Last Year at Marienbad

“Once again I walk, once again, along these corridors, across these salons, these galleries, in this edifice from another century, this huge, luxurious, baroque hotel . . . ” The incantatory voice-over narration could be the voice of Sacha Vierny's camera as it travels through time, past the statues and statuesque beings-in-time-the characters-in this masterpiece of mise-en-scène. Some critics interpreted Marienbad's labyrinthine gardens as a dreamscape, others as a landscape of the mind that rejects cause and effect. Still, why not take it at face value? A man attempts to convince a woman (Delphine Seyrig) that, a year ago, they met and fell in love at a European spa, perhaps Marienbad where they are now. Truth becomes a mazelike trap, persuasion a key to freedom.

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