth, playing out all the possibilities in their head as their psyche frustrates them, throwing them suddenly off-course when they get too close to a painful truth.

As I said, there's no one answer, but I find the idea that the woman has been raped and her mind has partially shut down as a result to be the most persuasive. This (or the rape at least) is made explicit in Robbe-Grillet's cine-roman.

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2019, 02:29:48 PM »
I watched this unrelated to this thread a week or so ago. It didn't quite grab me, but I could immediately see its gigantic influence.

What I latched onto was Sacha Vierny's cinematography. I know of Vierny through his work with Peter Greenaway, and can see why Greenaway chose him. That opening circular narration, the repetition of heavy carpets, the ornate everything - it's all captured in all of its opulence, Vierny really knows how to include depth and width to suggest a kind of richness that hangs like a lead weight from the soul.

The bit where they're in the bar and it does that quick flashback edit a few times to the woman on what feels like a golden background contrasted with the heavy darkness - that was magical, I loved it. I also liked Sacha Pitoëff's face, it had that haunted quality of Bob Mitchum.

Other than that I am on a documentary/social realism jag right now so its obfuscations and elusiveness were just not what I wanted. Obviously a well-wrought and serious piece, just not for now.

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Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2019, 09:20:47 PM »
I watched this unrelated to this thread a week or so ago. It didn't quite grab me, but I could immediately see its gigantic influence.

What I latched onto was Sacha Vierny's cinematography. I know of Vierny through his work with Peter Greenaway, and can see why Greenaway chose him. That opening circular narration, the repetition of heavy carpets, the ornate everything - it's all captured in all of its opulence, Vierny really knows how to include depth and width to suggest a kind of richness that hangs like a lead weight from the soul.

The bit where they're in the bar and it does that quick flashback edit a few times to the woman on what feels like a golden background contrasted with the heavy darkness - that was magical, I loved it. I also liked Sacha Pitoëff's face, it had that haunted quality of Bob Mitchum.

Other than that I am on a documentary/social realism jag right now so its obfuscations and elusiveness were just not what I wanted. Obviously a well-wrought and serious piece, just not for now.

That's interesting about Sacha Vierny, when watching the film a few shots reminded me of Greenaway's work but I had no idea he'd used him as his cinematographer, indeed looking at Vierny's imdb page he was involved with a fair few films I love.

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2019, 04:18:26 AM »
Greenaway was I think very open about the Draughtman's Contract basically being his Marienbad.

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Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2019, 02:32:47 PM »
Also had flashes of Greenaway while I was watching this (not necessarily in a good way), so not that surprised to see the connection.  Always disliked Greenaway's hands-off Renaissance painting aloofness.  If he doesn't want me to be involved, I'll happily follow his orders.

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2019, 05:31:00 PM »
Also had flashes of Greenaway while I was watching this (not necessarily in a good way), so not that surprised to see the connection.  Always disliked Greenaway's hands-off Renaissance painting aloofness.  If he doesn't want me to be involved, I'll happily follow his orders.

I don't think Marienbad comes across as overly "modern art" in its tone though, as discussed its intension might be quite meta the tone is more similar to something like Carnival of Souls, atmospheric horror.

Bar perhaps some half forgotten late night C4 viewing I admit part of the reason I'v not gone beyond Cook, Theif, Wife, etc with Greenaway is finding that Gilbert and George style "provocative" modern art style rather off putting(and stomach turning). I mean I actually think that film puts it to very good use but because it frames Mirren's much more human character/performance but I get the impression there is much less of in his other work.

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2019, 10:14:26 PM »
I mean I actually think that film puts it to very good use but because it frames Mirren's much more human character/performance but I get the impression there is much less of in his other work.

Not an entirely unfair characterisation. Brian Dennehy cuts through the archness in Belly of an Architect with a big performance as a sick cuckold obsessive, and there's weird stuff either side of his 80s/90s fiction film output that I think has a really strong sense of humour, but mostly it is emotionally distant and cerebral. I like it but I really see why others don't.

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2019, 09:51:33 PM »
The unlikely Blur/Robbe-Grillet connection : https://youtu.be/X0YvOncfBJU

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2019, 11:28:45 AM »
Amazing to think that once upon a time empty recreations like that were once considered innovative.

Sin Agog

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Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2019, 11:38:53 AM »
I still prefer Oasis' homage to Un Homme Qui Dort on every single thing they've released in the last 25 years.

Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2019, 05:10:21 PM »
Amazing to think that once upon a time empty recreations like that were once considered innovative.

To be fair I think it fits the song pretty well but really as you say its doesn't add anything. By comparison I thought Glazer's Clockwork Orange inspired video for The Universal wasn't just an empty recreation.

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Re: CaB Film Club #1 - Last Year At Marienbad
« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2019, 03:23:10 AM »
Pretty sure there's Marienbad references visually in the Blank Space video.