Last Year In Marienbad Analysis

1596 Words 7 Pages
The mind is such a complex and convoluted part of the human body. Our memory and the way we perceive and interpret things is a concept that is truly fascinating to me. In the 1961 French film “Last year in Marienbad” the complexity of the human mentality is tested both within in the film itself with the main characters but also outside it with the viewers themselves. A majority of the film takes place in a hotel and focuses on an unnamed woman who is approached by an unnamed man who claims that they 've met before just a year ago. He spends the entirety of the film attempting to convince and remind her of their past with little success. It’s fascinating because even now as I attempt to describe the film I find myself second guessing what can …show more content…
Because non-narrative storytelling in this way was so new at this time of filmmaking, the praise along with the negative criticism is not at all surprising. In the film our sense of time is quickly disoriented with the multiple flashbacks, shifts in time, and the constant repetition of events, making it impossible for viewers to keep track of and mentally place scenes in a chronological way. I believe the filmmakers used this as a tool to allow the viewers to interpret the order of events for themselves. By breaking the stereotype of a strictly linear representation of events, the filmmakers have created a space for the audience to decide what goes where in the timeline and what that means for them personally. Those of us like myself who don 't see themselves as a grandiose film watcher might view the task of solidifying your own personal narrative as difficult and tedious, which is where I believe a lot of the negative critique of this innovative french film might emanate from. As a viewer I have the right to want to remain completely outside of narrative decisions in a film. In denise riley’s “The Right to be Lonely” she talks briefly about this idea of being inside vs.outside of certain situations saying “there are mutual instabilities of inner and outer, an innocent ekstasis of language, a propulsion of the …show more content…
After understanding that this was done intentional I don 't believe it’s possible to say that the film was necessarily “good” or “bad” because everyone 's interpretation and willingness to interpret is different when watching the film. If this openness was not intentional then I could understand why the film could be considered unsuccessful or “bad” but we know that it was intentional because the use of non-narrative storytelling, unreliable sources of information, and vague scenarios accompanied by a range of unanswered questions that left it up to the viewer to fill in the blanks. Some people like the freedom of a film like this that leaves concepts up to them and their own devices, while others much more enjoy the ease of being painted a complete mental movie by a filmmaker. Nonetheless, whether one will enjoy this film or not is completely up to them and their

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