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Last Year at Marienbad (The Criterion Collection) (1962)

Delphine Seyrig , Giorgio Albertazzi , Alain Resnais  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)

Price: $90.87 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff, Françoise Bertin, Luce Garcia-Ville
  • Directors: Alain Resnais
  • Writers: Alain Robbe-Grillet
  • Format: Black & White, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001WLMOLO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,805 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Last Year at Marienbad (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal visual poem has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades. A surreal fever dream, or perhaps a nightmare, Last Year at Marienbad (L’année dernière à Marienbad), written by the radical master of the New Novel, Alain Robbe-Grillet, 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-bedecked 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.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES: • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Alain Resnais • New audio interview with Resnais • New documentary on the making of Last Year at Marienbad, featuring interviews with many of Resnais’ collaborators • New video interview with film scholar Ginette Vincendeau on the history of the film and its many mysteries • Two short documentaries by Resnais: Toute la mémoire du monde (1956) and Le chant du styrène (1958) • Theatrical trailer • Optional original, unrestored French soundtrack • New and improved subtitle translation • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Mark Polizzotti and film scholar François Thomas, and Alain Robbe-Grillet’s introduction to the published screenplay and comments on the film

Stills from Last Year at Marienbad (Click for larger image)





Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memory is imagination pinned down March 1, 2005
By Tintin
Format:DVD
Last Year at Marienbad is a "love story," although not a "story" in the conventional narrative sense, since the fragmented images cannot be scanned chronologically. The "story" is not told rather it is described using a juxtaposition of physical images, through memories and associations, projected through a space-time continuum, which destroys both linear chronology and fixity. Resnais built a captivating puzzle-like film, a labyrinth, which at time resembles the optical illusions of Escher or the surreal world of Magritte. Any attempt to provide a satisfying chronology for the film would contradict the assumptions upon which it was built, as well as the manner in which it is presented.

Marienbad is a cine-roman, a cinematic novel, that is, a particular way to tell a story, which by definition involves space and time. It is not simultaneously a novel and a film, but it uses certain techniques of the novel and of the cinema. Resnais uses a variety of cinematographic techniques: the use of "atmosphere," or mise-en-scene, to provoke an emotional response on the audience's part; the use of "dream" sequences, flashbacks and flash forwards as they relate to imagistic or observational characterizations of a character's imagination; the use of visual and audio montages to disrupt the chronological time and replace the temporal and linear narration by his mise-en-scene's spaces. As a result, it is necessary to view each Resnais film completely in order to understand its structure and discourse. This is especially true for Marienbad, where a second and even a third viewing are necessary to fully appreciate the structure and the details.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again, Last Year at Marienbad, forever. October 31, 2003
Format:DVD
Be warned up front that this movie will not suit everyone. This is film as art and it is in black and white; there are those who hate it and those who love it. It is subtitled in English but you will enjoy it even more if you understand French because the off voice is often hauntingly poetic. It was filmed on location in Bavaria, Germany, near Munich at the palaces of Nymphenburg and Schleissheim. The script is relatively easy to find both in French, L'Annee derniere a Marienbad, and in English under a title slightly different from the one of the movie: Last Year in Marienbad.

I greatly admire and love this movie; I believe it to be a masterpiece of French cinema. This is a work that you'll watch over and over and of which you will not tire. A labyrinthian intrigue unfolds in an icily beautiful sprawling baroque palace --a dream-like deluxe palace hotel where tuxedos and evening dresses are de rigueur . Along with the protagonists you will enjoy losing yourself over and over in this enchanted yet disquieting movie.

He ("X " in the official script --he remains nameless in the movie) and She ("A" in the official script --also nameless in the movie) had met last year at Marienbad (thus the title). That's what he says. A romantic encounter, apparently. A short-lived affair, a summer long liaison? The true nature of their relationship is never disclosed. If they did not have an affair might they not have exchanged only a promise to elope, or merely agreed to meet again a year later? Did He grant her one year's reflection time to decide whether to follow him and leave her husband? Ah, yes, her husband is there also, a witness and party to this mystifying situation; quite a dispassionate and remote witness though.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't think, Just Look. April 21, 2001
Format:DVD
LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD is virtually without peer in the cinema. It has caused a great deal of controversy over the years, with some claiming it as one of the greatest films ever made, others claiming that it must be some sort French joke on the audience. For those of you familiar with French films in general, you know that bad French movies tend to consist of a few characters discoursing about love in a stilted, soap-opera-like manner. Set against this context, LYAM is indeed a joke, a brilliant satire. The banality of the love triangle also pokes very Gallic fun at the annoying cliches of Hollywood melodrama. Part of the confusion caused by this film comes from the standard nature of the plot - our expectations about how this type of film should work are constantly set up, then thouroughly compromised from the opening sequence of the movie. Viewers are rarely cognizant of just how much we have internalized standard Hollywood techniques as the ONLY way of using cinematic forms to tell a story, which should have a beginning, middle and end, but MARIENBAD cannot be understood this way, although there is indeed a progression to this bizarre narrative, which takes the form of Man Y's increasingly elaborate explanations of what might have happened between him and the Woman in her room, which might have been either rape or seduction. It is a profoundly VISUAL film that can only be understood if you use your eyes carefully. The action is split completely from the dialogue, which goes over the same issues again and again in settings that indicate different times of day and of the year. Some of these scenes are flashbacks, some may only be the narrator's fantasy. In MARIENBAD, past, present and future coexist simultaneously. What MARIENBAD dramatizes is the relative quality of human memory. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the whole thing
This is arguably one of the best films ever made. Although its non linear narrative and dream sequence style of story telling mad npot be for everyone. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paul Bates
3.0 out of 5 stars Weirdly weird...
A weird, weird, weird movie. I need to watch it again...and probably again to try and figure this one out. B&W is sharp as a tack.
Published 3 months ago by Whitey
5.0 out of 5 stars Okay, I paid through the nose for this OOP blu, and I have zero...
If you're interested in this film at all I suggest laying your hands on the Criterion edition before the price climbs any higher. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gryphon X
5.0 out of 5 stars either one of the best films or worst films ever made
Nine Things about the Movie “Last Year at Marienbad”

1. Released over 50 years ago, this movie is still considered highly controversial. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul Donovan
5.0 out of 5 stars GO NOT WITH THE KNOW, GO WITH THE FLOW
The first time I watched this film I hated it: the beginning with the narrator droning on and on and repeating 2/3 of what he had just said, the still shots of the characters, and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by eclectic
1.0 out of 5 stars Liberal logic
I consider myself a connoisseur of great movies. I count amongst my favorite movies classics such as Shawshank Redemption, The Matrix and The Dark Knight. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Little Domin
2.0 out of 5 stars "Last Pear at Marienbad"
"Last Year at Marienbad". This is a Boring, basic "French" movie, although I wouldn't put it in the same sentence with "The Seventh Seal". Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bartok Kinski
5.0 out of 5 stars Five star experience.
Esoteric film noir in a new age of film. This opus must be viewed several times and savored for its subtleties.
Published 11 months ago by Robin
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Film
Last year at Marienbad is one of the great classics of New Wave film, and Criterion always makes a terrific product.
Published 11 months ago by Joyce Stith
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
This is a great movie and am so happy I have it now. I totally didn't see that it didn't come with the little booklet on the inside with essays that was a little disappointing. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Salvador
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Robbe-Grillet movies on DVD
Is L'Immortelle (English title: The Immortal One ) available in ANY format? I used to show a 16mm print of the film in my classes and I have Robbe-Grillet's cine-novel of it (Calder & Boyars, 1971). I think the film was distributed by Grove Press.
Jun 30, 2009 by W. Chamberlain |  See all 3 posts
"Optional original, unrestored French soundtrack"
Check this link:

http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/976
Jun 9, 2009 by Patrick |  See all 2 posts
is this region locked?
Criterion's website says that all of their Blu-Rays are region-coded:
http://www.criterion.com/help#q26

Which is a total bummer as there's not much hope for a decent release outside of the US.
Looks like a region-free Blu-Ray player is the way to go.
Jun 23, 2009 by Marcus Round |  See all 2 posts
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