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Last Year at Marienbad
Directed by Alain Resnais • 1961 • France
Starring Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff
Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades. Written by radical master of the New Novel Alain Robbe-Grillet, this surreal fever dream, or nightmare, gorgeously fuses the past with the present in telling its ambiguous tale of a man and a woman (Giorgio Albertazzi and Delphine Seyrig) who may or may not have met a year ago, perhaps at the very same cathedral-like, mirror-filled château they now find themselves wandering. Unforgettable in both its confounding details (gilded ceilings, diabolical parlor games, a loaded gun) and haunting scope, Resnais’ investigation into the nature of memory is disturbing, romantic, and maybe even a ghost story.