Last Year at Marienbad

L' Année dernière à Marienbad

A nameless man hounds a nameless woman at a chateau in Marienbad filled with idle aristocrats. He insists they met in that place the year before and had a short but passionate affair. He says she had promised him then that they would meet again one year later. She denies this, insisting she remembers nothing of the sort. The man does all he can to convince her, showering the woman with details of their supposed romance in an attempt to bring her over to his version of the truth. In the deathless enigma of a film that is Last Year at Marienbad, an enduring monument of cinematic modernism, Alain Resnais offers up a meditation on the notions of memory, truth, and identity, inviting us to consider whether – as noted by Poe – what we see as reality is in fact but a dream within a dream, and whether that which we call “the self” is nothing but a phantom. He also wonders: if the lovers are like two mirrors facing one another, then what apparition are they reflecting into infinity?
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Alain Resnais
Script: Alain Robbe-Grillet
Cinematography: Sacha Vierny
Editing: Jasmine Chasney, Henri Colpi
Music: Francis Seyrig
Actors: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff
Production: Terra Film, Société Nouvelle des Films Cormoran, Precitel, Como Films, Argos Films, Les Films Tamara, Cinétel, Silver Films, Cineriz
Producers: Pierre Courau, Raymond Froment
Costumes: Coco Chanel, Bernard Evein
Production Design: Jacques Saulnier
Sets: Jean-Jacques Fabre, Georges Glon, André Piltant
Format: DCP
Color: B/W
Production Country: France, Italy
Production Year: 1961
Duration: 94'
Contact: Tamasa Distribution
Awards/Distinctions: Golden Lion – Venice Film Festival 1962, Best Film – French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 1962, Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen – Academy Awards 1963

Alain Resnais

Experimenting with such themes as consciousness, memory, and the imagination, Alain Resnais (1922–2014), whose career extended over more than six decades, was one of the most innovative French filmmakers of the 20th century. After training as a film editor in the mid-1940s, he went on to direct several short films which included Night and Fog (1956), an influential documentary about the Nazi concentration camps. Resnais began making feature films in the late 1950s and consolidated his early reputation with Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Last Year at Marienbad (1961), and Muriel (1963), all of which adopted unconventional narrative techniques to deal with themes of troubled memory and the imagined past. These films were contemporary with, and associated with, the French New Wave, though Resnais did not regard himself as being fully part of that movement. In the words of The Guardian’s Brian Baxter, “Resnais was a director of elegance and distinction, [and] his films were singular, instantly recognizable by their style as well as through recurring themes and preoccupations”.


1947 Van Gogh (short doc)
1950 Guernica (short doc)
1956 Night and Fog (short doc)
1959 Hiroshima mon amour
1961 Last Year at Marienbad
1963 Muriel
1966 The War is Over
1968 Je t’aime, je t’aime
1977 Providence
1980 My American Uncle
1984 Love Unto Death
1993 Smoking/No Smoking
2006 Private Fears in Public Spaces
2009 Wild Grass
2014 Life of Riley